||All year round - you choose
your start and finish dates. This project is not available between 15th December
and 15th January.
1 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
►Transport to and from your project
►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), Return
transfer to airport.
Who can do
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 or teenagers, 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.
ANY ADDITIONAL SKILLS VERY WELCOME!
No qualifications are required for this project, but if you do
have some skills in the following areas, they would also be very
Anybody with knowledge or talent with teaching the
marimba classes, sewing, baking, computers, welding, pottery and
any other trade skills are very welcome and your
knowledge can be utilised in attempting to empower the youth.
If you have a background in counselling, social work and
psychology, you could help run the adolescent
development program with the community worker which takes
places at the Center. This program runs during the day as an
after-school program at a local high school. They have also
recently launched YESA, which is an after-school program for
all the children in the local community at a nearby Civic
If you have any background in marketing, fundraising and
event management, your skills in these areas could be a
great help as the center is an NPO that relies on donors and
fundraising to run day-to-day and meet running costs.
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 CARE PROJECT:
You'll work closely with the children at
the Center helping out in any area you might be needed. The school term
programs are run with a more educational aspect, focusing on life and
job skills. The whole purpose of the various programs run by the Center
is to get them ready to be taken back into the mainstream schooling and
domestic home life again, if it is at all possible. Some of the youth
though have been out of school for so long that the chances of them
finishing their school education are very bleak. It is for this reason
to that it is important for them to still keep up numeracy and literacy
The programmes are all presented
in a fun, experimental manner with an outcome based learning
environment. There are also arts and crafts programmes, computer
classes, sewing and baking as part of the weekly schedule, as
well as sport coaching in soccer.
THE ADP program:
ARE YOU STUDYING OR QUALIFIED IN PSYCHOLOGY, COUNSELLING OR
If yes, you’ll be very interested in the Adolescent
Development program (ADP) which the organisation is currently
focusing on. . The ADP programs tackle subjects like self
image, anger management, peer group pressure, substance abuse
and other similar topics. If you have any specialised skills,
you may also be able to assist with training staff who lack
training in your specialist area. For example, a current
volunteer is a qualified Psychiatric Nurse who specialises in
the early detection of mental disorders and he is assisting in
training the staff in this area. And you may be able to
contribute new ideas and ways to develop the ADP Program.
Contributions like this are of enormous benefit to the
organisation and the community!
In the school vacations the Center caters for local children from
the immediate community and run a vacation program. The vacation
program is more fun based and can take the form of talent shows,
art lessons, sports days and movie days. During the school
vacations the Center does not focus on numeracy and literacy as
they let the permanent youth that attend the Center also have a
vacation from school work.
The Center is fairly laid back,
because the youngsters are there out of choice. They are quite a
lively bunch but love interaction with our volunteers and it is
very easy for volunteers to develop a strong connection with the
youth. The center has a very warm, friendly feel with the
fulltime staff immediately making you feel like part of the
The best way to describe this
project is to let one of our previous volunteers tell you about
it in her own words. Joanne Pogorelsky volunteered at this
Center in Knysna, and this is how she describes a typical day on
her project (but please note that this is one volunteer’s
experience and your experience may vary according to current
“The day for me
started with a 7:10 pickup and drive in the Travellers bus to
Percy Mdala where I waited for the Center to open. I walked over
the Center at about 8am. I used this time to get updated from
staff on anything that may have happened after I had left the
day before or prepare and plan an appropriate activity for the
day or week.
would arrive by foot or be collected in the Center van by the
driver. Theoretically the day has a plan and overall structure
bu,t in true African style, this was flexible and at times
In theory the
day would look something like: Arrive, wash/shower, devotion,
eat, activity (skills based), free time, activity, eat, free
time, sport or cooking/cleaning. The activities included
beadwork, card making, adult education classes around numeracy
and literacy, sports, gardening, cooking, religious teachings
My favourite time was
devotion where seemingly unruly, non-cooperative difficult to
engage children became respectful, took their hats or head
coverings off (which usually would never happen), closed their
eyes and pronounced every word in Xhosa, Afrikaans or English.
Often they would sing, naturally harmonize, dance and or play
the drums during this time and you could feel the energy of
these children as if it were tangible. My fondest memories are
of the pure devotion sessions where the children appeared to
lose there attitude and bravado and enjoy themselves.
I would leave at 2:00, being picked up by the bus again, but
the Center went on for another couple of hours. Then of course,
its home to bed, it’s an early start in the morning if you want
to get in the shower before school…....
I saw my role as to assist, educate and empower the staff to
care for the children and thus empower the young people to want
to improve their situation and future, and it was extremely
satisfying to be an integral part of this.”
SAMPLE DAILY SCHEDULE:
The daily schedule can change
on the needs of the
the school vacations a more fun-filled
is put in place with
activities that the children from the local community can join
as well. Here is a sample of a possible daily schedule:
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.)
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
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.
Volunteer Clare Taylor with some
of her kids
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.
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.
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
There are supermarkets and local shops where you'll do your food
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
Got any questions? Please email us:
ABOUT THE STREET KIDS YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTRE:
The Xhosa name of
the Center means “We have hope”. This project was set up to
provide hope and help to troubled young people and their families, through
building caring relationships and providing development opportunities. The
Center is run as a day & drop-in center.
The Center has recently grown tremendously to include a skill Center for
the youth that attend the Center and also for the people from the local
community. They have also opened an after school satellite center to try
and reach an even greater amount of children that may still be attending
school and run programs in life skills like anger management, peer group
pressure, substance abuse and self image to educate and uplift the youth.
The daily youth that attend the drop off center are collected at
and returned to designated pick-up and drop-off points Monday to
Friday by the staff that runs the Center. They are fed two meals
and many different programs are run for them from yoga,
literacy, numeracy, card making, sport and various life skills
throughout the day The Center is overseen by a local Auxiliary
Social Worker whose has a background working in child care
The Center mainly targets young people under the age of 18 years
old that are at risk with particular emphasis on the needs of
the individual. Through permanent and volunteer staff who seek
to develop caring relationships, the Center strives towards
creating physical fitness, social competence, mental stability
and spiritual maturity in young lives. Now that the skills
Center is open, the attendees are also able to be taught various
skills like welding, pottery, sewing, baking, computer lessons
and even marimba classes with the hope that this will assist
them with future employment.
Anybody who would like to assist with the skills Center as well
is more than welcome and any new skills and trades that can be
implemented would be a huge bonus to the center.
The ‘balanced life’ concept that is aimed at the Center not only
develops qualities of leadership, morality and citizenship, but
also enables young people to effectively communicate in word and
action. At the Center, the basic needs of the children are met.
They get to wash themselves and get fed twice daily. The
children participate in a variety of activities to give each
child the opportunity to develop his/her own individual talents.
These activities motivate the children to feel more positive
about themselves and to be a constructive part of their
The daily program could incorporate anything from arts and
crafts, cleaning the Center, sewing, baking, programs from
outside organisations and time to test their computer skills.
Fridays are always relaxed and in good weather outings are often
organised often to the beach. In bad weather Fridays are movie
days. Often the youth get to paryticipate in a fun game of
soccer and the Center has had youth from selected for the South
Africa team for the Homeless World Cup in the past which was a
"I took some paints in just to
see how the children would react. They really enjoyed the
activity with me but soon went back to wondering around the
activity room and playing together or climbing on the bench.
This proved to me that these children are happy with what they
have and don’t need new toys or anything to make them happy,
they are already happy and are occupied with the resources they
have - and they can entertain themselves in different ways."
“Monday through Thursday, mid
afternoon, I did a dance program for both the kids at the
Center, as well as the children of the township. I was
overwhelmed by the participation and enthusiasm I received from
They responded profoundly to the music and, although I had
my reservations, they caught on quickly to what I was offering
them. It was immediately apparent that most of these children
had never been to an organized "Dance Class" therefore it was
inevitably a process of adaptation and flexibility on both our
parts. The cultural and style diversity of our movement made it
a learning experience for all of us! So many of the boys at the
Center were naturally blessed with good rhythm and a passion for
music that it wasn't hard to see what our common bond would be.
I was more than thrilled to make and hand out over 30 mixed CDs
in hopes they could enjoy it long after I left.
I can't express the way it made me feel to walk through the
township hearing the kids call my name and see them doing a
dance I had taught them.” Gina Bishop who taught
dance at the Center.
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
||Slideshow of the Dance
Workshop at the Center put together by Travellers
volunteer Gina Rizzo Bishop during her
volunteering placement in South Africa
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!!"
Volunteer Ayesha with some
of the Youths from the Center
Click here to read a Case Study by Ayesha Akre who combined
the Street Kids Project and two other Projects in Africa with
Case Study by Travellers Volunteer Gina Bishop about the
Street Kids Project and her
letter of thanks to the Head of the Project and the children
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.
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
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.