CHILDCARE AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT
A life-changing experience in South Africa awaits you, as you help educate children in underprivileged rural villages. You will play a vital role in making a difference in the community while experiencing the rich culture of the friendly Zulu people. St Lucia is the perfect location for first time travellers and volunteers.
St. Lucia is a small, malaria-free tourist town on the North East Coast of South Africa, surrounded by rural African villages. It is the only town in the world to be surrounded by a World heritage site – the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
With the Indian Ocean and Big 5 game reserves all around, amazing wildlife can be found everywhere! It remains warm all year round, attracts Whales along the coast from June – November and is even a prime location to go and watch turtles hatching on the beach (November – March)!
Three rural villages inhabited by approximately 70,000 people show another side of life just a short drive away from the renowned tourist town of St. Lucia. Rural Zululand is a remote and beautiful area, though being one of the poorer regions in South Africa, many of the local children are in desperate need of education and care.
Volunteers reside at our large, comfortable, fully furnished volunteer house situated in the middle of St. Lucia in a very safe residential area. It is right on the town’s main street and 30 min walk to the beautiful beach and estuary. The house is equipped with a lounge, barbecue (braai) area, tropical garden and swimming pool.
During the week, three delicious meals a day will be provided and cooked by chefs from the local community. We can cater for most dietary requirements, but please do let us know beforehand. At weekends, most volunteers visit the local cafes and restaurants in St Lucia. You are welcome to purchase food from the local shops and make use of the kitchen facilities if you’d prefer.
Complimentary WiFi is available in the volunteer house for you to keep in touch with family and friends back home.
St. Lucia has a mild, and generally warm and temperate climate. Rainfall is present all year round, with the months of June, July and August having the lowest chance of rain. St Lucia’s summer season (November – February) receives the highest rainfall as well as highest temperatures. At an average temperature of 25.2°C (77.4°F), January is the hottest month of the year, while July is the coolest month of the year with an average temperature or 17.5 °C (63.5 °F).
PROJECT IMPACT AREAS
DAY CARE CENTRES
Within the local villages, several creches and day care centres have been established to provide children with a meal, basic education and the attention that they so often lack at home. Our aim is to assist the creche caregivers by helping with basic learning, fun activities and lots of educational play for the children. Volunteers visit the day care centres every morning and will assist in taking care of a class of children aged 5 years and younger. Your role is fundamental to the development of the children and for their preparation for their next step into primary school.
This fun and educational after-school club is an opportunity to provide these children with stimulation that might otherwise be lacking. You will be a positive role model. Volunteers help plan and lead fun after-school activities for children aged around 7 – 15 years old. You will be involved in providing basic education lessons, as well as playing games/sports and fun hands-on craft activities with these energetic children.
One of the most popular activities for both students and volunteers. English is an essential skill in South Africa. Understanding and speaking it, it will help children finish school and gain employment in the future. Reading club is a wonderful opportunity to develop the children’s’ English reading and speaking abilities in a relaxed setting. You will help them to read through books and progress their basic understanding and comprehension of literature, whilst making learning and literacy fun. Reading and storytelling provides a supportive environment that helps promote literacy, build confidence and have fun! Most weeks there are 50 – 80 children and teenagers attending!
FAMILY RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE
Some of the families in the communities are in urgent need of support. As part of the team, you will be using your own skills and talents to help fill some of the needs these families have and bring some much-appreciated fun and joy into their homes. The focus varies depending on what is required by the family involved but assistance in the past has included providing food parcels, lessons and homework help. Volunteer team have also taken on Project such as creating sustainable vegetable gardens, building homes, painting and providing access to water. There is always something you as a volunteer can do to help make the family’s life a little easier.
During school holiday when the schools are closed, the children in the communities need more support than ever. You will work as a team with the staff to offer fun, educational activities for the children during these school breaks. With sports, games, music, life-skills, team and arts and crafts, it is a time for everyone to have fun together while building up the children’s confidence and developing skills which will be a great asset to their futures.
Explore one or more of the nearby game reserves, home to Africa’s iconic wildlife including, lion, rhino and elephant. A popular trip is a full day game drive at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park or a luxury overnight safari experience at Thanda Private Game Reserve.
St Lucia is home to the highest concentrations of Hippos and Nile crocodiles in Southern Africa with approximately 1,200 Nile Crocodiles and 800 Hippos! It’s not uncommon to see the hippos wondering about the streets at night eating the grass. At the weekend, we recommend every volunteer joins the iconic 2-hour boat cruise down the St Lucia Estuary to see hippos and crocodiles and learn about the different estuarine birds while watching a beautiful African sunset.
The warm Indian ocean and golden sandy beaches are just a short walk from the volunteer house. Enjoy the KwaZulu-Natal coastline by spending a morning at the beach or go whale-watching in season (June to November). Alongside gigantic humpback whales, dolphins, sharks and turtles are often seen on the three-hour tour.
Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.