Teach disadvantaged children in township primary or secondary schools. Generally you’ll teach conversational English or a variety of other academic subjects if you’d like to, as well as Sports, Drama, Arts and Music. The choice is yours. You’ll stay in a volunteer house within walking distance of town and the waterfront marina with its restaurants, cafes and bars.
You’ll begin by assisting the teacher but, depending on your ability and your confidence, you may also take classes on your own. Class sizes can range up to 40 to 50 students. This is a very fulfilling project and most volunteers end up in tears when it’s time to leave. You’ll certainly leave your heart behind!
Our teaching programme is in the beautiful Western Cape’s Garden Route are situated in Knysna. We work with a few schools that cater for many children from the poorer township community. Our programme has been running in this region for many years and the impact our volunteers have had is amazing. The result is a community that has benefited tremendously since we started.
Standards in the schools are generally very high, but materials and resources may be scarce. Even with the lack of facilities, the enthusiasm of students and staff more than make up for this. The children have such energy and you’ll be welcomed with enthusiasm – it’s difficult to stop them smiling!
You’ll begin your placement by assisting the teachers but, depending on your ability, you may progress on to being given complete control of a particular class or group. You’ll receive a lot of help and support from the teachers and staff at the schools, but you should be prepared to use your own initiative and ask when you need something.
TEACHING ENGLISH & OTHER SUBJECTS:
You will normally be asked to stand up in front of a class and teach conversational English – you are not expected to be an expert on grammar or literature. The important thing is to help people speak English. You may also be asked to help with other subjects, but this is optional and only if you feel confident.
The Teaching Suggestions Booklet we provide you with has ideas for teaching English and will also help structuring lessons in other subjects. Video facilities are available in some schools and audio equipment is quite commonplace.
You will most likely teach in more than one school. Most of the schools are State schools, both secondary and primary. You will generally be asked to help out with any age groups. The average class size ranges from 15 to a manageable 40/50.
Teach Drama, Dance and/or Music:
You can also teach Drama, Dance or Music, giving the children exposure to cultural activities and enabling their creativity to shine through. Some of things you could do include organising and putting on drama workshops, helping the local school children to put on a small-scale productions, devising and performing educational pieces of theatre (on issues such as bullying), giving Dance lessons and Music lessons, helping out with English classes.
AVAILABILITY: This placement is not available during the school holidays. Your Travellers project coordinator will assist you with your placement planning, as well as suggest alternatives and exciting things to do during the holiday periods.
Dates for the 2019 school terms (semesters) are given below.
Term 1: 09 January – 15 March
Term 2: 02 April – 14 June
Term 3: 09 July – 20 September
Term 4: 1 October – 4 December
Generally the last week before term-end is given to exams and tests. This means that you will find your work load dropping during this week. Weekends and school holidays are free for you to sight-see and do activities, tours and trips! Please see some of the amazing Add-On trips we’ve put together for you to complement your placement.
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!