Willing Workers in South Africa (WWISA) is a community-focused organisation that aims to harness the energies of the international volunteer movement to support the development of independent and sustainable projects responding to the identified needs of under-privileged communities. With this focus we then assist them in the enhancement of existing skills and the acquisition of new expertise to sustain and further such projects, thereby promoting the development of fully fledged, well-informed, productive citizens in South Africa’s emergent democracy.
Volunteers work alongside their hosts and local community leaders on established and emerging education, social services and community development projects. This community placement offers volunteers a unique opportunity to experience the diversity of South African life and to learn from locals & other volunteers alike. Unlike the majority of volunteer organisations, WWISA’s HQ and Home Base is in the region you volunteer in, with full time facilitators on hand to provide the vital on-site support and guidance tailored to the specific issues of life in South Africa.
Project Type: Community Project, work with children.
Location: Plettenberg Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Pick Up Point: George Airport.
Duration: 2 weeks – 12 weeks.
Price: from £850 for 2 Weeks.
Start Dates: Projects start on a Monday and operate year round.
Accommodation: Volunteers are accommodated at Rocky Road HQ
Meals: Three meals a day included, meal preparation is semi participation.
Age Range: 17 Plus.
Your anchor project with the Kurland Village community permits you to become involved with diverse aspects of community programmes. Your time spent assisting the permanent personnel is obviously limited to the opening hours of the primary-school as well as the pre-school Educare Centre and other youth day-care facilities. Outside of these, some days will also be spent getting involved in various other projects such as sport, a range of extra-murals, art, music, outings, the village ‘Cleaning & Greening” processes and even youth leadership or environmental education camps.
The primary Educare Centre catering for pre-school youth between the ages of 3 and 6/7 is registered to accommodate 100 pupils. There is also a newly established day care facility for youth drawn more from the informal housing sector. The limited permanent staff personnel means that assistance is always needed – and warmly welcomed. The primary school caters for Grades 1 to 9 and has +/-700 learners aged from 7 to 16. The school is generally short-staffed so suffers from a high ratio of learners to educators – sometimes 40 : 1. English as a second language is taught from an early age and so the majority of children can at least understand English, if not speak the language fluently. Your activities with the pre-school youth aged between 3 and 6/7 will be 25 hours per week while that undertaken with primary school learners once formal classes are concluded can be between 15 and 20 hours per week.
All learners respond positively to personal assistance with their primary and tertiary education development as well with extra-mural activities so whilst you may initially commence with assisting permanent personnel, you could well find yourself taking groups on your own once settled in. Education volunteers work in supplementary positions, assisting in teaching or running practical demonstrations in specific subjects such as English, mathematics, science, the arts or environmental conservation and education classes and outings as well as sport. You can also spend the afternoons coaching sport to get the teams up and running as well as support them over weekends. The morning activities commence at +/- 08h00 and end at approximately 14h00 while extra-mural activities generally run to 16h00.
Qualified teachers or those with an interest in teaching are welcome as are volunteers to lead extra-mural activities such as with additional support in the library and project room, as well as with routine weekly environmental education processes and/or camps, the bulk of which are held over weekends at correctly set up facilities.
The promotion of English as a second language to improve understanding amongst the broader community is always in need of ongoing support and both adults and youth’s make use of this input. Every interface is an opportunity to conduct an informal workshop in conversational English.
Other Activities Which May Require your Involvement and Expertise:
Plettenberg Bay Community Health Clinic
The public health services of the greater Bitou region extends to a database of some 50 000 patients. This provincial government managed service provides health care via
– The central day clinic in Plettenberg Bay
– Smaller satellite clinics in outlying townships, such as Kurland Village
– A mobile clinic system for those communities without permanent facilities, and
– A community based extended home care system where selected patients who cannot be allocated hospital beds yet need regular attention, stay with family and friends in their respective communities and are regularly visited by a network of trained personnel.
– Appropriate qualifications are required for the above.
Bitou Family Care
Via a network of foster home and safe house facilities catering for abused and abandoned children and adults, Bitou Family Care offers a working model to improve the lives of the affected individuals. Due to the diversity of areas that Bitou Family Care works in, a range of volunteer assistance is always welcomed assisting at the safe houses for abused and orphaned children working at the home-based personal improvement centre taking the children on outingsacting as house parents for one or two nights per week extra-mural activities such as sport, music, drama and art.
Other needs are to help with community functions and with fundraising – all of which not only help sustain these affected people in their current living conditions, but also assists many of them to miraculously surpass the expectations of many.
Cash Crops and horticulture
Within Kurland Village are many privately cultivated plots and community allotments where individuals produce vegetable staples such as beetroot, cabbages, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, onion, spinach and pumpkin as well as a few seasonal high margin crops. Produce is mainly for family consumption with surpluses sold to or traded with others in the community or contributed to feeding schemes. As quantities and quality have improved the market base has expanded with selected sales being made to local restaurants, accommodation facilities and other businesses.
Agricultural land adjacent to Kurland Village has been allocated for use by those pursuing cash crops on a larger scale.
Volunteers work both alongside the green-fingered growers on the land itself and where possible also offer guidance on high margin crops (herbs, garlic, chilli’s etc) in terms of boosting production as well as in marketing and sales of the produce.
Women on the Move
This craft-based workshop run by ladies from the Kurland community is where hand woven woollen carpets; woven bark baskets and decor products; hand painted fabric; quilts; clothing & other textile products are manufactured and sold to the public.
Volunteers help to move their business forward, offering advice on craft-making techniques, colour coordination, material usage as well as marketing and business development processes.
Your accommodation for the duration of your stay will be at WWISA’s Rocky Road HQ and home base. Set in a well maintained gardens surrounded by open pastures and indigenous forest, Rocky Road offers a comfortable homely environment from which to explore the Garden Route, it’s rugged coastal shores interspaced with sweeping golden beaches and the nearby Tsisikamma. Mountains.
Accommodation is in a mix of a 3-bed dorm in the main homestead and then 2-bed wood & timber cottage rooms as well as luxury domed safari tents on covered timber decks. All come fully equipped with carpets, beds, linen, electricity etc. All nearby characterful bathroom facilities have gas-fired showers as well as toilets.
The main house also has the open plan lounge/office plus computers and telephones and a satellite TV system with multiple channels. The main entertainment area is our large covered veranda sandwiched between two large open fireplaces that keep all present warm during cold snaps.
The extensive garden has a variety of ‘quiet zones’ for people to relax at as well as a large outdoor fire pit and entertainment area plus a small but unique plunge pool and hot tub combination complete with blower jets and bubbles that gets fired up for special occasions.
The Rocky Road HQ and Home Base is in The Crags, a rural agricultural area located some +/-550km east of Cape Town. The highly scenic area is typified by lush farmlands & pastures, indigenous forest pockets, multiple stream and river systems cutting through deep gorges, clear views of the Tsitsikamma Mountain range foothills and the long sweeping golden sand beaches of pristine Natures Valley a mere 15 minute drive away.
The nearest town of any magnitude – and one where almost all one requires can be procured – is Plettenberg Bay, one of South Africa’s premier beach resorts and tourism destinations.
Kurland Village, around 17 kms from Plettenberg Bay and 4 kms from Rocky Road, is a historically disadvantaged township community of approximately 4 000 persons. Kurland relies largely on the local brick factory; the timber yard; a number of popular tourism attractions; handful of lesser employers; the agricultural sector and occasional casual work for employment. The estimated unemployment rate mirrors the national average of around 30%. Crime, drugs and poverty are the major social issues facing Kurland today, which is why we are seeking volunteers to assist with our projects.
2 Weeks – £850
3 Weeks – £1,050
4 Weeks – £1,250
5 Weeks – £1,450
6 Weeks – £1,650
8 Weeks – £2,050
10 Weeks – £2,450
12 Weeks – £2,850
£200 deposit to secure placement at time of booking, final balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.
– Pre departure support and documentation
– Programme fee and contribution
– Return Transfers
– Accommodation for duration of stay
– Housekeeping costs
– All meals (Semi Participation)
– Reserve activities
– All transportation on project
– 24 hour in country support
– Travel Insurance
– Any vaccinations as recommended by your GP
– Internet access
– Soft drinks and snacks
– Any visas required
– Any additional activities outside of project itinerary
If you have any questions, or if you’d like to find out more about this incredible adventure and create some unforgettable memories, just fill in the form below and one of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.