Friday, 28 August 2015

"The Best of Me" by African Angels Students

As a part of the Texas State University student blog series, Brittany put together a movie of the project "The Best of Me" which she worked on at the African Angels Independent School. Grade 1 learners were tasked with picking their favourite body part, describing what it was and why it was so important to them. Here's a hand selected few of their projects in a stunning movie by Brittany:

By Brittany

Volunteer on the Wild Coast Schools Project, South Africa
Teaching Student at Texas State University

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Challenges of Volunteering in Rural South African Schools

VA32 are lucky enough to partner with Texas State University who bring a group of teaching volunteers to Chintsa annually to support the Wild Coast Schools Project. The students volunteer in various rural schools including Bulugha School which is on the outskirts of Chintsa and gets consistent support from volunteers in their permanent computer lab, and Chefani School which receives intermittent support when volunteer numbers allow.

Learners at Chefani School
Volunteer teacher Emily took the time to share her experiences and the challenges that she faced while teaching at Chefani School. This is the first in a series of blogs and movies shared by the Texas State volunteer teachers:

Working in Chefani (a rural school on the Wild Coast of South Africa) was such a meaningful experience! In the beginning, it was quite apparent that the learners here were not too familiar with working with volunteers. This made the first few days quite difficult. I felt that a majority of the children were apprehensive of us being there and teaching them something new, which made it difficult to establish a connection with them. This improved, however, over the next few days as they became more comfortable with us even just being in their surroundings. What sealed the deal in establishing our relationship with these kids was playing games with them before we began our work. This allowed them to loosen up and become much more comfortable with us as a group and as individuals.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Volunteers Build New Loo's in Rural Schools

A completed toilet black
in one of our partner
Wild Coast Pre-schools
It goes without saying that schools need loo's! Yet in many rural pre-schools in the under-developed Eastern Cape of South Africa there is a lack of sanitary facilities. VA32, with the assistance of volunteers from International Student Volunteers, have begun to tackle this issue in partner preschools in the wider Chintsa area.

Volunteer groups have been working with VA32 project leader Milton at Mzwini and Somila Day Care Centres at the Southern end of the Wild Coast of South Africa.

The toilets are built on the long drop design which is a particularly popular solution in rural areas where there is little access to running water.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Hygiene Friendly "Tippy Tap" Built in Rural South African Pre-school

Running water is something we take for granted every day. Every time we flush the toilet, wash our hands, rinse a cup, need clean clothes or fill a pot of water to cook... it's there.

I have, during my time in South Africa, experienced a few occasions of having no running water; it's really scary. To turn a tap on and nothing come out and to not know when it will is a feeling that makes ones life feel quite out of control of your own life. To have to collect water from a tap down the road, a river or dam to wash your pots and plates, to not be able to wash your hands, body or clothes clean for a day or two - if you've ever experienced it you'll know the feeling.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Playtime at Somila Daycare Centre, South Africa

It's high season here in Chintsa! The 16th May marked the arrival of our first group of "impact" volunteers. By "impact" we mean - short term with an immediate and measurable outcome. Our impact groups stay for two weeks and are challenged with either completing an entire small project within that time frame (for example building a jungle gym) or being a part of a longer term project (for example building a classroom which could take a whole season).

This season there will be nine groups of volunteers taking part in various Community Development projects in the wider Chintsa area.

The first and second groups were based at Somila Daycare Centre. This project works in partnership with Caring for Orphans in Rural Areas (CORA), a South African organisation which works together with rural communities in improving daycare facilities by creating or uplifting centres, establishing feeding schemes, playgrounds and vegetable gardens, assisting in training and mentoring the management of centres amongst other support, in the wider Wild Coast area.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Monday, 2 February 2015

A New Classroom for Silatsha School - The Beginnings!

Introduction to the site and other work done at the school
During January we had a great team of volunteers from project partners EDventures International & Pangea Trails. Group leader Tobz was tasked with supporting the team of eight Aussie's and their co-ordinators on a long term project at Silatsha Primary School in Mooiplaas. 

The project is building a new classroom at the school where currently several grades share the same classrooms with very limited space and facilities.