About the project
Soweto is a sprawling community that falls under the municipality of Johannesburg. With the drastic rise in HIV and AIDS related deaths amongst young parents as well as the hardship faced by the poor within Soweto, children’s projects in the community are under a lot of strain due to the number of children they attempt to offer services to. There is an unofficial report that says that almost half a million children in Soweto live below the poverty line and are in need of social service support.
Over the past 6 years we have built fantastic relationships with the projects we work with in Soweto. For 2011 & 2012 we have created a system whereby the projects are able to best utilize volunteers at certain times of the year when needed. One of the biggest challenges our projects have faced is having volunteers at times where they have access to resources of specific projects planned. Through a network system the projects have worked out that they will be requesting volunteers for their project when they are needed. It is a system that’s worked very well last year as it gives us the opportunity to support projects in accordance to their needs.
What characteristic traits are we looking for in a volunteer?
Since 99% of the work is with children, the projects are looking for caring, hardworking team players that are tolerant and open to different cultures and traditions. Volunteers must be flexible and open to assisting with the various projects’ needs. Working as a volunteer in Soweto will definitely pull on your heartstrings and is guaranteed to be a most rewarding experience.
What specific tasks and activities are involved?
- Food preparation in child feeding programs
- Help out in the nursery with babies
- Assistance in taking care of orphaned children aged from birth to 18 years
- Assisting with children’s homework
- Personal interaction with children to help with social development
- Basic building and maintenance projects at all the homes which are in constant need of repairs and general upkeep
- Playing games and offering fun programs on weekend and holidays, like arts and crafts
- Help with hygiene and health education amongst the children and community
What can you expect in terms of accommodation and food during your project placement?
Volunteers are accommodated within the grounds of their project in cottages, which is specifically set aside for volunteers. Each cottage has shared bedrooms, a kitchen and bathroom. Volunteers are provided a pre-loaded card each month in order to purchase food from the local grocery store. Anything over and above this will be for their own pockets.