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Teach Drama, Dance and Music to Township Children in South Africa on a Volunteering Project


Category: Volunteering, gap year and career break in South Africa

Volunteer with children from very poor townships, giving them exposure to cultural activities and enabling their creativity to shine thorugh. This project is based in a beautiful beach resort. Some sctivities you'll do include:

  • Organising and putting on drama workshops
  • Organising an after-school drama club or drama sessions during school-time for pupils.
  • Helping the children to put on a small-scale productions, in Drama, Dance and/or Music
  • Devising and performing educational pieces of theatre (on issues such as bullying)
  • Giving Dance lessons and Music lessons
  • Helping with conversational English classes


PRICES Please see the Prices Page - prices for all projects and all lengths are listed and you can also choose which currency you'd like to see them in.
Start Dates All year round - you choose your start and finish dates! Subject to school holidays.
Duration 1 week to 12 weeks or longer, (subject to visa requirements)
Requirements Minimum age 16, no qualifications necessary (just a good dose of enthusiasm and an active imagination).
What's included
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Payment Protection Insurance
  • Accommodation
  • Daily transport to and from your project
  • Local in-country team support and backup
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Cost of Visas (if a visa is required)
  • Airport pickup and return (but we can arrange this for you)
  • Food


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You'll do some or all of the following:

  • Organising and putting on drama workshops in various local schools around Knysna. This would involve energising warm-ups, improvisations, dance-drama and devising pieces of theatre in small groups.

  • Organising an after-school drama club (and possibly even during lunch break) or drama sessions during school-time for pupils.

  • Helping the local school children to put on a small-scale productions so that they can all been involved in some aspect of it (either acting, creating costumes, masks, set or make-up). Please note that these may not always take place during your project - it will depend on how long you're there for and what's happening when you're there.

  • Devising and performing educational pieces of theatre (on topical issuesm such as bullying) for the school children at any available venues (town hall/school yard/ ... wherever!).

  • Alongside the Drama, volunteers could also help out with conversational English classes (and any other subjects where needed). It may also be possible to incorporate drama lessons into the English classes, perhaps once a week.

Comments from our South Africa Volunteer Liaison in Knysna about two Volunteers taking a class:
I went up to day to sit in on a drama class at the Primary School that two of our volunteers, Amy Powell and Jack Gunner, were going to take. It was Grade 5B class which is made up of children that are approximately 10 years old.

The class started with Amy and Jack teaching them about the different ways of using themselves in drama, namely facial expressions, body language and their voices. How to maximise and minimise their body movements and facial expressions and then the different ways they could use their voices by whispering, shouting, talking, singing and crying.

As you can imagine, the class got extremely rowdy and all the children had a lot of fun. The noise levels then increased as Amy and Jack showed the class how to do breathing exercises, and mouth warm-ups so they could make a ‘sound collage’ by splitting the class up into groups and getting the different groups to make one particular sound. Put together it was deafening but all the children loved it with them all interacting.

They then where taught how to create different effects with their voices by changing the pitch, speed and volume of their voices. All they learnt was then put together in character enactment and by volunteers from the class doing freeze frame sketches. They then ended the class with a song.

The hour class went by so quickly I actually had to check my watch to see if it was really over! It was so great to see so many children in the class participated and it was quite obvious to me that they all got a lot out of it as when the class was over Amy and Jack where surrounded by children hugging and kissing them! Well done guys!!

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 2016 school terms (semesters) are given below.

Term 1: 13 January – 18 March
Term 2: 5 April – 24 June
Term 3: 18 July – 30 September
Term 4: 10 October – 7 December

Dates for the 2017 school terms (semesters) are given below.

Term 1: 11 January – 31 March
Term 2: 18 April – 30 June
Term 3: 24 July – 29 September
Term 4: 9 October – 6 December

Generally the last week before terms end is given to exams and tests.  This means that you will generally find your work load dropping during this week and you will usually find more free time than normal school time.


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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 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. See photo on right-hand side.

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.

Facilities include a kitchen kitted out for cooking, dining area, a few bathrooms, TV, DVD player, free Wi-Fi, 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 is not included in this project, so you will need to budget for that.
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 marina 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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The best advice you'll get from us is to try to see some of the country while you're in South Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting and very, very beautiful.Cape Town is probably the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up there :-)  KwaZulu-Natal comes a very close second, albeit very different. Knysna is where South Africans go on holiday, which gives you some idea of how lovely the region is. When you lie on the beach and watch dolphins jumping the waves, you'll think you're in Paradise.

 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.

About 20-30 minutes' drive away from Knysna you'll findPlettenberg 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!

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.

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