Ever dreamed of using your volunteering vacation to make a real and long lasting difference to a community and people in real need of help and support? If this is the case, there really are no better opportunities anywhere for you than volunteering with VWI at one of our community development projects.
So, the big question – Why does community volunteering in South Africa have the potential to bring so much benefit? In short and by means of a brief history to set the scene, South Africa, through centuries of seperate colonisations from overseas and recent political and social unrest, finds itself home to a hugely diverse set of cultures, languages and dispersal of wealth, the major formative factor of this being nearly half a century of governance under the Apartheid (literally meaning ‘the state of being apart’ or ‘apart-hood’) system. Apartheid, in brief, was a system of racial segregation in South Africa classifying inhabitants into four racial groups (black, white, coloured and Indian) with all non-white groups suffering segregation in residential areas, education, medical care, beaches and often other inferior public services compared to those of white people. Under these segregational laws, different races were also forced to live in separated communities and despite now being 20 years since the abolition of Apartheid, the remnants and effects of this system are still seen in South Africa on a widespread scale with a high percentage of the countries inhabitants still living in these ‘townships’ or ‘lokasies’.
Owing largely to this recent history, there remains even today an ongoing lack of service provision, (including sewerage, running water and electricity on occasions and depending on location), scarcity of employment, exceptionally high population density, inequality and social issues in such townships and it is for these reasons that volunteer visits have the ability to provide the life changing experiences they do and make such huge differences to these most heavily affected people and communities.
Volunteer World International have also gone the extra mile and are both exceptionally proud and excited regarding the community project we have independently designed and initiated to now offer to our volunteers in the Montagu region of South Africa. All of our programs are based in the Zolani Township and surrounding farm schools, near Montagu (approx 2hr drive from Cape Town itself) nestled in the stunning Langeberg Mountain range providing our volunteers with an amazing backdrop to their daily experiences. These community programs are specifically developed and structured to provide maximum, focussed benefit to the community and also ensure our volunteers have the opportunity to get fully involved in a variety of hugely rewarding activities from helping feeding the children to taking sports coaching lessons whilst visiting several different schools and communities as part of your stay
Volunteers to the community programs offered in Zolani by VWI will become a real part of the community and we guarantee you will ultimately leave South Africa touched by the lives of the people you have the privilege of interacting with, whichever project you choose to become involved in. VWI have a genuine commitment and promise to the community leaders in the area – over time we will be utilising our volunteers contributions to fund building of new, much needed facilities and we will keep you a part of things, even after you return, by means of a monthly newsletter with news and updates from the projects – after all, without you, this wouldnt be achievable and it is you, the volunteer that makes it all possible!
Volunteer World International have independently developed our program in the Zolani area as through our local knowledge, we have identified this region as one being in need of substantial support. Through volunteer visits, VWI will be utilising a large portion of the received funds to heavily develop the local community and plans are in place for building of an all weather sports pitch and subsequent local schools ‘Five-a-side’ football league amongst many others. Sport is a great outreach opportunity for the local children and gives them a purpose and ambition – exactly what is needed in a deprived community – HOPE.
VWI also heavily endorse the ‘Pack For A Purpose’ Program and encourage all of our volunteers to be aware of this – Pack For A Purpose is a great way for our volunteers to make an extra difference to the projects they are visiting and all it takes is a small amount of room in your suitcase! To find out more about this amazing initiative and how you can play your part, please find out more using the below link:
Whichever the specific area you choose to be involved in, be it childcare, sports coaching, teaching, dance or any other, the VWI Community Development programs truly represent volunteering as it should be – amazing, life changing volunteer opportunities and experiences that provide immeasurable benefit to the lives of the people you will meet.
Are you a teacher, social worker, sports coach, builder or feel you have another special element you could bring to the community through your visit? Let us know and we will design a visit around you through our pioneering “create your own experience”!