WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
As a result of a lack of government funding, the burden of maintaining vital community care centres for orphans and vulnerable children tends to fall on volunteers and are therefore in very high demand. This project aims to provide desperately needed help to local community workers and make a significant contribution to the level of care offered to some of the most vulnerable South African children.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
You will usually work five days a week at various care centres in the Port Elizabeth area depending on the need of the project at the time of your visit and your skills and interests. Different care centres offer different services including care for children whose parents suffer from the HIV/AIDS virus, the provision of education and meals for children whose parents are unable to provide these necessities and looking after children with mental and physical disabilities. Children range in age from as young as six months to 15 years old, some of whom attend nearby schools if they can, and you may also work with vulnerable adults.
Your role with children at the care centres will involve looking after their general welfare, organising fun playtime activities, helping out with meal times and assisting staff with education. Your love and attention can make a huge difference to the children you meet – whether it's through teaching English, playing games or simply listening to them talk about their families. You will work alongside local staff and should be prepared for the unexpected – a sense of creativity and the ability to improvise when things don't go according to plan will go a long way! This is a challenging but incredibly rewarding placement and the local staff will be by your side to help you.