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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 
Care for Children in a Safe House in SOuth Africa

SOUTH AFRICA

CARE FOR CHILDREN IN A SAFE HOUSE IN A TOWNSHIP IN KNYSNA IN SOUTH AFRICA

Assist the trained Carers in a children’s Safe-House in the local township by helping to care for children from abusive backgrounds. You'll work with a variety of ages, from assisting in the soup kitchen, general caring for the youngsters, and observing counselling to HIV sufferers.

You'll help with basic Reading, Writing, Maths, play games with the children, help them with their homework and generally keep them stimulated and entertained by providing educational activities.

This is a wonderful and very rewarding project and would suit anyone keen on Social Work, Teaching or Child Care.

[lukhany]

List of ALL PROJECTS in South Africa CARE Projects in South Africa BOOK NOW  

SUMMARY FACTFILE
Start Dates All year round - you choose your start and finish dates - but subject to school vacations.
Duration From 1 week to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
Requirements No qualifications or experience required, just lots of enthusiasm and a love of children.
Price Full Price List
What's included Arranging your program,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation

Food 
Meeting you at the nearest airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Transport to and from your project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support.
Certificate of Completion
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Return transfer to airport.
Who can do this Project? This project is open to all nationalities and all ages over 16.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in caring for children, teaching or working with children overseas while doing voluntary work, projects abroad or study abroad.
Also available as a summer placement or short break in South Africa, or for those interested in 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 development.

  • 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!

WORK CONTENT
During the mornings you'll look after the children that are at the House, helping with basic Reading, Writing, Maths. You'll assist with their general care as well, and also spend time playing games with the children in order to build up their confidence and give them some social skills.

In the afternoons you'll assist with the daily efforts required to run the Soup Kitchen. You'll also help the children with their homework and keeping them stimulated and entertained by providing educational activities.

The type of work you will be allocated will depend to an extent on your own abilities and capabilities, taking into consideration the children’s health and safety.

Your hours may vary, but normally you will work from 8am to 2.30pm but you can stay longer to assist with the Soup Kitchen.  Word days are Monday to Friday so you will have weekends free for any sightseeing or independent travel. Here is a list of duties that you may also be asked to help with:

  • Assisting with the preparation and handing out food.  

  • Helping carers and caring for the children

  • Helping the children eat.

  • Helping carers and caring for the children.

  • General cleaning of the Care Center.

  • Washing the children, and their clothes.

  • Changing nappies.

  • Assisting with literacy and numeracy with the older children

  • Assisting with homework

As a result of your volunteer work, the Safe House, the Carers and the community benefit directly or indirectly as follows

  • Get an opportunity to interact and learn foreign cultures   

  • Have access to your invaluable help and assistance

  • Will improve their own traditional knowledge, skills and ideas on care work as these will be supplemented by any initiatives that you and other volunteers come up with  

  • The children have access to your love and care, and these are fundamental to their growth and development.

EXTRA ACTIVITIES YOU MAY BE ABLE TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR PROJECT

You may also have the opportunity to provide help and support to the local community through the various afternoon activities we have to offer. This is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the African culture, but most importantly to give a caring hand to the local community. The activities could range from helping out at:

  • The Children's Home:Make the afternoons fun and exciting for these lovely children by playing games, helping them with homework and just being there to give them the attention that they so appreciate.
  • After-school drama or sports - Take some time out after school to set up after school sports or drama clubs, the children love it and it's a great way to get to know them better in a relaxed and fun environment. If you'd like to set up a drama or sports club, please let us know when you apply so that we can arrange it with the school before you arrive.)
  • Other community projects  - Past volunteers have helped to paint the outside of a crèche that was in desperate need of a lift. The crèche is now looking very cheerful with brightly coloured walls. A jungle gym was donated to this orphanage and volunteers also helped to put it together for the crèche too! There may be other similar projects available at the time you're there that you might want to participate in.
  • Township soup kitchen: On days that your school roster might allow you to finish a little early, our volunteers sometimes help at a local township soup kitchen. The soup kitchen is open on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The project may possibly be extended to involve local unemployed people, or street kids, or even elderly people or children's orphanages. These are just a few ideas and it may be that some volunteers will have more ideas that will help to make this project a worthwhile one that will benefit the community for a long time to come.

Care for Children in a Safe House in SOuth Africa

ACCOMMODATION: THE VOLUNTEER HOUSE:
The volunteer house in Knysna is within walking distance of the town, yet set against a natural green belt. The bird life is prolific and often the local Vervet monkey troop comes to visit to entertain the volunteers with their antics. The sunset views from the top balcony of the volunteer house of the Knysna lagoon are beautiful and great way to relax after a day working at your placement or to catch up on your tan in the summer. See photo on right-hand side.

The house is large and spacious and also has a self-contained flat  downstairs for couples and families. y volunteer placements. The bedding in the two same sex dorms and the towels in their ensuite bathrooms are changed regularly every Friday by our much loved cleaner, Pretty, and there is plenty of cupboard space to store your clothing.

Facilities include a kitchen kitted out for cooking, dining area, a few bathrooms, TV, DVD player, free Wi-Fi, garden and several wooden verandahs.

There is an outside courtyard and garden in the secure grounds where you can have a typical South African barbeque known there as a ‘braai’. Make sure you try the local spicy sausage known as ‘boerewors’ and the Karoo lamb chops are to die for on a ‘braai’, but if fish is more to your taste then a fish ‘braai’ with South African ‘snoek’ is a must.

FOOD:

You'll be given a food budget which will cover your basic essentials (but not extras like alcohol, snacks and eating out). The kitchen has all the cooking amenities that you might need to take advantage of preparing meals with some of the great seafood, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables South Africa has to offer.

There are supermarkets and local shops where you'll do your food shopping.

There are plenty of excellent restaurants within walking distance that offer the most incredible local and international cuisine which our volunteers rave about. Knysna is also famous for its oysters and even has an annual Oyster Festival where everyone eats and drinks far too much!

The waterfront and marine is beautiful and full of restaurants and cafes with cuisine that ranges from breakfast, coffees, cakes and snacks, through to sumptuous meals and various different nationality menus.

 


Volunteer house in Knysna


View from the house overlooking the lagoon

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Got any questions? Please email us: info@travelersworldwide.org

ABOUT THE SAFE HOUSE:
The Safe House is situated in a local township in Knysna. It was started by two wonderful women specifically to provide a safe, warm, loving and secure environment to children who have been removed from their families due to abusive and violent situations.  The Safe House cares for children of all ages, ranging from babies to teenagers. At present they have 8 children who live there permanently and many others who stay at the Safe House during the day. Some of the children attend school and some attend a local crèche. The children who stay at the Safe House during the day are there because they're unable to attend school for various reasons, such as learning disabilities and they are too young.   

The safe house works with the local community in many ways, such as providing a free after-school Soup Kitchen for all the children In the local area. Local children who would not get adequate food can come to the Soup Kitchen after school for a meal.

The Safe House also acts as a base for the local children where they can come to play and it helps to keep them off the streets.  They also offer counselling, particularly for HIV sufferers, as well as working closely with the local animal welfare.

The staff at the house are trained carers, so you'll be able to help them and give general support where needed. Your support is excellent for the carers as well as the children, because you will be able to free up some of their time to concentrate on other important areas that are needed to keep the Safe House running, such as seeking financial support and ensuring that the day-today administration is kept up.

“Volunteering at the Safe House was one of the most inspirational and fulfilling experiences I have ever had. Over the course of four weeks, I felt a bond with the staff and kids that I do not think could ever be replaced. I miss everyone dearly and will remember my adventures there forever”  Siobhan Hennessey

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 mind.    Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity! 

  

“After 3 weeks volunteering at the Safe House, I can honestly say that this was the highlight of my time in South Africa. It is owned and run by incredibly warm, friendly and helpful staff and the kids they look after (from toddlers to teenagers) are fun, playful, inquisitive and just plain adorable. There is so much to get involved in; you will genuinely leave there every day looking forward to the next”  Andrew Rintoul

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.

"The area is beautiful and travelling is easy. The house we stay in is lovely and the Travellers workers are such kind, loving people which really makes it feel like a home away from home. What with all the other volunteers and the Travellers staff, it really does feel like our own little family ... well, our own very big family, I suppose!!" Luke Brennan

  

Feedback on Care Projects in South Africa

Volunteering in South Africa, volunteers on a trip


Photo Galleries
Knysna Diary
Wildlife Rehabilitation Diary
Wildlife Expedition News!

OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

While on your placements, you can also book some Optional Add-Ons to make the most of your Travel Experience. The most popular choices are the safari trips from Cape Town and many volunteers use these as their means of travel to arrive at their project in Knysna..

Wildlife Safaris & Adventure Tour Combos
4-Day Surf Safari and Wildlife Adventure
1-Day Adventure Activities in Cape Town
1-Week Wildlife Rehabilitation

1-Week Whales Sharks Dolphins
Cage Dive with Sharks
 

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in South Africa, or you could even do a second project in a different region of the country, thus doubling your adventure and enjoyment!

Volunteering in South Africa, and having fun!

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. When you lie on the beach and watch dolphins jumping the waves, you'll think you're in Paradise.

LOCATION:
Knysna
is approximately 500km from the beautiful capital city of Cape Town  and voted South Africa’s favourite town 4 years in a row! Its mountainous backdrop, impressively sized estuary and indigenous forests really give the town a natural feel to it. Although it still has that ‘small-town’ feel, Knysna is growing rapidly, and has all the amenities you could ask for such as banks, hotels, internet café’s, cinemas and shopping malls.

About 20-30 minutes' drive away from Knysna you'll find Plettenberg Bay (better known simply as Plett), which is a bit smaller than Knysna, but equally stunning.  Its' pure white beaches stretch as far as the eye can see and there is a lot to do, from whale and dolphin watching, to hiking trails and awesome nightlife.

The Garden Route is famous for all sorts of activities from adrenalin sports such as bungee jumping, skydiving and shark cage diving to more relaxed pursuits such as hiking, quad biking in the forest or visiting one of the many animal sanctuaries in the area. Your local Travellers liaison will be happy to assist you in finding interesting things to do and places to see so make the most of it!

Knysna nestles on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the ‘Garden Route’ of South Africa. It is surrounded by a natural paradise of lush indigenous forests, tranquil lakes and golden beaches, making it a real natural wonderland.

Knysna is a vibrant town, buzzing with creativity and energy, and the pulse of good music. It's a place where the you can enjoy the mellow atmosphere of street cafes, watching the world go by. The main street is very leafy with trees along the pavements and it has a wonderful vacation atmosphere with sun umbrellas everywhere.

Most cafes have outdoors 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 Knysna and its attractions

TRAVEL:
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your program, please click here.




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