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Volunteer Care work with children overseas in South Africa

The infamous townships are full of people desperate to create a better world for their children. Since unemployment is high at almost 40%, these poorer areas are full of basic social problems such as alcoholism and domestic violence. Parents are not keen to have their children affected by their surroundings, and attempt to keep them busy through crèches, schools and after school activities, though this is not easy with limited or no funds.

Projects Abroad provides much needed hands-on support to these crèches and after school clubs, to enable them to keep their costs low while still providing a safe and stimulating environment for these children to grow up in.

Whatever your age, abilities or level of experience you are welcome to join a volunteer Care project in South Africa; whether you are on a Gap Year (or even a Gap Month) from further education, or are coming to us during a career break. All we ask is that you have enthusiasm for and a commitment to the work, the staff team and, of course, the children.

Voluntary Childcare Work with Projects Abroad

Care in South Africa - Volunteer and Children

Projects Abroad has links with a number of creches in the townships and poorer suburbs of Cape Town to provide much needed care for disadvantaged children in the area. We also have a project working in a centre for children with special needs, for volunteers with experience in this area.

Volunteering Abroad on a Care Project in South Africa

Care in South Africa - Children

Volunteers working in the care centres and crèches help the children to learn basic but important life skills, and make sure the children are fed and taken care of. Structured work is vital, to help prepare the children for school and create a calm and constructive environment.

You'll work alongside your placement supervisor to create a work plan that you and the children will follow. In addition to this, sports, art, music and drama are always popular activities on these placements. Start a choir, put on a play or organise a sports day!

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our South Africa Care Management Plan.

Local staff are often highly overworked, and don't have the time to give the children much one-on-one attention. You could be the one to make the difference by inspiring the children and maybe even the carers too.

All of the volunteer Care projects in South Africa are keen to have volunteers with fresh ideas and energy to help the permanent staff. We try to take advantage of all of our volunteers' talents and skills that can contribute to the care and rehabilitation of the children, so let us know how you can help.

Our Care Coordinator in South Africa organises weekly workshops and meetings with the care volunteers. The workshops will provide you with an overview of the care system in South Africa and advice on how to better organise the work at your placement. The workshops are also a chance to solve any issues and will be an opportunity to receive and give feedback. You will also learn new activities to carry out at your placement.

The care projects in South Africa usually have their main holidays for about five weeks from early December to mid-January and for the month of July. There are also shorter week-long holidays over Easter and at the end of September/start of October. Alternative care projects involving informal teaching and/or community work are available during these times and our local staff will advise you of exact dates when you apply.

If you’re interested in combining some care work with a range of community projects and building work, have a look at our Community Township Project.

You can join a Care project in South Africa for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

All volunteers taking part on any other project in South Africa now have the opportunity to add a 1 Week Conservation Add-On to the end of their main placement. Please note that one week volunteers should arrive in Polokwane on a Monday. For more information visit our Conservation in South Africaproject page.

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