JUNE DEPARTURE ・ HOST FAMILY ・ TEACH ENGLISH
South Africa has experienced tremendous change in the past twenty years, with the end of apartheid and the establishment of a new government and new social, economic and political systems for the country. It is seen as a model of reconciliation and development. Although impressive progress has been made at a constitutional level, tremendous challenges remain, including very high levels of unemployment and drug abuse, low levels of skills and confidence in poor communities, rapid urbanization, poverty, and the impact of HIV/AIDS. This summer program is designed to help support skills development and instill confidence in young people in this challenging new democracy. WorldTeach South Africa volunteers find their experiences very worthwhile, and many return to the country as visitors and volunteers.
Located approximately an hour away from Cape Town, the southern Cape Peninsula is a microcosm of South Africa. There are established ‘white’ middle-class suburbs, old apartheid ‘coloured’ (mixed race) areas, and a classic South African black township facing deep poverty. You will experience firsthand the striking diversity of South Africa and participate in the great challenge of transforming the inequities of apartheid into an integrated, progressive society.
WorldTeach volunteers in South Africa have the opportunity to participate in two distinct sessions during the summer: first working on community projects in a black township and then assisting in schools in a ‘coloured’ township. Volunteers have the opportunity to be involved in a range of academic and extracurricular activities, from English and math tutoring to debate club and excursions around Cape Town. Come join us for an incredible summer abroad to experience South Africa’s incredible evolution as a country!
Your service in South Africa will begin with a week of Orientation. This training includes both formal and informal sessions such as an introduction to the culture and development of South Africa, visits to the schools and communities where WorldTeach volunteers work, and information on health and safety issues. We will also address the history of race relations, the impact of HIV/AIDS on the country, and other contemporary social issues. During orientation, volunteers stay together at a camp or retreat center close to Cape Point.
There were moments when all of us as volunteers felt that our efforts were insignificant and even hopeless against the tsunami of need. We discussed our emotions regarding this issue, and it helped to share our feelings and realize that every effort, no matter how small, was a chance to change someone's life. Confronting the challenge together was beneficial to all the volunteers.
The central objective this program is to support educational initiatives in communities in the Southern Peninsula of Cape Town. During Phase 1, the first three weeks after Orientation, you will work either with high school students through the Masiphumelele Library or with 7th grade students through the Pink House community center. Volunteers at the library typically tutor students and assist 12th graders with college applications. They also have the opportunity to lead workshops on topics of their interest, like creative writing and debate. Volunteers at the Pink House work on confidence, team-building, and self-expression with their students, and organize speakers on topics like human rights and HIV/AIDS. The Pink House group also takes several excursions to expose students to the natural beauty and cultural opportunities around Cape Town.
During Phase 2, the remaining five weeks of the program, you will be placed at schools in the ‘coloured’ Ocean View area. Depending on your interests and levels of experience, you may work in a preschool, a primary school, a special needs school, or a high school.
Volunteers often work as classroom assistants, supporting the teachers, but there are many opportunities for you to use their talents in specialized ways. In the past, volunteers have organized after-school programs or completed short-term projects at their schools, including the creation of a mural and a school reading room. Volunteers working at the primary schools in Ocean View often supplement their work as classroom assistants with daily one-on-one literacy tutoring sessions. Schools and their teaching staff are under enormous pressure with very limited resources and the enthusiasm of WorldTeach volunteers like you is much appreciated.
EXPLORE SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa is a traveler’s dream! Cape Town and the surrounding area boasts gorgeous views, picturesque beaches, and a rich history and culture waiting to be discovered. During the summer the group will have a chance to experience South Africa through excursions like hiking Table Mountain, hanging out with the penguins on Boulder Beach, and visiting Cape Point – the most southwest point in Africa. On your journey, don’t be surprised if a baboon stops traffic by crossing a main road. Though not included in the price of the program, for the more adventurous at heart, there may be opportunities for bungee jumping, shark cage diving, and paragliding.
For the duration of the program after Orientation, you will live with a host family. Housing is either in Kommetjie, Fish Hoek, or other middle-class communities, or in Ocean View, where volunteers work during Phase 2. In general, the home placements offer comfort and modern facilities. Time spent interacting with your host family will further your understanding of life in South Africa.
The cost of the South Africa Summer program is $4,990. This covers pre-departure preparation and visa if necessary, supplemental overseas medical and emergency evacuation insurance, one week in-country orientation as well as a Mid-Service and End-of-Service conferences, some excursions throughout the program, teaching-related expenses, 24-hour field staff support, room and board, and alumni support and networking.
Many volunteers successfully fund raise all or a significant portion of their volunteer commitment. Please refer to our fundraising webpage for more information about fundraising possibilities.
Volunteers in the South Africa Summer program must:
- Be a native-level English speaker
- Be between the ages of 18 and 74
- Be flexible, open-minded, and patient
- Have a genuine interest in teaching