||All year round, subject to school vacations - you
choose your start and finish dates.
2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
||No qualifications or experience required, just lots
of enthusiasm and a love of children.
Full Price List
►Full pre-departure support and assistance,
►Payment Protection insurance
►Meeting you at the nearest airport
►Transfer to your accommodation
►Local in-country team support and backup
►24-hr emergency support.
►Certificate of Completion
What's not included
Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Local
transport to and from your project, Return
transfer to airport.
Who can do
This project is open to all nationalities and all ages
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out,
grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in
teaching or working with children overseas while doing
voluntary work, care or teaching projects abroad, or study abroad.
Also available as a summer placement in South Africa, short
breaks or for those wanting to do TEFL teaching.
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Africa and the many
diverse cultures in South Africa
The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and
knowing that you made a difference to them.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding
of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head
and shoulders above most others in the job market.
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
A fleet of school buses travels from all over the suburbs to
collect these children in the mornings from about 6am and the school bus returns
the children back home for the afternoons at around 2.30pm.
The School we work with has just over 200 children with
physical and intellectual impairments. The pupils are aged from 3 years old to
18. There are four sections covering nursery, junior, middle and senior pupils.
State subsidies are not adequate to run a school such as this
one and a special fundraiser arranges events during the year. Other funds are
raised by the re-cycling center
in one of the school buildings, donations from people’s homes, as well as
newspapers, books and plastic containers are received at any time.
As the pupils are low functioning academically, the
curriculum aims at fostering maximum independence and productivity in each
pupil. It covers the development of self-sufficiency and socialism. Lessons are
designed to improve motor and perceptual skills as well as functional academic
skills. There is a strong emphasis on communication, household and vocational
skills. Pupils are also encouraged to be aware of the environment and
nature, and a visit to the school Farmyard is a daily occurrence.
The School also serves as a training center for students from
local universities and colleges. Students in training include speech therapists,
medical students, physiotherapists, nurses, occupational therapists, care givers
The school itself consists of a number of spread out,
pleasant buildings all opening onto the garden. The school buildings are like a
solid built local state school, and the parents and staff keep them looking neat
and painted. The gardens are well-kept and spacious, and the children love
visiting the small farmyard in the school grounds to see the sheep, goats,
rabbits, ducks and chickens – and even a donkey or two sometimes.
There are two heated indoor swimming pools which are used for
class swimming and physiotherapy.
Volunteers here have loved every minute of their placements
here and keep up contact with the school after they move on to study at
University or return to work at home.
YOUR WORK AT THE SCHOOL
- When you arrive you will be allocated to a teacher who
will introduce you to the work. You might be sent to different areas of work
in the school before settling in to a particular job. If there is anything
you are particularly interested in, such as working with a particular age
group or helping in the Physiotherapy or OT departments, please let us know
when you apply, so that we can arrange it for you.
- You will work as a classroom assistants or class aides
(helping children in and out of wheelchairs for different activities, or
helping the teacher with various class activities, like painting, doing
puzzles – and with the older children cooking, simple maths and reading
etc). Other tasks include reading stories to children, helping children to
simple tasks on the computer and supervising the outdoor activities.
Tricycle riding forms part of the curriculum - as exercise and mastering the
skills associated with the physical action are very important.
- The children also learn simple rules of the road on
marked out areas of the playground. Swimming lessons are a favourite and the
school has two heated indoor pools. Your help in and out of the pools will
be appreciated as children need individual help in the water. One pool is
specifically for physiotherapy treatment.
- Volunteers working in the Nursery section usually move
over to the older children after the nursery children have finished for the
day. You may be given preparation tasks for the next day by the teacher or
Admin work, like helping out in the front office if someone is absent. The
school day ends at 3.00 pm.
- Sometimes there might be help needed, like preparing for
Sports Day or School Fete or School Concert. We urge volunteers to get
involved with extra functions taking place at the school as you can have a
lot of fun and you will get to know the children much better out of hours.
"Working in BP
school with special needs children. It was amazing to see how the children
really appreciated the one on one time you were able to give to them as a
volunteer. Even though it may not have been anything substantial you could see
that the extra attention they may not be getting when just in a class really
made them feel good about themselves. During some one on one time with a lovely
girl in the junior classes who had speech problems and was confined to a
wheelchair, we were playing a small game to help with numbers where she had to
pick a block with had a certain amount of holes in it and fit it onto something
with the corresponding poles sticking out of it. When she got one right I
congratulated her with a simple 'well done' and clapped. Her face immediately
brightened and she became so happy she hugged me.
It's small moments like this
that help you realise what a difference your presence is making, even if you
feel like what you're doing isn't really helping. Seeing her so ecstatic for
such a small congratulations shows just how much they gain from the smallest
amount of attention!" Siobhan Scarlett
SEMESTERS IN SOUTH AFRICA:
Please note that this placement is not available during the
school vacations, so it’s important to consult the school
semesters below to plan your placement dates. Your project
coordinator will also assist you with your placement planning,
as well as suggest alternatives and exciting things to do during
the vacation periods.
Dates for the
2015 school semesters are given below.
Term 1: 21 January –
Term 2: 13 April – 26 June
Term 3: 20 July – 2 October
Term 4: 12 October – 9 December
Dates for the
2016 school semesters are given below.
Term 1: 13 January –
Term 2: 5 April – 24 June
Term 3: 18 July – 30 September
Term 4: 10 October – 7 December
Please see a complete
list of current public holidays for 2015 and 2016 at
Generally the last week
before terms end is given to exams and tests. This means
that you will generally find your work load dropping during this
week and you will usually find more free time than normal school
Nestled under the mountain near the
city, is the trendy and arty suburb of Observatory, the student Mecca of Cape
Town. We have chosen this location as an accommodation base and make use
of a backpackers lodge, where you will be staying. It’s distance from
the projects, safety conscious attitude and very friendly staff make
this the ideal home away from home.
South African backpackers are
unique and majority are run as a ‘home away from home’ in large
houses, so there is always lots of space to relax and watch TV,
read a book, or just sit by the pool and soak in the sun.
In Observatory, we use The Green
Elephant backpackers lodge, which has been running since 1994
and is spaced across 3 beautiful houses. The main house consists
of dormitory style rooms, free unlimited wireless internet, a
festive bar, a braai (BBQ) area and a swimming pool. The other
two houses have private rooms (single and double rooms).
The lodge is situated in the heart
of Observatory and a short (5 minute) stroll away from a large
supermarket, internet café, restaurants, coffee shops, pharmacy
and laundromat. The lodge is also closely situated to the main
road, where busses and taxis are available literally at your
You’ll be staying in a dorm-style
room in the main house, which consist of 6 beds each. The
mattresses are great and all linen and towels are provided, but
it’s a good idea to bring your own beach towel. There is a
laundry self-service area available at the lodge for R15/load
(about £1), but there are also laundromats a few minutes walk
away that will wash, dry and fold for you.
The lodge has a 24-hour reception
desk, and they pride themselves with long-term staff of up to 20
years. This translates into a safe environment with experienced
staff, who are able to offer the best local advice to guests for
trips & tours, restaurants and basically any local information
on the Cape Town area.
The Green Elephant is also
committed to low impact and sustainable tourism to preserve our
natural beauty for future generations. They recycle everything
from water (in grey water systems) to bottles, paper and
plastic, which we strongly support!
You'll be given a food budget which will cover your basic
essentials (but not extras like drinks, snacks and eating out).
All the lodge houses have fully
equipped self catering kitchens, with all the necessities to
cook a good meal. If you aren’t feeling up to cooking on any
particular day, the lodge also does meals that can be paid for
on the day. For example, Thursday nights are pizza nights, and
they also do BBQ’s on regular occasions.
Got any questions? Please email us:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll
contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on
details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have
access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your
Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you
throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on
your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country
Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on
your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment
Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we
can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is
different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the
most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in
Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in
all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our South African staff who
will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn
about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how
to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.
You will have weekends free and this will also allow some time for travelling
and sight seeing.
Kathy, the Volunteer Coordinator at the School who will
supervise you during your placement
Click here to see the Care in Cape Town Video
excellent case study by a group that raised the funds to work with
township schools in South Africa
LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
The best advice you'll get from us
is to try to see some of the country while you're in South
Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting
and very, very beautiful. Cape Town is probably
the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up
there :-) KwaZulu-Natal comes a very
close second, albeit very different. Knysna is
where South Africans go on vacation, which gives you some idea of
how lovely the region is.
ACTIVITIES IN CAPE TOWN
Enjoy exciting and “real” adventures with an adrenaline twist!
(insanely jumping off very high cliffs into pools of water!)
(just up the coast)
…..and a LOT,
Tours - A visit to one of the many townships surrounding the city is an
experience that will open your eyes to the way in which the biggest portion
of Cape Town's population are living. Take a township tour of Langa, the oldest township in
South Africa or Khayelitsha, the second largest township in South Africa.
Township tours will usually be co-led by a resident in the area, showcase
local industry and community projects and include a visit to a township bar
Two Oceans Aquarium - Located in the V&A Waterfront, the Two
Oceans Aquarium has lots of display tanks, interactive experiences, a
touch pool and the highly popular predators tank.
Winelands - Wine lover or not, a visit to the Cape Winelands is an absolute
must as the region is one of breathtaking beauty and majestic mountain
backdrops. Rolling vineyards
and quaint Cape Dutch homesteads ... as well as some of the country's best wines.
Drives are a very popular leisure activity in South Africa, because the
roads are generally wide, in good condition, relatively empty and a pleasure
to drive on. People often go for drives on a Sunday afternoon to a favourite
hotel or restaurant for afternoon tea and scones, or to the top of a pass
just to look at the view, or to a national park to watch the baboons -
there's always a good reason to go for a drive!
Cape Town has lots of
cafes and restaurants
seating areas overlooking the street or on the pavements, with colourful sun
umbrellas - a perfect place to sit with the sun on
your face, watching passers-by ambling along, sipping a steamy cappucino or
staving off the heat with a cold drink.
Read more about
Cape Town and its
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you
arrive in your new country, please
Support & Backup:
To read about the excellent
& Backup we provide before you leave and during
please click here.