Work at a Youth Development Centre in a township, helping out with anything from basic schooling, such as reading or writing, to community projects, job skills and life skills lessons. The programmes are all presented in a fun, experimental manner with an outcome based learning environment. Your work will combine many aspects that all help to provide a caring environment where guidance and assessment is offered to children living on the streets and children at risk. There are also arts and crafts programmes, computer classes, sewing and baking.
The purpose is to prepare youngsters to re-enter mainstream schooling and domestic home life again and to give them the skills that will enable them to become a fully functioning, employable member of society. A very worthwhile project.
THE CARE PROJECT:
You’ll work closely with the children at the Centre 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 Centre 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 classes.
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 PROGRAMME:
ARE YOU STUDYING OR QUALIFIED IN PSYCHOLOGY, COUNSELLING OR SOCIAL WORK? If yes, you’ll be very interested in the Adolescent Development Programme (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 recent 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!
The Centre 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 centre has a very warm, friendly feel with the fulltime staff immediately making you feel like part of the family.
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 welcome! 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 programme with the community worker which takes places at the Centre. This programme runs during the day as an after-school programme at a local high school. They have also recently launched YESA, which is an after-school programme for all the children in the local community at a nearby Civic Centre.
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.
The large and spacious 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 of the Knysna lagoon are beautiful!
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’. Facilities include a kitchen kitted out for cooking, dining area, a few bathrooms, TV, DVD player, garden and several wooden verandahs.
Wi-Fi / Internet: There is FREE Wi-Fi / Internet in the Volunteer House, but you will need your own device.
FOOD: You’ll be given a food budget. 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 also plenty of excellent restaurants within walking distance that offer the most incredible local and international cuisine which our volunteers rave about.
“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
WHAT YOU’LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT
- An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience this amazing African culture first-hand!
- New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
- The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
- An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
- An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
- Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
- Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
- And best of all … an unforgettable experience!