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Volunteering and teaching children in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA

TEACH POOR CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS IN KNYSNA
Category: Volunteering, gap year and career break in South Africa

Volunteer to teach disadvantaged children in township schools in the beautiful coastal resort town of Knysna. You can choose to work with primary or secondary schools.

You'll begin by assisting the teacher but you may, depending on your ability and your confidence, take classes on your own. Class sizes can range between 15 and 40 students.

Generally you'll teach conversational English but you can teach a variety of other academic subjects if you'd like to, as well as Sports, Drama, Arts and Music. The choice is yours.


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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 From 1 week to 1 year, subject to visa requirements
Requirements Minimum age 16, no qualifications necessary (just a good dose of enthusiasm).
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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WORK DESCRIPTION:
Our teaching programme is in the beautiful Western Cape’s Garden Route. 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.

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. 

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.

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 2015 school terms (semesters) are given below.

Term 1: 21 January – 1 April
Term 2: 13 April – 26 June
Term 3: 20 July – 2 October
Term 4: 12 October – 9 December

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.

Teach Township Children in South Africa on a Volunteering Project

Teach Township Children in South Africa on a Volunteering Project

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ACCOMMODATION: THE VOLUNTEER HOUSE:
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:
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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LOCATION | TRAVEL | SIGHTSEEING & EXPLORING:

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.

LOCATION: 
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.

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!

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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