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WORTHWHILE VOLUNTEERING ABROAD
Organising Voluntary Projects Overseas since 1994.

SOUTH AFRICA: THE STREET KIDS PROJECT, SOCIAL WORK AND CARE IN A YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTRE IN KNYSNA (SIN)

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

Work with Street Kids, helping them with anything from basic schooling, such as reading or writing, to community projects and life skills lessons.

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. The purpose is to prepare the youngssters to re-enter mainstream schooling and domestic home life again. A very worthwile project.

Price:
Please see the Prices Page. Prices for all projects are listed and you can choose which currency you'd like to see them in. Prices exclude flights.
Duration:
From 2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates:
All year round – you choose your start and finish dates. This project is not available between 15th December and 15th January
Requirements:
Minimum age 16, or younger if accompanied by a parent or guardian. No qualifications or experience required, but you should have a love of children and lots of enthusiasm.
What's included:
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Payment Protection insurance
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Personalised online project portal where you'll access all information your programme, health & safety and country advice.
  • Your own dedicated Project Co-ordinator to help you throughout the pre-departure process
  • Accommodation
  • Daily transport to and from your project
  • Full safety, support and back up from our local in-country team.
  • Project orientation & induction on your arrival.
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included: Flights, Travel Insurance, Cost of Visas, Food, Pickup and Return to the airport (but we can arrange this for you).
Who can do this Programme?
All projects are open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in teaching, working with children or education, or care.

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PROJECT CONTENT

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.

SCHOOL TERMS IN SOUTH AFRICA:

Please note that although this placement does not run as usual during the school holidays, the Centre caters for local children from the immediate community and run a holiday program. The holiday program is more fun based and can take the form of talent shows, art lessons, sports days and movie days. They will not focus on numeracy and literacy during these periods.

Please consult the school terms below to plan your placement dates. Your project coordinator will also assist you with your placement planning.

Dates for the 2018 school terms (semesters) are given below.
Term 1: 17 January – 28 March
Term 2: 10 April – 22 June
Term 3: 17 July – 28 September
Term 4: 9 October – 12 December

REQUIREMENTS: Anyone working with children and/or vulnerable adults is required to complete a Criminal Records Check (CRC) as part of their application process. We'll provide you with the necessary papers and take you through the process.

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ACCOMMODATION

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 onto the verandahs 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.

The house is large and spacious and also has a self-contained flat downstairs for couples and families. 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.

Wi-Fi / Internet: There is FREE Wi-Fi / Internet in the Volunteer House, but you will need your own device.

Facilities include a kitchen kitted out for cooking, dining area, a few bathrooms, TV, DVD player, 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:

Food is not included in this Programme, but 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.

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REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK

Amy Coombes (British):
"My volunteering at the Youth Development Centre, located in a township in Knysna, is by far the most life changing experience I have ever done; the information and experience you gain from doing this is something you can't begin to understand until you do it! Not only did it feel great to make a difference to a community less fortunate, but the skills and view of life you gain are SO valuable; you make a real impact on the children's lives, but more so the other way round; you learn so much from these amazing youngsters and see life from a totally different view point.

This really is something I would recommend to everyone, it has totally shaped who I am as a person and had a positive impact on my career path; I am now a creative youth worker – I would not be this far without this amazing experience! I look forward to coming back ASAP!!!

Zoey Marshall (British):
"Both placements I attended were great - a real experience of a life time to remember for ever! My experience in Kynsna is definitely not one I’m going to forget in a hurry it will be with me for ever! I met a lot of amazing people who I will never forget! As my project changed due to schools being on strike I really didn’t no what to expect when I had the chance to work at the Street Kids Project and the Youth Care Centre, but I discovered both are really amazing places!"

VOLUNTEERING WITH CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

As well as protecting all our volunteers, Budget Volunteering is committed to all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm.

LOCATION - KNYSNA:

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.

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 holiday 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.

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!

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