Teach our children
South Africa with its rich diversity and beauty also has its various challenges including it’s current educational system. Education is the backbone of any society, and the future of children and youth. The current educational crisis sees children not receiving equal opportunities to learn, grow and develop. Over 1 million households in South Africa have illiterate adults, this coupled with lack of regular and structured recreational sport at primary and high school level, overcrowding (55-70 children per class) lack of libraries, computers, satisfactory toilet facilities and special needs teachers, all contributes to an already over-stretched system.
Volunteers play a key role in addressing the basic challenges at grassroots level. They act as teacher aids in classrooms, help with slower learners and those with learning difficulties, and most of all provide valuable support by giving children attention when required. This programme is not only ideal for qualified teachers, but anyone with a passion and love of working with children. It is a great opportunity to make a difference in a local classroom by lending a hand where it is needed the most.
Characteristics of educational institutions where volunteers can assist
- The projects are all based at public primary and high schools and located in disadvantaged communities in and around Cape Town
- Classes range from 40 to 50 learners per class. In some instances you will find even larger classes
- Facilities and resources are often very limited
- Schools rely on public funds, fundraising initiatives, donations and support from local community members
- Schools are run by governing board members which are representatives of parents
- Some schools run feeding programmes
- Most do not have active sports activities or library services
Types of projects
- Primary schools
- High schools
What can volunteers expect to do?
This is a very hands-on programme and volunteers will be expected to assist as teacher aids in classrooms on a daily basis. The schools range from city based schools in historically disadvantaged communities to rural based schools. Often the volunteer will have to help to set up activities, sports and extra mural activities as well as helping teachers in the class room with discipline and support.
What specific tasks and activities are involved?
- Assisting with teaching in classrooms
- Beautifying and fixing up of classrooms and school areas
- Assisting with sport and art activities (often setting up or helping to run these themselves)
- Providing extra classes for learners struggling with reading and mathematics
- Teaching computer literacy
- Setting up and organising library facility
- Assisting with home-work
- Setting up or running music and or arts projects
- Providing support with projects run at the school during the time of placement
Dates for the South African school terms (Rough dates as these change yearly)
|Term||Schools Open||Schools Close||Holiday|
|1||15 January||28 March||Easter|
|2||07 April||27 June||Mid-year|
|3||21 July||03 October||Spring|
|4||13 October||10 Dec||Summer|
What characteristic traits are we looking for in a volunteer?
A love of working with children is a must. The project is ideal for individuals who have some background with children, teachers and youth workers. It is important to understand that the school system is very different to that which one might be accustomed to. Persons who are flexible, willing to help out where needed and who love the hustle and bustle of children around them, will flourish in this type of project. Many of the schools we place volunteers in are in Afrikaans speaking communities, and volunteers must understand that the children will have English as a second language and will have limited understanding of English.
What can the volunteer expect in terms of accommodation and food?
Ama Africa Experiences will take care of all accommodation and meals. There are various options available, and these include living with a local host family or staying in pre-arranged and inspected lodge accommodation and meals served in communal dining areas, or volunteers prepare their own food during their stay.