Volunteers are essential to help look after all these adorable little rascals. Aged between three and six, they’re all lively, inquisitive and excitable so there’s lots of running around and fun involved. Having the help of extra hands means that each of these children gets the opportunity for some one on one time. This gives each little voice a chance to be heard over the racket and is very important to their development. Teaching rhymes and songs stimulates their learning and also helps them to learn English, which is likely to get them better jobs later in life. They’re always enthusiastic and they love to sing and dance.
Your days will be spent helping out with play time, getting stuck into play dough and colouring-in books, reading stories and running around making make-believe. You’ll supervise the mini playground and help out with the maintenance of the centre, painting, gardening and cleaning. All the fun and games contribute towards learning, as well as creating happy, balanced children. Your enthusiasm, care and time can help lay the foundation for a brighter future for these special kids.
Your typical working hours will be half-days from Monday to Friday (for example 9 – 12.30 or 1-5 however you’ll never be turned away so if you are able to give more of your time then your extra help will be greatly appreciated!
Day 1 (Monday) Arrive at Cape Town Airport (airport code CPT) where you’ll be met and taken straight to your new home, a journey of around 45 minutes during which you’ll get your first sight of the iconic Table Mountain. You’ll need to arrive by 4pm so that you’re in time for orientation at 5pm, otherwise you should fly in a day early. We can arrange an extra night accommodation and airport pickup.
The Project After a good night’s sleep, it’s time to get into it. On your first morning our team will accompany you to the township, to introduce you to the dedicated staff and the wonderful children. Prepare yourself for lots of excitement and noise – the kids are certainly not shy!
Each day you’ll head to the crèche by public minibus taxi, a cost of around $4 a day for the 15 minute journey. You’ll typically be there half-days from Monday to Friday however if you want to stay longer your extra help will be greatly appreciated! The extra pairs of helping hands that volunteers provide mean that each of these children gets the opportunity for some one on one time.
Your days will be spent helping keep the kids occupied, getting stuck into play dough and colouring-in books, singing songs, reading stories and running around making make-believe. You’ll supervise the mini playground and help out with the maintenance of the centre, painting, gardening and cleaning. All the fun and games contribute towards learning, as well as creating happy, balanced children. Your enthusiasm, care and time can help lay the foundation for a brighter future for these special kids.
They’ll learn so much from you, simply through play and general conversation. If you have any ideas you’d like to contribute, new and fun activities or games you remember from school, the staff and kids will welcome your contribution.
Weekends Spend your free time as you please, your weekends are yours to enjoy. Cape Town offers so much to do. There are loads of stunning beaches to choose from, go for a surf or check out a penguin colony. Maybe you’d like to climb Table Mountain, visit Robben Island, explore the city with its fascinating museums and art galleries….or even go wine tasting. You’ll also want to kick back and chill in the garden or around the swimming pool at the volunteer house.
Your last day (Monday) It will be sad to say goodbye to your newfound friends but you’ll have so many special memories to take back with you. Save around $30 for the airport transfer, which our coordinator will arrange for you.
Accommodation Our large volunteer house in Cape Town will be your home, only a short distance from the shops and beach. The house accommodates up to 20 people in single-sex bunk-rooms with up to 6 sharing. There are lockers for your valuables, a kitchen, lounge area, balcony, a nice garden and barbeque. A $100 security deposit is payable on arrival.
You’ll be self-catering during your stay, and can cook your meals in the communal kitchen complete with stove, fridge/freezer, microwave and toaster – or use the braai (BBQ) outside. We recommend you budget around $70 per week for groceries – markets and shops are nearby. There are also heaps of take-aways, bars and restaurants about 10 mins walk.
Fish Hoek’s main street is only 10 minutes’ walk away where you’ll find a laundry, supermarket, serviced laundry and internet café, as well as banks and other shopping. The beach is just a stone’s throw beyond that! Bars, restaurants, more shopping and more beautiful beaches are only 10 minutes away by taxi. Taxis to Cape Town CBD cost around $30 - Fish Hoek is also on the train line, this is also a great way to get around
Accommodation Upgrade Work hard during the day and treat yourself to a bit more comfort for your downtime with our upgrade accommodation option in Kommetjie. This is a separate accommodation in a different suburb to the volunteer house. There are two king-bed rooms each with ensuite, fridge, wifi, TV and kettle and a shared kitchenette and pool. Stunning views and amazing sunsets. The upgrade is available on request for $140 pp (twin) / $200 (single). The beach, shops, restaurant and bars of Kommetjie are all walkable.
About the Project
Originally a small village of 800 houses, Masiphumelele (Masi) township now has a population over 50 000. Masi residents generally have a strong sense of community and its people are dedicated to helping each other out. This township day care centre was founded around 20 years ago and now cares over 60 little ones (aged 3-6) each day. Their parents work long hours so the centre is open from 6.30am to 5.30pm. It’s a long day for the little ones so the creche needs every helping hand it can get to make their stay pleasant and develop each child to their full potential. Two meals a day are provided – a full belly is the foundation of learning and development.
The crèche founder, Doreen is part of the Masi Educare Forum and has been instrumental in helping other community members open more creches in the neighbourhood so that even more children can have quality care.
All of these people are dedicated to the wellbeing of the children. It’s their mission to help these children break the cycle of poverty and have a chance at a better life. Though short of resources, the kids are happy, bright and well-looked after. It’s a very special place and you will be so pleased that you were able to be a part of it.