Volunteers have various duties attached to these ongoing projects. We are always in need of fresh ideas and positive input to help us reaching as many people as possible and making an actual tangible difference in their lives!
Volunteers are assisted with their duties every step of the way. We also always welcome new ideas and input from our team members!
Project Summary Volunteers on this project will have the opportunity to uplift underprivileged communities by supporting a range of community based projects. With this project volunteers will be able to make a real impact and become immersed in the diverse cultures that Knysna has to offer.
Volunteers on this project may be involved with working with disadvantaged children at local youth development centres; assisting with poverty alleviation schemes; supporting pregnant women and new mothers at our Hand in Hand Group; providing basic needs to local children at our Recycling Swop Shop; supporting elderly members of the community through our Sinoncedo Project (Sinoncedo = We provide help); inspiring and empowering young women in the community through our Amandla Kuthi Project (Amandla kuthi = Give us the power); encouraging HIV awareness in the community; and lending children a helping hand with their homework at our Academy.
Who should apply? Specific qualifications are not required for this project, although volunteers will need to have a love for working in the community and be comfortable working with people of varying ages. Volunteers need to be hard working, mature, motivated and able to show initiative. Good health and physical fitness are also required. Volunteers also need to be confident in English speaking.
However, if you are qualified in any of the categories below (or something similar), we do have specific projects which would benefit from your skills: Social Work Teaching Medical Experience TEFL Certificate
Volunteer Role: Volunteers may be invloved in tasks such as: Assisting with literacy and numeracy programmes Assisting with HIV awareness programmes Assisting with the running of HIV workshops at local schools Acting as a role model for disadvantaged children Providing encouragement to disadvantaged children Assisting with the distribution of food parcels to members of the local community Establishing income generating projects for members of the local community
Typical Day Volunteers are picked up from the house in the morning by one of our coordinators or drivers and given clear instructions on the day's activities ahead. You will have received full training on any projects that you will be involved in and given the necessary resources. We will then drive to the project that you will be involved in and start our work. The day's aims vary according to what is on our timetable but will include working with our support groups, assisting with the various activities we have planned and helping us reach and touch as many lives as possible. This project is variable depending on the needs of the community so you may be helping with distributing wheelchairs on one day and fixing up a damaged house on another day. Don't forget, you will have full support and training when you get here and all ideas are welcome¡Kno formal experience is necessary for most of our work but of course we can use your skills in many different ways.
After a hard morning's work you will be brought back to the volunteer house for lunch (or eat a packed lunch on site before the afternoon's project work commences).
You will usually have a chance to pop into town on your way back from the projects in the evening and be home in time for a relaxing evening on the deck, followed by a cooked supper.
What's Included in Project Cost The confidence that every effort will be made to ensure your safety and enjoyment during your stay Rapid pre-departure support and information Airport pick up (on our arrival days only- please ask us for these dates) Travel arrangements to and from the project (On allocated days) Accommodation Food Project related transport Thorough orientation to area and chosen project First day introduction and orientation to project and colleagues Project support and feedback sessions throughout your stay Assistance with optional activities and tours 24/7 emergency support Sim Card for your phone T-Shirt Community and Cultural Tour Post-project involvement and updates
What's Excluded: Flights and Visas Travel insurance (necessity!) Excursions and optional activities Post placement transport
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We took part in the Build Our Schools Program on our honeymoon and had the most enjoyable two weeks helping out in the Khayalethu community.
We both loved the hands on nature of the work helping out at the Ikamvu Lethu pre-school. One of our favourite moments was seeing the reaction on the ladies faces when we showed them the completed new doors in the pre-school made out of an old benchtop, they were so grateful. It's hard to describe how big a difference little things like mending fences makes to the school and the community.
Knysna is a beautiful place and this organisation does some amazing work in the community. We would highly recommend the Build Our Schools Program to anyone who wants a change up to their desk job and get their hands dirty.
Thanks to the team for a wonderful experience. In the end our only regret was that we could not stay any longer and help out more, hopefully next time.
The experience was really good out there, however, I believe it was more so because of the Game Lodge and the co-ordinators there.
The programme offers an opportunity to really watch the Big 5 (except for Leopard) from close quarters. However, it could have beeN better with some more planning and more time with the animals. Most of our time was spent in the maintenance work of the park (which ofcourse I dont mind), but I just wish we could have spent more time with the animals. Thats probably the only critical feedback I have to give.
Its definitely a wonderful programme, especially for people who want to make a career in game reserve management / wildlife conservation.
We have just returned from an absolutely fantastic month away in South Africa, where we worked at the Game Lodge.
All the staff were fantastic and the whole trip was so expertly organised with a lot of care and attention to detail. We felt at home straight away and would have stayed if our visas didn't run out!
The project itself involved many different activities from tracking cheetah, feeding the baby cheetah, helping vets to dart, capture and release animals and also a lot of general farm maintenance. It was hard work but very rewarding.
Like all volunteer projects, you get out what you put in to it. There is so much to gain from being part of the team. We have learned so much about Arfican wildlife, flora, fauna and the South African culture. Without a doubt I would recommend The Big 5 Wildlife and Conservation Project to anyone who wants to have an experience they will never forget.
I had a truly wonderful month on the Big 5 project in South Africa.
The project was very well facilitated and I received exactly what I was looking for - a varied, interesting hands-on experience. Participating in everything from collecting and feeding food to the lions and darting and relocating a male wildebeest, to making a new road on the reserve and learning about some of the plants and insects. I also had a chance to see some of the beautiful Garden Route.
They are a very well organised and professional company and looked after every tiny detail.
Brenton Smith - from Australia
Well where to start I had the time of my life .
Dayne and Roger are two very dedicated people not only with animal conservation but land and people infact all of Africa. This wass showed time and time again with the people they work with and the places I stayed and the people and animals they are helping. It was all happy and good, I could not have felt safer or been looked after better everything transport food, people, and projects.
I would not only highly recommend them but strongly suggest any one who really wants a special experience in every way contact them and you will not be disappointed
Georgina - from Australia
For several months i had been looking for a project in South Africa to incorportate into my travel plans. When i found the Rasta Eco Project I knew that was what I wanted to do. As a teacher of conservation and also operating a business doing restoration work, this suited me perfectly.
I spent 2 wonderful weeks assessing, advising and working removing alien weed species, (australian species). (At home I remove South African weed species and this provided me the income to come to South Africa and remove Australian alien species!)
To work on the Khayalethu River Trail was a life changing experience and i was welcomed by all the Judah Square Community and made many wonderful friends. Working with Brothers Maxi and Gene I had the truly enriching and positive opportunity to share and exchange knowledge and information. I was inspired and humbled by the dedication of the community in creating the trail, building the information centre, restoring the Fynbos and environmental education for the future generations.
A real grassroots project which can only benefit the community and the people who visit. Jah Bless!