||All year round, subject to school vacations - you
choose your start and finish dates.
2 week 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!
The project is located
in a suburb of
Cape Town, called Observatory,
situated at the bottom of Devil’s Peak (so named because of its shape).
This peak makes up the left-hand formation of the famous Table Mountain
(named after the 'tablecloth’ of clouds that cascade down its slopes).
The view of the peak from the school is quite spectacular.
The school has about 80 pupils. The
age range of the children is from about 3 to 13 years of age. There are
about 12 teachers and teaching assistants. The classes are very small to
ensure that children receive individual attention.
The very little ones are introduced to sign language and do what all
pre-school children do – learn by playing. They have stories read or
signed, they paint, they do puzzles, play simple games - and they have
outdoor ‘play-learning’. If you choose to work in the Pre-Primary
section, you would help with all of this. This is a very interesting
section as the children are learning communication skills perhaps for
the first time.
The pupils aged 6 – 13 are taught the normal Grade1 to Grade 7 school
curriculum in two different sections.
One section (Grades 1 – 7)
consists of children who have hearing aids or implants, which enable
them to have partial to good hearing. They have normal lessons.
other section (also Grade 1 – 7) caters for children who are completely
deaf – and they are taught their lessons in sign language.
children will continue their education at other special needs schools or
at mainstream schools and could leave at any time to do this. The
completely deaf children usually continue their education at a High
School for the Deaf in Worcester (about an hour from Cape Town).
You may assist with any section, and any age group, fulfilling class
assistant duties such as helping children with maths, reading and other
If you know sign language, you could work with the
totally deaf children - or you could actually teach sign language to
those learning how to sign! You may, at first, spend a bit of time in
each class, and then decide where you would like to go on a regular
basis. The children follow the normal Grade 1 - 7 lessons and if you
would like to teach any specific lessons, the school would be happy to
Once settled in with the classes you'd like to be involved with, you'll be given a timetable to follow for the duration of your placement.
School starts at 8am and finishes at 2.15pm. There are breaks at 10.30
and 12.50. Lessons are 30 minutes long and all teaching is done in
Sports: Some time during the school day is spent outside, playing games,
but they have no
formal sports. The kids love playing football or netball, but
unfortunately the school doesn't have a formal sports timetable. If you'd
like to coach children in any sport, it would be very welcome and the
children would be encouraged to participate. If you do choose to do
this, you can arrange to coach groups of children during their “Life
During the summer, the children go to the local
Observatory public swimming pool right next to the school – it's an
outdoor pool and a very
popular “sports” outing, which the children love!
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 doorstep.
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:
TEACHING THE DEAF / HEARING IMPAIRED
Report by Travellers Volunteer Liaison Eleanor about a Deaf Volunteer's
placement at a Deaf School in Cape Town
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.
The Cecil John Rhodes monument
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.