Care for Disabled & Special Needs Children in Cape Town
from £695 GBP
to £2795 GBP
Work with children with autism, special needs, or physical or mental impairment who need your help, or with deprived children who will benefit tremendously from your loving care and attention. The Centres are for local children who need extra special care and attention due to physical, mental or social disadvantages.
Choose between working with children who have Autism in the V school, children with special needs in the VN school or children with mental and physical impairment at the BP school. You can work at one particular centre or you can spread your time out between the different institutes - the choice is yours. These care projects are based in the beautiful and lively tourist destination of Cape Town and are utterly rewarding as well as highly enjoyable. You will fall completely in love with the children, the schools, and the country – you have been warned!
“I collect some different coloured spades and bury them in front of him; “Callum,” I whisper, “can you find me the pink spade?”. His movements calm for a moment. Then he begins to move the sand and uncovers the pink spade. We play this game for the rest of playtime, finishing with a perfect score.” Sophie Bufton
What you'll gain from doing this Project:
- An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into South African culture.
- 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!
Your Work at the School - Autism
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 centre. 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. Volunteers might 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 school year.
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 phone, etc.
Your Work at the School - Special Needs
When you arrive you will spend some time with the teacher in charge who will talk about the Special Needs of the children and about your role in the school, as a volunteer.
You will then be allocated to a teacher who will introduce you to the work You may spend time in all different areas of work in the school before settling into a particular job. Volunteers should make requests if there is anything that you are particularly interested in – for example you may prefer working in the Nursery, or with the older children, or helping in the Physiotherapy or OT departments.
The work falls into 5 categories: Admin (receptionist, switchboard - if there is someone absent ); Library (mending books, cataloguing, etc); Class Aides (helping children in the nursery section, or helping the teacher with various class activities, or listening to children reading); being a “Scribe” or amanuensis (this means you will go with a pupil who is disabled and cannot write, sit with him/her in class and take notes, and then write for him/her while he/she tells the scribe the answers in tests or examinations). The fifth category is basically filling in where needed – perhaps in charge of collecting children who need physiotherapy
You can also help with Sport and Physical Education, such as swimming, soccer, cricket as well as sport for the disabled.
Different age groups end their school day at different times. After the pupils have left, you may be given preparation tasks for the next day by the teacher, or there might be admin work in the office or the school library. This will be until 3.00 pm.
Sometimes there might be extra duties after this, like preparing for school Sports Day or School Concert. We urge volunteers to get involved with extra functions taking place at the school as you can have a lot of fun and get to know the children far better by getting involved in the after school activities. Your weekends are entirely free (for sightseeing, travel and fun)!
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 33 South 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.
33South is not just a backpacker’s lodge, it’s an experience! With secure access, 24hr managers on duty, they uphold a very high safety and security standard. The night manager is also a lovely welcome ‘home’ after a night out... and bakes fresh muffins for your breakfast! The staff are very friendly and will always help you where needed. They can answer any questions and can even help when you need some TLC because you feel a bit homesick! 33South has differently themed rooms from the township vibe to old Victorian and even a ‘harbour’ room complete with seagulls and fishing motifs. Hotel-quality bedding is provided and towels are available on request. The rooms are serviced once a week and lined/bedding is changed. The back of the house has a beautiful palm-tree covered terrace, where you can soak up the sunshine and enjoy a real South African “BRAAI” (BBQ). There is even a private bar, chill-out room where live musicians play on Friday nights! The lodge is also situated in the heart of Observatory and a short stroll away from a large supermarket, internet café, pharmacy and Laundromat. The perfect home away from home.
Food: A healthy self-serve breakfast of cereals, toast and tea/coffee is included every morning, and you will be given a food allowance to buy your own food for lunch/dinner. The lodge is also equipped with a self-catering kitchen, with all the necessities to cook a good meal.
“Never met so many great people in a short space of time.” Sophie Bufton
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Talk to us - We're there to help you. Most of our team are ex Travellers volunteers and are ideally qualified to offer advice and guidance because they know what you're looking for. They'll help you find your perfect project - and then make it all happen!
If you’d like to apply for this project. Visit our website and complete the application form. As soon as we receive it, we’ll liaise with you and then start making your travel adventure happen.
It’s as easy as that.
You can extend this project week by week as you wish.
You can extend this project for a minimal charge per week!
Included: Accommodation, Food, Meeting you at the Airport, Transfer to your accommodation, Full pre-departure support, Local in-country team support and backup, 24-hr emergency support &Two free T-shirts.
This placement would suit:
Anyone keen on immersing themselves in South African culture and helping disabled or under privileged children.
No qualifications needed, just a big heart and a desire to provide care and support. Anyone who is qualified however will be well utilised!
Do you accept non UK citizens?
Do you accept applicants with disabilities?
“I collect some different coloured spades and bury them in front of him; “Callum,” I whisper, “can you find me the pink spade?”. His movements calm for a moment. Then he begins to move the sand and uncovers the pink spade. We play this game for the rest of playtime, finishing with a perfect score.”
~ by Sophie Bufton
accommodation, food, airport pickup
YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE! Help children, animals and conservation around the world. Gain valuable work experience and new skills. All ages & nationalities welcome. EXPLORE a new culture from the inside on worthwhile, well-structured projects.
FLEXIBLE: From two weeks to one year - you choose your dates and duration.