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If you like finger painting, reading books and singing nursery rhymes, then a fun and intensely rewarding experience awaits you on this volunteering holiday in Kwazulu Natal. Work with pre-school children whose lives have been shattered by HIV and help to educate older children and adults on how to avoid succumbing to the disease.
In some communities in the St Lucia area of South Africa (in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province) it is estimated that up to 70% of people have been infected with HIV. The implications of this are clear, a whole generation of children is growing up under the shadow of the disease, with many losing one or both parents. This project supports a local day care centre where around 80 orphaned toddlers and pre-schoolers can play and learn in a caring and nurturing environment, whilst their carers are out working.
This volunteering project in St Lucia is run by the award-winning African volunteering specialists African Impact, the largest on-the-ground facilitator and operator of responsible volunteer projects in Africa.
Whilst you are volunteering here, you will spend your mornings helping out at the day care centre. This will involve playing with the children and giving them some much needed one on one attention. You might want to read books, sing songs, get the crayons out and draw and even teach them a bit of English. You may also help out with bathing and feeding, so prepare to get messy!
In the afternoons, you will be helping out at local community centres and schools, addressing the issues behind the high HIV infection rates. Working with a local organization, you will be educating young people and adults about the transmission of HIV and how to prevent infection.
Your practical skills (and if you don’t any, you will soon learn some!) will come in handy here too as there are several building projects to get your teeth into. You will help to paint, repair and generally give a bit of TLC to classrooms in local schools.
You will also be encouraged to make the most out of your time off. The Hluhluwe and Umfolozi National Park is on your doorstep, home to over 1600 white rhino, let alone the lions, elephants and leopards that also roam the savannah. On the coast, you can go snorkeling to your heart’s content, or sit back and spot the dolphins playing in the surf. Further a field, you have Kruger National Park and Mozambique which you could visit over a weekend.
We know it’s a cliché, but the more you put in, the more you will get out of this volunteering holiday. You will only be here for a few weeks, so you will need to throw yourself into the work with a lot of energy and really get stuck in. This is a very genuine opportunity to meet local people and gain an insight into their lives and culture. And there is always the chance to extend your trip so that you can have some R & R afterwards – which you will have well and truly earned!
You will be spending a lot of time with young children, so enthusiasm, energy and a degree of patience would be helpful. The other projects that you will be involved in, the HIV education and classroom repairing don’t require any specific skills – you will be briefed on everything you need to know when you’re out there.
We select specialist operators who are experienced, qualified and most importantly passionate about what they do. Your enquiry will be passed straight through to the experts who will be able to give you the best advice.