For more information and bookings click here*
In the impressive setting of the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, which has recently been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we offer you the opportunity to interact with and educate AIDS orphans in an Orphan Day Care Centre, alongside other exciting community outreach initiatives which include: HIV / AIDS awareness programme, assisting at a local orphanage, farming to encourage positive living, refurbishment of community buildings and helping at an after-school reading club with high school students.
Surrounding the beautiful area of St Lucia are rural villages with many children, some of who are orphans, in need of education and care. There are some local crèches and day care centres which provide a place for children to go. Many of these places have little or no resources for play or education, even though the local carers try their best to make do with what they have. Our aim is to assist the carers and teachers by helping with basic learning, fun activities and lots of play for the children - in some places there are as many as 80 energetic children to be looked after! Volunteers play a huge part in this assistance and form special bonds with the children and teachers. We also help with other needs in the community, including HIV/AIDS awareness programs, assist with the care and improving facilities for local orphans, farming to encourage healthy living and refurbishment of important community buildings. This project, with its adorable children, the chance to give important HIV messages and see the rewards of improving community facilities is truly a life changing experience.
ORPHAN DAY CARE
The communities in the St. Lucia area are heavily affected by HIV/AIDS. It is believed that in some communities, up to 70 percent of people are infected with the virus. Many children are left orphaned. In African culture these children then live with their relatives or community members, but they are often left by themselves during the day, as their caretakers are at work. Within the local village of Khula (10 minutes drive from St Lucia) there are several day care centres and crèches that have been established to provide a meal, basic education and the care and attention that they so often lack at home. Some days there are up to 80 children under 6 years old for the carers to look after with little resources.
Volunteers visit the day care centres every morning (Monday to Friday) and will assist in taking care of the children and teaching basic lessons. The volunteer role is fundamental to the development of the children and in the preparation for their next step into primary school. This is a great opportunity to help many children in the community through developmental play and education, by giving them the individual attention they desperately need.
In St. Lucia’s local community, many myths about HIV / AIDS still prevail. A large percentage of local South Africans believe that the virus is a result of witchcraft, and people infected with it are often rejected from their own communities and families. As a result, many people who are infected do not admit to having the virus. Not many people know how to prevent infection, and even fewer people know how to deal with the virus once they have it.
Working together with a local organization dedicated to fighting the myths surrounding HIV / AIDS (and run mostly by people infected with HIV), you will go out into the local communities to help educate people about the virus. During your placement, you will visit both schools and community centres, and do the following:
- Explain, through a simple method approved by the UN what the HIV / AIDS virus actually is, and how it affects a human body
- Educate people about how the virus is transmitted, and how infection can be prevented
- Explain how, after infection, life can be prolonged through medication and a more healthy lifestyle
EZWENALISHA ORPHANGE PROJECT
Volunteers are currently assisting in serving lunch and engaging in after school playtime activities for approximately 40 orphans in Ezwenalisha community. You will be involved in playing educational games and sports with these energetic children. Volunteers are also helping in the conversion of two old buildings into bedrooms for nine of the children that have been identified as having the most pressing issues.
FAMILIES COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMME
This programme aims to improve the quality of life in a sustainable way for families urgently in need of assistance. Help can take many forms including food provision, education, property repairs, farming, finding access to medical attention and income generation.
BUILDING AND REFURBISHMENT
Community buildings in the local villages tend to be run down, particularly in the more rural and remote areas. As a volunteer, you will visit these building which may be a school, day care centre, a church, orphanage, community centre or the house of someone in need, by helping to fix roofs and windows, paint walls, and help build new rooms.
To help encourage positive and healthy living, volunteers will help local people create and maintain vegetable gardens.
For more information and bookings click here*
* links to our partner's web site