Friday, 5 December 2014

Volunteer Teaching Video Editing in South African Wild Coast Schools

Young learners get the opportunity to work
with cameras and video cameras on the
Wild Coast Schools Project
With the end of the school year in sight, the kids at Bulugha Farm School have been pressing to wrap up their final projects. In this last term, the kids have had their technological horizons broadened with the introduction of a totally new kind of program. While the majority of the year has been focused on the essential Microsoft Office programs, the introduction of Wondershare Video Editor was a welcome change of pace.

The idea was to produce a “mini documentary” to tie in the year’s animal theme. Each student had written a few sentences about their chosen animal. After recording themselves reading their sentences, they were shown how to string together clips of themselves with clips of their animal. Next came the basic assembly, the intro/outro pages were placed, special effects were thrown in, and background music to top it off.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Pre-School Volunteering Experience | Chintsa

My name is Tracy Rocero. I'm from Toronto, Canada and the reason why I wanted to volunteer at first was to make a difference in my life and change the life of others. That soon changed and made a huge impact on me when I first stepped into the the preschool in Chintsa.

When I first started out in the classroom I was very nervous but excited to know that I'd be doing something that I know how to do on a day to day basis (I am a teacher in Canada). Then, realizing I'm entering not just a classroom but a community - that was all new to me.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Volunteering with VA32 in Chintsa, South Africa

One week after I arrived in this beautiful village named Chinsta, on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, I already wanted to change my flight to stay longer.  The Volunteer Africa 32 degrees South (VA32) staff is awesome, they are always happy and fun to hang out with.  They make you feel comfortable and at home right away from your first day. Chinsta is just an amazing place with plenty of different fun activities, crazy views, an unbelievable beach and the Inkwenkwezi game reserve just 10 minutes away.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Top 10 Chintsa Adventures Not To Be Missed

Whether you're looking for a reason to visit or you're on route to Chintsa, here's the low down of the adventures you can get up to whilst here...

1. Stay At Buccaneers Backpackers

View from a Safari Tent at Buccaneers
Whether you're here for a night or for a month "Buccs" in the place to be. This family run backpackers is friendly, funky, relaxed and full of staff and fellow travellers to connect with. Buccs offers a wide range of accommodation options from camping and dorms to gorgeous new suites and en-suite rooms - there's something for every budget and taste. Best of all, most of the rooms have sea views (seriously gorgeous sea views!) and if you don't manage to get a room with a view, you can enjoy it from any number of communal areas designed with this in mind. You're a stones throw from the beach, they do amazing food in big portions and you'll feel like one of the family. It's an experience in it's self.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Volunteers Building in SA...African Style!

Our final group of volunteers this season, who travelled with EDventures and Pangea Trails to Chintsa to join one of our Community Development initiatives, began a new project at Mama Tofu's traditional Xhosa village.

Mama Tofu is the oldest registered tour guide in South Africa at the age of 93! Her homestead is a living and working example of a traditional tribal Xhosa homestead where volunteers and tourists can visit, sleep and eat while they learn about Xhosa culture, traditions and life.

Mama Tofu was assisted by local tour company African Heartland Journeys to become registered and trained as a guide and the company assist her today in supporting her tours and helping in the village when necessary.

This project created an incredible opportunity for our volunteers not only to assist in supporting community driven local economical development, but also in experiencing hands-on traditional building techniques using the resources available in the natural environment of a traditional village... i.e., cow dung!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Silatsha School Classroom Completed!

Last month a long term VA32 project was completed by a small group of volunteers who travelled to South Africa with EDventures International.

The building of a new classroom at Silatsha School has been in progress since July 2013 when the school was identified by VA32 and local NPO Friends of Chintsa, as in dire need of additional space to teach the current number of learners at the school effectively. To catch up with the progress of the project from start to finish check out the blogs below:
"Volunteers Build New Classroom in Rural School"


The final group of volunteers joined the project at an exciting stage with the classroom in need of some vital finishing before it was ready for use. These tasks included:

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Pre-Vet Students help aminals in Chintsa Community

Last week we wrote a blog about some of our experiences on The African Pre-Vet Experience in Chintsa, where we explained some of the tasks we had taken part in with African wildlife, agricultural animals and zoo enrichment. You can read that blog "Pre-Vet Students get Hand-on Experience in South Africa" here. This week we're going to go into another aspect of the project - community work with domestic animals.

Stephanie showing the kids her cool pictures of the animals we've
worked with
Once a week, we go to the Cintsa village and do community work with the dogs. Ticks and fleas are very common in these areas, so we come every week to dip the dogs to kill the ticks and fleas. We also treat mange, a common disease found in many dogs in the village, along with Transmissible Venereal Tumors (TVTs). Our pre-vets will also treat any wounds, burn marks, and treat infections. Often times, our dipping site gets stampeded with the children and while waiting for dogs to come, we will often play with the children.

Friday, 8 August 2014

VA32 Projects feature on eTV Against All Odds

Local hero's Phumla Pakamile and Mike Denison were given the pleasure of showing eTV's "Against All Odds" film crew around some of Chintsa's most inspiring and long standing community education projects. They made the most of this opportunity to highlight the positive work done by the Chintsa community in collaboration with local non-profit organization Friends of Chintsa. 

You can watch the Against All Odds episode below (the Chintsa article begins at 07:21):

If you cannot view this embedded movie click here
to watch it on youtube

Friends of Chintsa are able to offer services like free computer literacy lessons to the schools and community members because of the support of international volunteers who travel to South Africa, stay for two weeks or more, and volunteer their time to take part in projects like this. VA32 host these volunteers who pay a fee to cover their food, accommodation, transport, project administration and a contribution back into the projects they take part in. 

To find out more about VA32's volunteer projects and how to get involved visit our website at

To find out more about Friends of Chintsa visit

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Pre-Vet Students get Hands-on Experience in South Africa

While volunteering with the Pre-Vet program, through VA32 we get to see and do so many fun things!

Here are a few of the tasks we've done over the past few weeks:

When working with the wildlife, we have gone on several game captures at one of the few local game reserves, mPongo. While at mPongo, we get to drive around on the game drive looking at all the animals: giraffes, zebras, nyalas, waterbucks, warthogs, impalas, lions, monkeys, elephants, bushbucks, and many more!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Oporto British School Students Volunteer in South Africa

Last month VA32 and Buccaneers Backpackers hosted a team of students from Oporto British School in Portugal. The group of 16 students, supported by teachers from the school, were to spend a week in South Africa enriching their experience of our beautiful country, exploring some of South Africa's highlights and volunteering their time on a meaningful community development initiative. 

The students put together an awesome movie about their experience in South Africa:

Over to project leader Tobs for a little more about the project:

Monday, 21 July 2014

Building Classrooms in Rural South Africa

Progress of the new classroom at Silatsha School in the Eastern Cape of South Africa 

The building of the new classroom at Silatsha School has progressed again as our last two groups of volunteers from project partner EDventures brought their energy, willingness to get their hands dirty and enthusiasm for power tools, to the project!

To see the beginnings of this building project read the last blog about it's progress "Volunteers Continue Building Classroom in Rural South Africa".

Over to group leader Milton:

"The first group of volunteers this season were awesome - they completed the work we had laid out for them at Gwegwesha Creche and so we moved them onto helping to complete the new classroom at Silatsha School which has been a project in progress for a while.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Working with EDventures in Rural South African Communities

VA32's group volunteer programs are supported this year by our new partner EDventure International (who work in collaboration with tour operator Pangea Trails). Our group projects offer parties of school, college and university students, sports teams and special interest groups, the opportunity to take part in hands-on initiatives in community development in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

2014 has seen the successful hosting of two EDventures groups so far, who always arrive with unlimited enthusiasm, a willingness to get their hands dirty, free and open minds and a whole ton of's more from VA32 group leader Milton:

"We worked in the Mooiplaas area at Gwegwesha Village which is about 40 minutes drive from Chintsa. The group were given the task of helping to build a kitchen for the Gwegwesha Pre-school which is run by husband and wife team Wellington and Nolundi. The Pre-school is a tiny building which barely fits in the subscribed learners and it was near impossible to find the space to make breakfast for the children - and really not a safe place to have heated pots and pans, hot water etc. with the children so close by.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

ertasten den Lehrerberuf in Suedafrika

Von Marina und Miriam

Seit nun gut vier Monaten sind wir im unglaublichen Chintsa. Wir koennen uns zu den gluecklichen Studentinnen der Universitaet Nuernberg zaehlen, die die Chance ergattert haben, in Suedafrika unterrichten zu duerfen. Das wurde uns durch die Partnerschaft der drei Saeulen BuccaneersVolunteer Africa 32 und der Friedrich Alexander Universitaet Nuernberg ermoeglicht. Einen herzlichen Gruss hierfuer an Dr. Poschardt, der in dieser Hinsicht Grossartiges geleistet hat. Cheers Poschardt!

 In Nuernberg studieren wir Lehramt auf Grundschule. Schon nach dem Abitur wollten wir beide uns keine Chance fuer einen Auslandsaufenthalt entgehen lassen. Und hier sind wir. Jeden Tag gibt uns das Unterrichten einen besonderen Moment, den wir wohl nie vergessen werden und uns vor allem im spaeteren Berufsleben nicht nur in einer Hinsicht weiterhelfen wird.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Student Teaching Abroad in South Africa

A group of Texas State University teaching
students at one of our partner Wild Coast Schools
For the past few years Volunteer Africa 32 Degrees South (VA32) has been working to form partnerships with several US and UK universities to offer student teachers, psychologists, social scientists and other professions, the opportunity to extend and develop their skills through hands-on experience teaching on the VA32 Wild Coast Schools Education Projects. Using our experience working with universities including Texas State (US), Nuremburg (Germany), Marburg (Holland), York (UK) and Pacific Lutheran (US), this program has been fine-tuned to suit the specific needs of students and professors and to become an instrumental aspect of students professional development in their chosen field.

2014 sees the official launch of the new Students Teaching Abroad Project which places groups of students in the rural classrooms of the Wild Coast to deliver computer literacy and English language support to young South African learners. These objectives support the aims of VA32's long standing Wild Coast education initiatives while also developing the skills of students in teaching and classroom management, resource development and more.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Minha experiência como voluntário na África do Sul

Me on Chintsa beach :)
Experiência única, mil sentimentos. Viagem difícil de ser descrita, mas facilmente de ser lembrada na memória. Os sorrisos não serão esquecidos, assim com os nomes muitas vezes foram. Pais novo, vilarejo pequeno, língua (bem) diferente e muita história para contar.
Cintsa me surpreendeu a cada dia e se revelou ser uma cidade bem simpática. Tive o prazer de conhecer pessoas muito legais e que realmente fazem diferença na comunidade.

Me and teacher Phumla at Chintsa East Pre-School

Monday, 31 March 2014

What's the Xhosa Word for Drama?

A Lesson in Translation and a Whole New Experience on the Wild Coast Schools Project in South Africa

By Charlotte

Last term I started drama club at Chintsa East. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. For several weeks I tramped up to drama to discover, a few, (if any) children. When I asked one child whether they would prefer drama or sports, they said “sports!”

Despite a shaky start, drama club took off in time
for us to put on a short play at the end
of the school term 
My light bulb moment came in the form of our friend and local hero lovely Phumla Pakamile. Her xhosa translations proved the catalyst to explaining... what drama actually is! The children hadn't understood it properly before. This is something that I had taken for granted, being from the UK and having studied Drama and Theatre at the University of Kent...I just didn't think that the children wouldn't know what it was yet. 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Awonke's Grahamstown Science Fair Blog

Awonke with volunteer Nino
Recently there was a National Science Fest. held in the creative little town of Grahamstown. The grade 4 learners from African Angels Independent School took this opportunity to get involved in a bit of science and a lot of fun! Having been taking part in some computer classes at school Awonke wanted to write about his time in Grahamstown for the vlog - here goes!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Checking in the the Wild Coast Schools & Preschools Volunteer Program

2013 End of Term Assembly

Last term ended with a BANG in Chintsa!

Volunteer Matthias helping the learners to
organise their presentations in assembly
A celebration assembly at Chintsa East school was filled with songs, prezi presentations and certificates. This term we focused on Human Rights for our older learners in the Wild Coast Schools computer labs and Friendship and Responsibility for the younger learners in the foundation phase and preschool.

The end of term assembly also marked the end of Nuremburg volunteer Matthias’ last day teaching in Chintsa, having taught at the school for five months. It was a sad day for everybody at the school. It was also Maria’s last day at Bulugha.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The VA32 Ambassador Project

On Friday 31st Jan the VA32 Ambassador Project was opened up to our entire network of friends and supporters. The Ambassador Project aims at securing volunteers for the Wild Coast Schools and Community Preschool Projects for 2014, through the help of our past volunteers, current supporters and interested parties who share their experiences of Chintsa and VA32 with their own networks of friends, colleagues, local schools and colleges, classmates, sports teams, students unions and more!

What's in it for them?
A free volunteer placement! Any ambassador who refers five volunteers on to VA32 (the volunteers must confirm their placement with a 35% deposit) will be hosted for free, for two weeks, on one of our volunteer projects.

So who's getting involved?

An Ambassador Case Study...

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Pre-Vet Students Volunteer in South Africa

Pre-vet volunteers assisting in an impala relocation
December saw the arrival of two groups of Pre-Vet volunteers through International Student Volunteers (ISV) who have shown huge support to VA32 projects throughout 2013. These groups were the first to take part in the new Pre-Vet Group Program designed for groups of students, schools and special interest groups looking to volunteer on a worthwhile program.

Based in an Eastern Cape Game Reserve, the Pre-Vet volunteer teams spent 2 weeks working with the local wildlife including rhino, nyala, impala, giraffe and countless bird and small mammal species as well as taking part in lectures and hands on conservation management tasks. They also had hands on experience with agricultural livestock and vulnerable domestic animals in local farms and townships.