Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Volunteer Africa Impact Projects – making an impact on South Africa

As well as running long term volunteer programs and initiatives which need volunteers to drive these projects’ aims and tasks on a daily basis, resulting in each volunteer contributing their time and energy to a small (but very important!) part of a larger project, VA32 along with other local organisations and people (namely the Friends of Chintsa) ear-mark “High Impact” projects which need a short burst of physical energy to get them off the ground, give them a boost or maintain their running. These short term projects sometimes work in conjunction with the longer term volunteer programs for example, building and decorating a new computer lab for a Wild Coast School or re-vamping a pre-school classroom and ablution facilities. Other times they support other areas of the community development of Chintsa for example, upgrading an old dilapidated shipping container into a working clinic or turning an old dumping ground into a safe and fun play area for the children of the village.

To drive these impact projects VA32 bring in groups of international volunteers who stay and volunteer in Chintsa for up to 2 weeks. One of our main project partners who provide groups of volunteers is International Student Volunteers (aka ISV) who help similar organisations world-wide by providing groups of between 12 and 25 enthusiastic, hard-working volunteers to these projects, as well as giving them an all-inclusive travel experience in their country of choice.  

Over the next 3 months (May – July) VA32 will have 6 groups of ISV Impact Volunteers, arriving in South Africa every 2 weeks. Each group will spend 2 weeks working on high impact projects in the Chintsa area with Denver, Milton & Tobs co-ordinating the projects and their stay here. The start of this season (which is underway as we speak!) sees the groups addressing the following initiatives:

Urban Renewal of Public Open Spaces (a Friends of Chintsa initiative) through
- Craft Centre revamp

Chintsa East Feeding Scheme (a Friends of Chintsa Initiative) through
- revamping the feeding scheme area at Chintsa East School

Youth and Sport Development (a Friends of Chintsa initiative) through
- building and fencing a new netball court at the Chintsa East Sports Centre

Who are the Friends of Chintsa?
The Friends of Chintsa is a local NPO (Non-Profit Organisation) who raise issues and awareness in the local community and assist the community in putting together a plan to forge a way forward, also helping to manage the initiatives created. The Friends are behind many of the initiatives which our high impact projects support. To find out more about the current and on-going initiatives of the Friends of Chintsa visit their website at

Here & Now in Chintsa
ISV Group 1 are currently in Chintsa (although they will be leaving us shortly – 2 weeks goes so quickly!) and have completed work at the Craft Centre at the entrance to Chintsa village. The group worked on a general upliftment of this area which had become quite dilapidated but has recently become an asset to the area and is in use by the Thuba Bamboo ladies who launched their new business this week (this is a new Friends of Chintsa initiative – to find out more click here). The team are also working on uplifting the Feeding Scheme area at Chintsa East School; the kitchen, the area where the children are served their meals, and where they sit and eat. Group 1 are hoping to finish work in this area by the end of this week when they leave to explore South Africa with on the adventure component of their volunteer experience. 

Watch out for updates on the work which will be posted on the vlog by Denver or “like” our facebook page and follow the progress daily.

We look forward to the arrival of ISV Group 2 in Chintsa who will join us this weekend. Their main focus over the next 2 weeks will be to fence off the area around the proposed netball court at the Chintsa East Sports Centre. The Friends have been raising funds for this project through a great campaign “Buy a Metre” where you can buy a 1m x 1m plot of the court and will be sent an ownership certificate upon purchase (watch the hilariously creative movie they have made here). Obviously there are limits to what you can do with your plot…maybe the best idea would be to grade it, level it and tar it to create 1m square of netball court…well – that’s what you’re paying for after all! ...But this will be the first physical action taken towards building the court (after grading by a local grading company). Watch out for pictures of progress over the next 2 weeks. If you would like to support this initiative you can still buy a metre and help the development of the court –visit the Friends site and buy your metre now.

To see past VA32 Impact Group projects check out our flickr collection "ISV Impact Groups" where you can see pictures of the volunteers at work and some of our completed projects.
More news on the ISV season will follow in the coming weeks.


*VA32 offer tailor-made group volunteering experiences, for more info e-mail*

1 comment:

  1. Chintsa is so lucky to have these dynamic groups of energy adding value to our community! Go VA32!