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WORTHWHILE VOLUNTEERING ABROAD
Organising Voluntary Projects Overseas since 1994.

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

Care for children at a crèche and help prepare them for primary school. Many of the children come from underprivileged homes so any help they get is greatly appreciated. You'll use fun activities and educational programmes to greatly benefit their social and mental development.

Activities include singing, painting, reading, educational classes (like learning the alphabet) and playing with educational toys. You'll alsohave a lot of freedom to set up your own day's activities, if you would like to, and instigating other activities, such as painting murals to brighten up the class rooms.

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, but subject to school holidays - you choose your start and finish dates.
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

There are currently about 70 children at the crèche aged between 2 and 6 years old with about 5 staff members. Afrikaans is the main language spoken however your supervisor does speak good English.

You'll have a lot of freedom to set up your own days activities if you would like to. You'll also get the opportunity to painting murals to brighten up the class rooms. Activities include anything from singing, painting, reading, educational classes (like learning the alphabet) and playing with educational toys.

Any activities are welcomed that will stimulate the children’s mind and teach them about themselves and the world around them.

You'll generally work from Monday to Friday from 7.30am until 2.15pm.
7.00am: The crèche opens early for those parents who drop their children off before work.
8.00am till 8.30am: The crèche officially starts the day with breakfast porridge for the children.
8.45am till 10.00am: The daily program starts in the form of the ‘morning ring’. The children are split up into groups according to their ages and arranged in a circle. They then go through the particular activities for that day. This is the most important part of the day’s activities.
10.00am till 10.30am: Children eat their snacks they have brought from home
10.30am to 11.00 am: Play time!
11.00am to 11.45am: Singing, music and story time.
12.00 am till 12.30am: Lunch which is a cooked meal at the school.
12.30am till 13.30pm: Hours nap time.
14.00pm: The children are then collected by their parents or arranged transport. If they live very close in the surrounding area they might walk home.

SCHOOL TERMS IN SOUTH AFRICA:

Please note that this placement is not available during the school holidays, so it’s important to consult the school terms below to plan your placement dates. Your project coordinator will also assist you with your placement planning, as well as suggest alternatives and exciting things to do during the holiday periods.

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

Weekends and school holidays are free for you to sight-see and do activities, tours and trips!

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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ABOUT THE CRECHE:

The crèche was established in 1993 in the aim to help prepare the children for primary school and to help with their social and mental development. Many of the children have progressed onto primary school with great feedback from the community, parents and schools, too.

The crèche is supported by the Department of Social Development and some of the parents (those that are able to) pay a small school fee. They also do fundraising in the form of concerts, fashion shows, braais’ and selling hamburgers to raise money to keep the crèche running.

The children learn through educational activities, music, fantasy and discovery programs. You will get the opportunity to help out with all activities and will also have some freedom to set-up certain activities yourself - you are very likely to be in popular demand!

There are currently about 70 children at the crèche aged between 2 and 6 years old with about 5 staff members. Afrikaans is the main language spoken. However, your supervisor does speak good English.

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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