Community Outreach Initiatives
International volunteers have contributed enormously in the past to local community development in South Africa. Ama Africa Experiences partners with a variety of registered non-profit organisations specialising in running structured programmes addressing important social issues such as poverty, lack of education, HIV/AIDS and youth development.
One of the biggest problems our society is facing is child headed households due to the high mortality rates of parents and guardians due to HIV/AIDS. Many children are left orphaned and vulnerable and these children need role models, support and attention. It is amazing what a difference volunteering can make in the lives of a child, many of whom face physical or mental challenges. Often their families either do not have the means, or the emotional strength to take care of them.
Characteristics of Community Outreach Initiatives
- They are all South African-based not-for profit organisation
- They all aim to break the cycle of poverty – by helping communities to help themselves.
- All projects are of a similar nature and focus on reaching out to the most vulnerable in our society, namely women, children and the physically challenged.
- They are community grassroots organisations which are supported through annual grants, donations and fundraising.
- They have a social welfare focus
Types of Projects
- Orphanages and places of safety
- Christian based social welfare initiatives
- Homes for physically and mentally challenged
- HIV/AIDS Awareness Projects
- Arts/Crafts incubator Projects
Type of services offered at such organisations:
- Feeding programmes are run in most disadvantaged communities. These include soup kitchens and bread bins
- In patient care services for physically and mentally challenged
- Youth Life Skills programmes are offered at some of the community centres where the emphasis is on providing a platform to engage with local youth and making them aware of important issues such as substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and the realities of HIV/Aids
- Community reading programmes provide reading services for primary school learners after school
- Special Campaigns are run during the year and these include the annual outing to the sea for local children as well as bread distribution/ food parcels to the communities.
- Library Projects for local children in communities.