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.