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Port St Johns
All Year: Yes
Area (ha):
Persons: 6
Category: Education
Host ID: 20389
Country: South Africa

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Last Updated: June 24, 2019

We are located on a hill just across from the Beach. Boasting breathtaking views, purest of air and scenery, nestled slightly in a semi-tropical forest by the sea...this is the place which is known for its one-of-a-kind amazing atmosphere, tantalizingly delicious foods, private self-catering cottages, soulful connections, fresh yet traditional outlooks,and its wide variety of endlessly rejuvinating activities like hiking, swimming in waterfalls, drumming, village excursions.. the list is infinite.

Yes... it is a lot of work living in Paradise, but paradise also needs nourishment, care and respect for indigenous landscapes and the original culture of people whom have made this a home to many generations that have come and will forever go on.. with YOUR HELP...

Our Children's Project is a registered Non-Profit Organization that is diverse and ever growing. It's philosophy is to recognise the surrounding need and to facilitate change through community led initiatives, job creation, community empowerment, valuable exchange, and fund raising. Current projects include:-

* Pre-Primary School: this is a two classroom educational institution for children aged three to six. There are between 60 and 80 pupils registered at the school, although not all of them come every day. It has only two teachers, one of whom is a volunteer assistant. Often they find only one teacher able to teach and manage the classes.

Connecting the school with the ACP has allowed for valuable improvement within the learning environment, as well as giving them a supporting voice with social services and other important governing institutions.

Volunteers are encouraged to get involved with:

- Teaching: ECD (Early Childhood Development), compile English lessons and worksheets, play educational games and many more

- Gardening: create a sustainable garden for and with the school children and teachers, so they can provide for themselves, cook lunch for the children using their own vegetables and convey the value and reward of gardening.

- Building and Maintenance: help improve the building conditions of the school. In 2015 ACP raised money to build an ablution block: we are proud to say that the school now has access to flushing toilets. In 2016 we put up a new gate and did a lot of small maintenance (replacing gutters, fixing broken windows, repainting the outside play facilities, ...) In 2017 we have been busy replacing the entire fence around the school and our next project is to get the roof fixed, which will be quite a big job! We focused on fund raising in 2018 and that allowed us to start with the building of a new classroom in November 2018. For 2019 our focus will be on completing this construction and all additional help is welcome!

* The Port St Johns Junior Secondary School.
The school was founded in the 1930s and is a fixed value of Port St Johns community. The school is based in the center of Port St Johns, which is what makes it highly accessible to the children of the town. Over the past 15 years, the school has been led by Rian Erasmus, and under his supervision the school has grown to become what it is today: an established institution where children are nurtured to develop their skills and grow up to be well-educated adults.

The school consists of several classrooms, offering education from Grade R up to Grade 9. They employ fourteen teachers, who all receive a salary from the Department of Education. Apart from the teachers, there are three cooks who prepare lunch for the children and two handymen to maintain the property. However, the money the school receives from the Department of Education does not cover all their expenses and Rian and his staff rely on donations and fund raising to ensure the quality of their services.

Unlike the Pre-Primary School, the PSJ Junior Secondary School has other resources they can draw on, but collaborating with the Amapondo Children’s Project offers them a new resource of volunteers and funds, and assists them to keep up with the high standard they strive for. Although our partnership is still fairly new (end 2015), we hope that it will have a positive impact in years to come. Involving both national and international volunteers will improve growth through cultural exchange. Together we aim to build on the well-being of the children of this area, the future leaders of our country.

Our volunteers assist the teachers in Grade R and Grade 1 and since January 2017, the school implemented a new time table, allocating 6 periods a week to the volunteers. These 6 periods were made available in the curriculum to address Special Life Skills and the volunteers are responsible to fill in these hours with educational topics for Grade 4, Grade 5 and grade 6.
These topics cover a wide range of different subjects, covering cultural education (e.g. the difference between growing up in Europe and South Africa), sports activities, health (e.g. personal hygiene) biology (e.g. anatomy of the human body), life skills (e.g. self-esteem), career guidance (e.g. different professions, what do you want to become when you grow up) and many more. The volunteers prepare for their classes and keep an overview of topics they have discussed in class, to pass on to their successors. Apart from their allocated hours, the volunteers continue to assist the teachers where needed.

We need enthusiasm, commitment and fresh ideas. We are very open to volunteers designing their own programs or projects too. Examples of past projects have been a football club, a surfing school, a Mountain Biking race, and a Health Centre. We are proudly passionate about Pondo Culture and would love you to experience it too.

The Children's Project offers short or long term volunteer packages, all of which are designed as fund raising initiatives. This means that whilst volunteers get the opportunity to become involved in teaching, gardening, building and maintenance for these worthy projects, at the same time, their financial contribution adds to the sustainability of our cause.

These volunteer packages include your accommodation in our Volunteer Cottage, a pick up from the bus station or airport in Mthatha, your transport to the Project, administration (including WiFi) and 24/7 support from our Volunteer Coordinator, touristic tours and a small financial contribution to the Project.

Please do get in touch to see how you can get involved.

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