||All year round, subject to school vacations - you
choose your start and finish dates.
4 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 best way to get a feel of the very
beneficial work you'll do on this project is to give you an excerpt from
the weekly report by Eleanor, our Travellers Cape Town
Liaison, about a volunteer on this project:
"Tess has a
timetable which gives her the opportunity of working in different
classes each day. She has specific tasks to do with individual children,
which are designed for each particular child according to their type and
level of autism. She was highly praised by the teachers she is working
with! The children relate very well to her, and the staff are thrilled
to have her there.
Autism is a severe, lifelong
development disability and children affected by this suffer from a number of
conditions. They have severe communication and language problems, they are
unable to relate to other people and they display unusual and problematic
behaviour. The extent to which a child is affected will vary from individual to
individual. Autistic children need predictability in their lives. They cannot
express their needs effectively and often have extreme reactions to changes in
routine and unfamiliar events.
On good weather days, the children play games in the
garden. Sometimes, they go for a walk around the suburb – and
this is where the volunteers are such a help, as autistic children tend
to dash off in any direction without warning – and someone has to keep
an eye on them when this happens and gently direct them back again.
On Fridays, the whole school attends the Eurythmy classes,
one group at a time – and Tess helps out there for the day. The music
and actions are designed to have a calming effect and create a
peaceful mindset – as well as to teach control of the body. For some autistic children this is very difficult, as they
can’t always control their body or mind. The gentle guidance and
patient repetition offered by carers and volunteers is absolutely
essential. And what patience is needed !!
Tess finishes her time at Vera on Monday – they will really be sad to
see her go."
You'll work in a school for autistic children. There are 85
students and 35 of these children are live-in learners, staying at the
school hostel overnight. The rest are brought in each day by their parents. The
children are aged between 3 and 18 years and they are educated according to
their ability, with some moving on to other schools later on.
The School has three hostels with children housed in age groups: the under 8’s,
8-12’s and 12-18’s. There is a very happy atmosphere at the school and the
teachers are extremely conscientious and kind people. There is a lot of love
here! For some, the School provides the only opportunity of education for these
children. The dedicated care received at the School gives these children a
platform from which they can enter society with a secure place, despite the
limitations of their autism.
The language of tuition is English, but Afrikaans is also used frequently in
interpersonal conversation. A minority of the children speak Xhosa or Afrikaans
at home, but all of them can understand English. Without the help of our
volunteers the school would not be able to give the children the full attention
and care that they deserve and need.
Your Work at the School
- On your arrival you will have a short Orientation during
which you will learn about autism. This will include watching a video as
well as meeting the teachers and pupils of the school. You will then be
allocated to a teacher for the day. After this initial induction you may
spend time in any of the classes for your first week, getting to understand
the Center. One of the teaching coordinators will then chat to you about how
you are getting on and ask you to decide which of the classes you would like
to assist in. You will be working along side the teacher, not alone.
The majority of your work will be as a classroom and
hostel assistant where you will be helping out in a variety of ways.
You may be asked to help where children need special attention or
to work with a small group while the teacher works with another group.
Schoolwork varies with different age groups but is based on the normal
school activities – a great deal of one-to-one attention is needed and
children learn basic skills.
Help is also very much appreciated at supervised
activities like swimming which is part of the daily summer curriculum.
After school hours, you'll be allocated a “play
time” duty at the different hostels while the children play outdoors under
supervision. You will also be involved in indoor hostel duties after this,
which involve the supervision of children. Autistic children have to be
watched closely at all times, as they may react suddenly and unexpectedly.
The help and support given by volunteers is especially
needed during preparations for the school concert – and on the actual night.
This usually takes place in October and is the highlight of the children’s
If there are any outings while you're there, you'll
accompany the teacher and pupils. These can be many things, possibly even
including a camping trip for a few days. The school loves arranging special
events that the students will enjoy. The parents are also included in events
like barbecues or concerts for what the school calls – “The Family”.
There will also be a certain amount of Admin work
involved in your volunteering, such as photocopying for the teacher and also
duties at the switchboard if the receptionist is absent - answering the
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 terms (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 terms (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:
Letter to Travellers from the School
Principal:"Here are some reasons why we value the
volunteers who work at our School:
In many instances our
learners pose challenging behaviour (cognitively, socially, emotionally,
physically, etc.) and it is invaluable to have extra help in a classroom
when dealing with this.
Our learners often need
one-on-one facilitation in certain aspects of their educational program
(computer, reading, etc.)
When going on outings and
or camps, staff always need extra hands to cope with the learners.
Hostel staff welcome extra
hands to assist with the running of the afternoon program in the hostels
(playing simple games, going to the shop and going for walks).
Volunteers are also a
great help when they assist learners with home work in the hostel. Some of
this will entail helping with academic work, or practising making beds,
learning how to wash and dry dishes, learning how to follow a program in
the school's gym, etc.).
A Friday is the Eurythmy
day. This is exercises with movement and music. Most children take part and
it is very therapeutic for them. However, it is "hands intensive". We cannot
do this without volunteers.
Our learners sometimes
struggle to follow instructions from different people. Volunteers bring
variation and give our learners to the opportunity to practise their ability
Volunteers often do very
necessary chores which the staff struggle to find time for (photocopying,
book binding, laminating, fetching keys, etc.)
These are just some of the reasons why we
value our volunteers so much and why we are grateful for the ones who have been
sent to us in the past and for those who will still come. Once again thank you!"
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.
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.