Thursday, 5 December 2013

Cute African Kids Amazing Dance Moves!

The end of the school term and the school holidays are the perfect excuse for volunteers on the Wild Coast Schools Project, who usually spend their mornings teaching computer literacy in one of several labs, to have a bit of fun with the kids. A few weeks ago this fun was in the shape of a talent contest at Wild Coast School Bulugha...

...just in case you missed this amazing bit of footage caught by our volunteers at the school - catch this little guys moves - he stole the show :)

Monday, 2 December 2013

10 reasons to volunteer in South Africa by Adel Groenewald

Voluntourism is a term that was coined when more and more people started travelling the world to volunteer in foreign countries. Not only is it a great way to see a new country and really get stuck in with the culture and environment, but it’s also a great way to meet new people – especially if you’re travelling alone.

Although almost every developing country now offers volunteering progammes, South Africa has more going for it than most. Have a look at these 10 reasons why South Africa is the perfect place to volunteer and you’ll be convinced before you reach the bottom.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Volunteer Teaching at the African Angels School

“Good morning Charlottte!” Being asked to volunteer teach at African Angels School is always a treat. With Grade R teacher Christy away for the day, I jumped on board the teaching train.

Grade R had been learning about wild animals, I saw some fantastic giraffes and artwork dotted all around the classroom. I also had the help of enthusiastic teaching student Jamie, who has been working with African Angels since October.

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Pre-Vet Team Volunteer in Rural Townships

Team Pre-Vet have been doing some amazing work in rural Eastern Cape communities as a part of the VA32 Pre-Vet Project where as well as taking part in exciting African wildlife captures, assisting with veterinary work and studies, we also focus on helping the thousands of neglected domestic animals in local townships. Find out what the team have been up to this month...

"Hi everyone!

We pre-vets have just returned from an extended outreach mission in the former-Transkei, South Africa. For those of you who don’t know, this area is a huge territory with thousands of cultural villages and was one of the "homelands" of apartheid South Africa. 
Traditional thatched rondavels at Bulungula

We were working in an area called Bulungula, where a non-profit organization called the Bulungula Incubator has done some amazing work for the surrounding communities including several educational, health and infrastructural development projects. The backpackers we stayed at is called Bulungula Lodge and is one of the Incubator’s biggest projects as the community owns 40%. You can read more about this amazing place and their mission here:

Monday, 18 November 2013

Volunteering in Chintsa, South Africa by Lydia

Hi everyone!

I am writing a short blog about my time in Chinsta, South Africa, and the different experiences I've had in the schools I have been to and all the wonderful things that I have been doing whilst volunteering with VA32.

Community Pre-School Project: Bulugha Pre-School

I have been volunteering on the Community Pre-school Project in all of the schools that VA32 are involved with; my first two weeks were at Bulugha farm school, working with children from the age of 4-6. I had a very fulfilling time doing lots of activities with them to decorate their classroom in order to make it colourful, making it a more welcoming learning space. We made a butterfly wall where all the children coloured and decorated their own butterflies: part of the spring time butterfly project!
Children in Bulugha Pre-school with their work

We later decorated the rest of the classroom, allowing the children to get artistic, and very, very messy!
The children really like singing and dancing so we made some shakers out of cups and stones and encouraged the children to produce different sounds and rhythms. The children in the pre-school don’t speak a lot of English but flash cards work really well. I concentrated on teaching fruit and spring time vocabulary and the children picked it up so quickly.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

The African Pre-Vet Experience

Our awesome Pre-Vet team have written their first vlog! Check out what they've been up to over the past few weeks:

"Hi everyone

We are the pre-vet team on VA32's African pre-vet program and we’re very excited to be on this blog! Here are a few of the best things we’ve done so far…

Game capture - working with African Wildlife

Kira and Morgan loved capturing impala on a huge golf course, we ran around a lot that day but it was amazing hands on experience and a lot of fun! Maggie’s favourite capture was a six month old giraffe; they’re really tricky to sedate and transport but it went off without a hitch!

The 6 month old giraffe on our game capture

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Volunteers Holiday Club in Chintsa

Half term holiday fun!

Schools were on holiday earlier this month for one week. With the help of Wild Coast Schools volunteer Amy, we took over Chintsa East school with our fun activities and games for the week.

Making musical instruments from recycled stuff
MONDAY... hosted an eclectic mix of activities for everyone. Kick starting the day was musical instrument making. We recycled old water bottles, and filled them with different materials. I explained how different materials make different sounds and the children had great fun experimenting outside! We also decorated our water bottles using paper and felt-tip pens. Once everybody had finished, we taught the young holiday clubbers how to make the musical instruments really quiet and really loud, before moving on to rhythms!
Next stop we iced our own biscuits, with sweets, which was a tasty treat. The children then chose to get sticky with mosaic making or energetic with drama games. The holiday clubbers left us happy and tired out at the end of the morning.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Volunteering at the Orphanage: Greensleeves Home of Safety

Volunteers running outdoor activities with the kids at Greensleeves and the colourful parachute
Wednesday afternoons can only mean one thing - an afternoon at the orphanage "Greensleeves Home of Safety". With children coming from difficult backgrounds, Greensleeves is a loving place of safety for 26 orphaned children. Every week we head on down there with the volunteers and some fun activities "up our sleeves"!

As soon as the Volunteer Africa bus enters its gates, we see beaming faces and little legs running as fast as they can towards us! Just giving our time and attention, means a lot.

Combining computer literacy, with fun activities and homework help, there is never a dull moment. Adding in the countless cuddles and laughs... it ends up being the volunteer’s favourite day of the week.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Volunteers Continue Building Classroom in Rural South Africa

The Winter season is pretty much over here in Chintsa (and the heat has already hit!). We've enjoyed a huge amount of support from International Student Volunteers (ISV) on our Community Development projects where enthusiastic and committed hands have made huge progress on the building project at Silatsha School in the Eastern Cape, as well as other community based projects. 

To read the original two blog posts about the building project in Silatsha click on the following links: "Volunteers Build New Classroom in Rural School" and "Volunteers Continue Rural Building Project".

This final group of ISV volunteers worked really hard and were able to really make an impact on the building work. Check out what they got up to:

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Volunteering with the African Angels - South Africa

With an outbreak of volunteers filling Chintsa East School and Bulugha Farm School the Wild Coast Schools Project had a rare opportunity to undertake our first computer project in the brand new African Angel’s computer lab and we were welcomed by a hoard of children eagerly awaiting to use it. 

“Who’s on computers today? Who’s on computers today?” The children run up and ask the volunteers as soon as they step foot in the African Angels School. It’s an absolute novelty for them, the brand new computer lab, and it’s so refreshing to see the children so enthused about learning.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

What a Load of Rubbish!

An Update from the Wild Coast Schools Volunteer Project

We have been having a whole load of litter fun with our young learners. The topic for this school term has been My School Environment and we have been learning about litter; where it belongs and the different types of litter that we make. We decided to explore recycling one week, by making our own monsters out of rubbish!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Texas State Teaching Students Volunteer in Chintsa

The TSU volunteer teaching team on Cintsa beach
Three weeks; ten teachers; four projects; two schools. And only three to four contact hours for each group per week! But the creation of fantastic digital stories and poems using Microsoft Powerpoint were achieved at both Bulugha and Chintsa East School, with the help of Texas State University.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Volunteer in Community Preschools in South Africa

As term 3 began VA32 hosted four volunteers on the Community Preschool Project in Chintsa, South Africa. The project aims to support local under-resourced and under-staffed preschools by placing international volunteers into the classroom to assist with planning lessons and resources, acting as a teachers aid, running small group activities and one-on-one tasks with the children and well as engaging in creative educational play. This help is vital in such schools where there can be up to 40+ children in one classroom, with only one teacher.  

The Project

Volunteers work in the preschools from 8am - 12.30pm from Monday to Fridays. Volunteers help to supervise break and play times...
Volunteer Vivian with the preschool kids at break time

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Volunteers Continue Rural Building Project

Our latest group of International Student Volunteers (ISV) spent time in Chintsa with VA32 from 20th July - 2nd August. This group were here to work on our current Community Development Initiatives which involves the continuation of the classroom building project (first mentioned in the original post "Volunteers Build New Classroom in Rural School") at Silatsha School on the Wild Coast.

The group worked with project leaders Denver and Milton who had the help of ISV co-ordinator Katie, and achieved huge success in pushing the building work forward at a seriously speedy rate!

Friday, 2 August 2013

South African Angels

Me with the Angels on the beach :)
When I was asked to write this blog about my time with the “African Angels Independent School”, I tried to recollect and summarize the most special occurrences I experienced during my stay in Chintsa, South Africa. Not an easy task for almost 5 months of school and afternoon activities…Events like taking the children to the zoo or beach, celebrating Human Rights Day with a fun sports competition or entertaining kids at the Greensleeves fundraiser with face paints were wonderful and unique memories that will stay with me.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Ear Doctor Visits Chintsa, South Africa

Otologist Salem, from Texas State in the US, spent several days visiting the Wild Coast Schools last week. He checked the ears of every child in each school (as well as our co-ordinators and some of the teachers!). The kids were fascinated by the technology that he brought along, if a little scared at first at the thought of it being stuck in their ears!

Salem visited Chintsa East, Bulugha and Silatsha Schools as well as Green Sleeves Home of Safety and the Chintsa East Health Outpost. Check out these awesome pictures caught during his work:

Salem at Chintsa Health Outpost

Friday, 19 July 2013

Computer Literacy Students Blog

Some of our computer literacy students have taken an interest in the Vlog and have written a short blog each to be a part of it. Although the internet connection is not currently working at the schools the girls have taken the time to type out their blogs and include a photo of themselves. Read the blogs of Sinesihle, Lusanda, Nolubabalo and Zizipho below:

My Blog
By Sinesihle Luqongo

What is my name? My name is sihle my sername is luqongo

Monday, 15 July 2013

Volunteers Build New Classroom in Rural School

The latest group of International Student Volunteers (ISV) volunteers joined VA32 in Chintsa from 24th June - 5th July and were the fourth group of volunteers taking part in several community development initiatives this winter season. This group saw the start of a major project based in local township school Silatsha which will be undertaken and completed over the next 12 months.

Silatsha school is situated around 50kms from Chintsa and receive support from VA32 volunteers as often as possible, through building and maintenance of the school facilities, sports initiatives and computer literacy classes when possible.

Silatsha currently has five small classrooms in which to teach 8 classes of children from Grade R - 7. In 2010-11 VA32 worked with ISV volunteers to build their fifth classroom and 2013 marks the start of a sixth classroom.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Volunteers Uplift Chintsa Preschool

Our third group of International Student Volunteers were with us from 8th - 21st June. Following on from the amazing work that the previous groups did at the African Angels School (you can read about their work in our previous blogs "Volunteers aim to make a huge impact on Chintsa" and "Volunteers Complete Classrooms at African Angels School"), group 3 set to working with Phumla at the Chintsa East Preschool. Phumla's preschool building and facilities were in need of some serious care and attention. Check out the work that this great group of volunteers completed:

Volunteering to Maintain Phumlas Preschool

The volunteers completed the following tasks:

- Cleaning, scraping and re-painting of the school building

Friday, 14 June 2013

Volunteers Work on Pioneering Sports Development Program in Chintsa, South Africa

This winter season VA32 is pioneering a Sports Development Program for local schools in the wider Chintsa area. Four groups of ISV volunteer groups will be hosted during the next three months and will facilitate this program along with VA32 project manager Denver. 

There is a huge need for programs like this in South Africa where there is no physical education (PE) included in the core curriculum. Extra curricular activities are provided by many private schools (or by sports clubs and training outside of school) and in many cases make up for this lack of sports development, but in the rural schools of the Eastern Cape there is a distinct lack of opportunities for rural learners to take part in these kinds of activities. This could be for many reasons; the families cannot afford to pay for the classes or buy the equipment, the kids cannot get to the clubs and classes as they have no transport and there are little to no clubs hosted locally for kids.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Volunteers Complete Classrooms at African Angels School

The past 4 weeks have seen two groups of ISV Impact Volunteers working with VA32 on a Community Development Initiative to help develop the facilities at the new African Angels Independent School - and this week the projects are almost complete!

(Read our previous blog Group Volunteers Aim to Make A Huge Impact on Chintsa to see the launching of the projects and what work was completed by our first group).

Community Development Project- Completion at African Angels School 

New Computer Lab - ready for computers to be installed

The new computer lab for the school has been set-up and is ready to be installed with computers (which will happen within the next month!).

The door was varnished and a new mural painted on the wall

Monday, 3 June 2013

See How Our Garden Grows!

The afternoons for volunteers are filled with community development initiatives in Chintsa which are designed to support the schools and people who VA32 work with every day.

The last few weeks have seen a new gardening and beautification initiative begun; driven by volunteer co-ordinator Ash, Kate from Friends of Chintsa, local teacher and carer Phumla and (of course) our education project volunteers.

The Gardening Initiative

The gardening initiative has several aims and outcomes:

Friday, 31 May 2013

Food for Thought in Chintsa, South Africa

The Friends Fortnight Fast is a brand new campaign which aims to raise much needed money for the Friends of Chintsa Feeding Scheme in Chintsa East School.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Group Volunteers Aim to Make a Huge Impact on Chintsa

It's Winter again and here at VA32 we're loving having our first ISV Volunteer group here. This is the first of ten groups in total. Six groups will work on our well established initiatives based in community development; completing and maintaining upliftment projects in local rural schools and public spaces. The remaining four groups will pioneer our first group Sports Development initiatives  which aim to provide sporting workshops and skills training for the young learners of the wider Chintsa area. We can't wait!  And we're aiming high...

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

New Computers for South African Computer Literacy Project

Chintsa East School gets new computers donated to up-grade their struggling computer lab!

The computers waiting to be shipped
from the UK
The last month has been extremely busy for volunteers, our co-ordinator Ash and computer technician Pete! On last month a shipping of 40 second-hand desktop computers finally landed in PE. The computers have had a loooong journey from the UK to South Africa and this huge donation from Afrinspire has been in the pipeline for many months. Once the goodies arrived it was up to our Wild Coast Schools volunteers to unpack, check and list all of the contents of the shipment. Ashley then helped to decide where the computers would be best put to use.

Monday, 29 April 2013

The Adventures of Ali: A Fair Trade Volunteer

Ali, a young Israeli come Cape Townian, recently joined the Fair Trade Travel Pass to explore the country that she now calls home. Travelling from Cape Town to Jo'burg on the BazBus, Ali enjoyed a 21 day adventure and had a very eye opening experience!
During the pass she spent a week in Chintsa, a night at Buccaneers Backpackers followed by a week on the Wild Coast Schools Project. She documented her time here with some stunning blogs and photos highlighting the volunteers experiences and day-to-day life on this Fair Trade volunteer project. 

Below you will find excerpts of Ali's blog and some of our favorite photos. Click on the link at the end of each section to read the original blog in full and see more of Ali's stunning photos.

The First Day on Project

The kids lining up outside the mobile
computer lab "being birds" with
Ash - the volunteer co-ordinator
"Today we were teaching grades 0 - 2; children between the ages of 3 to 8 years old. 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Responsible Travel in South Africa: The Fair Trade Travel Pass

The Fair Trade Travel Pass is a travel package which was launched in 2012 aiming to make it as easy as 1,2,3 for conscientious travelers to explore the best bits of South Africa using only Fair Trade travel establishments. The concept of responsible travel is not new to the world but it can be difficult and labor intensive to try to find verified responsible tour operators, accommodation providers and attractions - just at the time when all you really want is to be able to relax and get some much needed head-space. In steps the Fair Trade Travel Pass (FTTP)!

Journeying from Cape Town along the coast to Chintsa and the Wild Coast, on to the Drakensberg and finally to Soweto in Johannesburg, the FTTP explores some of South Africa's most popular destinations; veers off the beaten track on the thoroughly wild Wild Coast, takes in some of the natural wonders of this beautiful country and explores the sights and sounds of our urban townships. A real mix of purely South African experiences. And all stops are at Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) establishments. The Pass is also available in reverse order staring in Jo'burg and ending in Cape Town.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Pre-Vet Hands-On Experience in South Africa

VA32 have teamed up with local wildlife and conservation expert Dennis Taylor*, to offer international pre-vet students looking for vital hands-on experience, the opportunity to assist in managing a large conservation area with wildlife interactions, general management of the "ranch" and the opportunity to assist local vetenary surgeons.

The African Pre-Vet Wildlife Experience

Vetenary surgeons working with a rhino
This experience is located on a real-life, working reserve where participants sign up for an internship-style program and assist in all aspects of running and managing the conservation area. Tasks include anything from assisting experts with animal capture, rehabilitation and re-introduction to fence patrols and trap eradication. 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Vote for VA32 Now!

We have entered the Wild Coast Schools Project into the eLearning Africa Photo Competition 2013! Our photo "The Big Green eMachine" needs your votes to win!
The Big Green eMachine
The prizes are: 

1st prize: a tablet PC
2nd prize: a digital camera
3rd prize: mp3 player
Public vote winner: a digital camera

The 10 best photos will be featured in an exhibition from 29th May to 31st May at eLearning Africa in Windhoek, Namibia and announced across the eLearning Africa website. 

We would love to feature in this! Please take two minutes of your time and vote for our image now! Click here to vote...


Monday, 11 March 2013

Learning Computer Skills with the help of Volunteers!

Volunteer co-ordinator Ash is encouraging the Wild Coast Schools computer students to take part in our Vlog every week. This week is the turn of Linabo, Grade 3 who wrote the following blog:

"My Life in Chintsa

I like Chintsa because it's pretty and the people are friendly.

I like my school because I have friends there.

Last week in computer lessons we learned about making a book. I chose to make a book about a swallow. We used Microsoft Publisher.

I do sports with the volunteers. I like soccer and volleyball. My favorite player is Kuni.

by Linabo, Grade 3"

Thanks Linabo! Your English is excellent and thank you for your blog! :)

To find out more about the Wild Coast Schools Project which delivers computer literacy to rural school learners in South Africa visit our website or email


Friday, 8 March 2013

Wild Walk 2013

The Wild Walk is in its third consecutive year; a 380km trek down the entire stretch of the Wild Coast from Port Edward to Chintsa, the walk is, and has always, been about raising awareness of social and environmental issues faced by the communities and ecology of the Wild Coast. Run by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA - one of the oldest environmental none profit organisations in South Africa) and operated by tour company African Heartland Journeys (AHJ - mother company to us Volunteer Africa 32 Degrees South!).

The Wild Walk 2013 sees the distribution of low-volume wood-burning stoves to local households along the route, the families will also be taught about the benefits of using the stoves and showed how to use them. There will also be several days of school interactions with the walkers.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

What it is to Volunteer in South Africa

by Paula, Brazil

Me and my fellow volunteers by the VA32 office in Chintsa
 As I stand here on my last day of this amazing experience I try to get it to sink in, what all this means and why it matters so much. My experience in South Africa has really touched me in a lot of ways.

For you to have the confidence to decide to invest your money, time and love to come all the way to this amazing country, Africa, is very special. For me, Africa has always amazed me and travelling is my big passion so coming to volunteer in Chintsa was a dream come true in many ways. How can you not be touched by the unfairness faced by people here everyday, by the misery that touches so many lives and by seeing the consequences of actions made in the past, that still affect the people here's all there, you just have to open your eyes to see it.

Monday, 25 February 2013

My Time as a Volunteer in Chintsa, South Africa

by Patricia, Brazil

Getting into volunteer work not knowing for sure what is expected of you demands courage but also especially demands the will to share love and to help others.

When I came to Chintsa I didn't know how things would be. I didn't know how big and beautiful this project was and the huge love that I'd share in my days as a "vollie".

Love! I think that's the word that better defines work like this.

Today, in my last day at the Community Creche my heart is full of love. I now have an extra charge of love in my life!
My babies will be a part of me forever and I'm sure that a better future is waiting for them.
I leave them with a piece of my heart and take with me all this love which I received here.

Special thanks to all the people of the project and Volunteer Africa 32 Degrees South, and to my dears Nobuntu, Bantu, Ntombi and Robyn - the mama's of Chintsa Creche.

Love! Enkosi!

Criciuma, Brazil

To find out more about the Volunteer Africa Community Preschool Project which Patricia was a part of visit our website. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Computer Literacy Students join our Blog!

The new volunteer co-ordinator for VA32 education volunteer projects came up with a great idea a few weeks ago - to ask our learners from the schools which we're teaching computer skills in, to write a blog; about school, about their life and them. Our first learner Asive, who is in Grade 6 at Chintsa East School, shared her thoughts on the volunteers, her hometown and computer lessons.

" My Blog
by Asive Gxakaza, Grade 6

My name is Asive, I love my teachers and the volunteers who come to my school. My town is Chintsa East. I love my town, it is beautiful.
Me with the Big Green eMachine!

My schools name is Chintsa East.

I love computer lessons because they are interesting and we learn a lot. I also have nice and lovely friends at school. I love the Big Green eMachine, thanks for the Big Green eMachine.

My spoilts I like are pops (suckers/ lollies!) and dolls.

Love from Asive "

Thank you Asive for sharing your thoughts and writing your first blog!

To find out more about the Wild Coast Schools Project which is enabling rural school learners like Asive to become competent and confident in expressing themselves through computer technology on our website at

Look out for more student blogs over the coming weeks!


Monday, 4 February 2013

The Big Chintsa Sports Day 2013

In celebration of the handing over of the Chintsa Sports Centre from the Friends of Chintsa, to the Chintsa community.

It's been a looooooong time in preparation, with blood, sweat and tears, planning and re-planning, even the building and moving of an entire volleyball court...but the day arrived on Saturday 2nd February 2013, when the Chintsa Sports Centre was officially handed over from NPO Friends of Chintsa, to the community of Chintsa.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Volunteers Join the Waldorf Nursery Project

The new term of 2013 has seen new little learners join the Waldorf Nursery School in Chintsa (including Nomakwezi's beautiful daughter Alizwa!). Catch the kids enjoying a day of creative learning and play with Tom, Veliswa and Ilana - our current Waldorf volunteer.

If you cannot view this slideshow properly click here to view the flickr gallery.

A big Thank you to Ilana for allowing us to share her photos :)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

My First Week Volunteering on the Community Pre-School Project

By Patricia, Brazil.

This is me with Jess (left), Bianca (middle) and some of the
kids from Chintsa.
In my first day at the creche I was introduced to the ladies that work there, to the children and their routine.
There are two separate places to the creche: one for kids between the ages on 0-2 years and on the the 3, 5 and 6 years old.

My work is specially with the babies and everyday I support the ladies, helping with the food, helping the babies to sleep and stopping them crying.

After my first few days I was totally adapted and the kids were getting used to me. Now they know who I am and are not afraid to be with me.

It's not easy work as there are at least 14 children every day, but all the hard work is rewarded by their smiles and "bye-bye"'s that I get every day when I leave the creche.

I'm totally in love with these babies already!

To find more about the VA32 Community Preschool Project visit our website.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

10 Things You Need to Pack...

When you're volunteering in South Africa

It's a difficult one - you don't want to pack too much and carry the kitchen sink around in your rucksack, but you also want to make sure you have everything you need in a new climate, a new place that you've never been to before and doing a job that you might never have had experience in! We know it can be difficult so we thought we'd give you a hand with a VERY practical packing list. Here's our list of the top 10 essentials which should feature on your packing list for a volunteer trip to Africa.

Top 10 Essentials for your Volunteer & Travel Packing List

1. Clothing that is easy to wash and dry and doesn't need ironing. Consider materials which are comfortable against your skin in hot weather.

2. Basic, inexpensive clothing that can you don't mind getting covered in mud, paint, dirty fingerprints, sweat or anything else that may ruin it! A basic clothing list includes: