WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Swaziland's education system was severely affected in the 1980s by economic difficulties and the literacy and school attendance rate has since plunged. As a result of the structure of society here girls in particular often lack access to an adequate education. In addition, only 5% of secondary school age children currently attend school and 60% of all Swazi children cannot afford to go to school at all as a result of the effects of one or more of a range of factors. These include unemployment, HIV/AIDS (about 40% of Swaziland's population is HIV positive and by 2010 there were approximately 200,000 orphaned children in the kingdom) and the repercussions of severe and repetitive drought.
This project is crucial as it involves working with schools in Swaziland that offer education to those that can least afford it including those who exist in a heavily deprived semi rural area in which schools are under resourced and overcrowded.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Your work schedule will cover a comprehensive, varied and enjoyable teaching programme which will engage you fully with your pupils and will encourage your own creativity and initiative. You will benefit in terms of your personal experience by shadowing a teacher at the school which will enable you to develop your teaching techniques. You will be involved in activities such as marking your pupils' work and constructing an inspiring teaching strategy including preparing homework and assembling innovative and effective lesson plans. As well as this you will have the opportunity to help with lots of extra curricular activities which will vary according to your particular skills and interests – whether it is helping direct a play, organising a choir or helping select a sports team. Whatever you decide you are sure to gain huge satisfaction from inspiring these under privileged children whilst enhancing your personal skills and experience significantly.
After you have completed the teaching component of the project the adventure begins. As you travel you will encounter a variety of landscapes, terrains and ecosystems from luxuriant forests to expansive savanna plains. Your journey will be punctuated with activities and pursuits such as white water rafting down dramatic river scapes, horseback riding along forest trails while encountering a wealth of wildlife and taking part in a 3 day game drive in the Kruger National Park across epic plains where leopards lounge in the shade of trees and elephant herds crash across your path. This project is remarkable as it encompasses essential community work, exciting adventures and exhilarating activities along with the opportunity to discover an amazing faraway land of incredible diversity and contrast.