Thursday, 3 December 2015

Community Preschool Volunteer Project

VA32's Community Preschool Project has been partnering with local preschools for over 5 years. The schools that we work with change from time to time depending on where the biggest need is currently identified.

In 2016 we will be partnering with two local schools - the African Angels School foundation phase and Acacia Tree Nursery School.

About the Schools

African Angels Independent School
Volunteers assist children one-on-one
in the Angels foundation phase
reading program
The African Angels charity has was established by founder Lou Billett and designed to offer support to families living in disadvantaged rural areas in and around Chintsa, in ensuring that their children get the opportunity to have a stable, high quality schooling education and environment from foundation phase to matric at 18 years old.

The charity works on the belief that working together with the parents and carers of the children is the most effective way of ensuring a commitment to the arrangement. All parents are asked to pay a small portion of the school fees as well as ensuring that their child is present at school in their uniform and has a snack for break time. 

Until 2012 the Angels were schooled in pre and primary schools in and around East London. This arrangement proved challenging for many of the students for several reasons: 
1. Living in Chintsa means a 40km journey to and from East London daily to get to school. This journey adds approximately 1.5 - 2 hours to the already tiring school day.
2. On top of this the homework expectations were high and many of the learners have do not have access to support in this at home.
3. In the large classes of mainstream schools the Angels were not getting either the academic or emotional support needed on a daily basis.

In an attempt to tackle these issues, in 2012, Lou established the African Angels Independent School in what was a dilapidated high school building. With the help from VA32 building volunteers the school was uplifted and prepared for the brand new intake in January 2012 and the Angels have never looked back! With a team of dedicated and caring teachers, smaller class sizes and a closer proximity to home, its amazing to see the Angels thriving in their new school.

VA32 preschool volunteers will be placed in the foundation phase classes to work with the Angels teachers. The teachers are in great need of support in the classroom - volunteers will work one-on-one and in small groups to assist them in completing tasks, reading and maths. Volunteers can also take the opportunity to get involved in planning activities, lessons and teaching resources. At the Angels school the supportive team will always try to use the personal passions, enthusiasm, skills and knowledge of each volunteer which can enrich the educational experiences of their learners.

Find out more about the African Angels charity on their website

Acacia Tree Nursery School

Mama Veliswa at school
The Acacia Tree Nursery School was established in 2009 and is situated in Chintsa West on the Muller Family Farm. The school is the dream of Tom and Madeleine Muller who, having experienced the Waldorf Education System themselves, wanted their own children to have the same beginning in their formal education. Waldorf education is based in experiential learning and focusses on the individual development of each individual child.

The Acacia Tree Nursery School is run by partnership team Tom and Veliswa. Having been with the school since its inception, Veliswa's role has grown from teachers aid to fully fledged preschool teacher - specialising in Waldorf education. Veliswa is a huge part of the school - bringing with her a solid grounding in Xhosa culture which she loves to explore with the children. 

The school was built on the ethic of providing a nurturing and consistent schooling environment to all children - they offer a sponsorship program to disadvantaged families whose children attend the school.

Caught in action! Ball skills outside in the play ground
VA32 preschool volunteers work closely with Veliswa in the classroom, assisting with the everyday running of the school with tasks such as: preparing resources and equipment for activities like baking, arts, sewing, structured and unstructured play, assisting the children in taking part in tasks, helping out at meal and break times, helping to plan and facilitate activities and tasks.

Similarly to the Angels School, Acacia Tree is a nurturing environment where volunteers are encouraged to share their own passions, skills and experiences with the learners.

Volunteer Chloe - a dancer - sharing her love of
dance with the learners

Arts, crafts and play are a very
important experience in
foundation phase education

Find out more about the Acacia Tree Nursery School on their website -

Special Offer for 2016 Bookings

VA32 is currently seeking volunteers for the Community Preschool Project 2016 - we're running an incredible TWO for ONE on volunteer placements. 

Two Weeks TWO PEOPLE - £ 587 / $ 984 / € 807
Four Weeks TWO PEOPLE - £ 1 000 / $ 1 591 / € 1 400

T's & C's apply. To qualify for the offer all bookings must be confirmed with a 35% deposit by 31st December 2015.

Find out more by emailing or getting in touch with us via our website.

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