Sunshine Educare is a pre-school and learning centre for an extremely neglected community which has recently been relocated to a new site called Wolwerivier - Wolf River. The KILROY Foundation and SAVE foundation have set up SAVE Together, an NPO that helps sponsor and fund the school. Volunteers teach and look after children between 3 months and 6 years. Classroom activities include fine motor skill development, mathematics development, literacy development as well as all programs offered at any other pre-school in South Africa. No experience is necessary as long as you are enthusiastic, like joining in with songs and games and can support and guide the children as they develop and learn new skills.
Sunshine Educare started in 2012 in one of the shacks (makeshift dwellings) in Skandaalkamp. There was no safe place for children during the day whilst parents were out and no access to an educational facility prior to the age of 6 years old. This meant that children as young as 2 were left to care for themselves and older children were kept from school to watch over their younger siblings. Babies were left in the care of other children (as young as 5 years old) so that parents could try and earn a bit of money to put food on the table.
With the pre-school, the children are now in the care of loving adults who play educational games and stimulate their young minds. They receive a cooked porridge and balanced lunch every day at school. The children are learning about social behaviour, hygiene, dental care and are treated with the respect and dignity every human being deserves.
The pre-school also serves as a place where children can receive the nutrition they so severely lack for their growth and development. Due to the extreme poverty, several families survive on nothing more than dry white rice, maize porridge or bread without anything on it. With this poor diet, the children are often sick, do not develop as they should and suffer the long term effects of malnutrition.
The school currently has three classrooms: Age 0 to 2 years, 2-4 years and 4-6 years. Each class has an unqualified teacher who is a local, unemployed woman with a natural gift of working with children. The teachers translate for the volunteers and assist them to be able to work well with the children. They are also there to help maintain discipline in the classroom. Although it is illegal, many other pre-schools use hitting as a punishment but this is not allowed here. Teachers are carefully chosen and taught how to work with the children. Volunteers run the classes and are encouraged to take initiative to use fun activities to teach the children. Here you can truly make a lasting difference in the lives of these children.
Flexibility to run your own programs and lessons
Using your initiative to create activities
Helping children develop life and educational skills
Experience working with children and groups within an organisation
Facilitating new experiences for children
Learning about South African culture and way of life
Making new friends for life
Day 1: Welcome to South Africa
You are collected from the airport and taken to your volunteer accommodation. You will be shown around and given a map of the area. Depending on your arrival time, you will meet your volunteer leader and learn more about your project, if you arrive late you will be given a time to meet your leader. You have the day at your own leisure so you can explore the beach, shops, bars and restaurants. In the evening we have a traditional South African BBQ, called a braai, at the hostel.
Day 2: Orientation Tour of Cape Town
Start the day with breakfast and head to SaltyCrax backpackers. A SaltyCrax staff member will teach you about the bus system before you head out to Cape Town city centre. You have two options to choose from:
1) Walking Tour
Do a walking tour visiting historical sites like the Castle of Good Hope and the Grand Parade. Learn about life under apartheid in South Africa at the Parliament buildings and the District Six Museum. Shop for African arts and crafts in Greenmarket Square and St George’s Mall.
2) Hop-on Hop-off Bus Pass
Board this open rooftop bus that takes you to all the sites you need to see such as Camps Bay, the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain... all from the comfort of your seat!
After one of the above activities you can take a bus or walk to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Sit back and sip a cocktail, enjoy some fresh fish and watch the ships in the busy working harbour or walk around taking in the shops, markets and musicians on the sidewalks. Alternatively, you can take the cable car up Table Mountain and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, or visit the famous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held in prison during the apartheid era (own expense).
In the evening head back on the local bus to Table View where you can start planning your next day. We will help you book and arrange all that you need. Later, you can join the staff, guests and the locals at one of the restaurants or bars along the beach front in Table View - all within rolling distance from the hostel where you will be staying the night.
Day 3: Sunday
You will have at your own leisure to relax and get ready before your project starts.
Weekly Schedule & Activities
Volunteers work 5 days a week from Monday to Friday for around six hours a day. Volunteers work in one of the 3 classrooms, playing and helping the kids to develop and have fun.
Volunteers will help in the daily running of the projects including:
- Stimulating smaller children in the younger groups with developmental toys, touch and by speaking English to them. We believe that speaking English to the children will assist them as they get older as English is compulsory later in their education. The earlier they learn, the more they will benefit.
- Supervising children at all times
- Helping with the baby room (changing diapers, feeding babies, assisting with naptime)
- Assisting in the vegetable garden where we grow fresh produce for their meals
- Helping with washing up after meals, cleaning classrooms, washing bedding and toys
- Maintaining a safe and hygienic environment for the children at all times
School & Public Holidays
This project runs all year round, however, during school holidays we run the project according to our holiday program which mainly takes place in the settlements/townships where they live. The program includes sports days, game days, outings to the beach or pools etc. During the holidays it's a time for the kids to have fun so the programs are less structured and may change depending on the number of children that arrive on the day. Working hours are generally from 08:00 to 14:00. Depending on the funds available you could also be involved in a construction or renovations program (building work, vegetable gardens, painting etc.).
School Holidays 2017:
31 Mar - 18 Apr
30 Jun - 24 Jul
29 Sep - 09 Oct
9 Dec - 11 Jan 2018
School Holidays 2018:
29 Mar - 09 Apr
23 Jun - 16 Jul
29 Sep - 08 Oct
3 Dec - 08 Jan 2019
In addition there are a lot of public holidays spread throughout the year. Please note that during the holidays, it's a time for the kids to have fun, so the programs are less structured and may change depending on the number of children that arrive on the day.
Due to Christmas and New Year’s celebrations between December 25th - Jan 2nd, all projects in Cape Town are closed, however, volunteers may still use the accommodation and food.
With every new arrival we have a safety and orientation briefing where we discuss issues such as general safety in South Africa for example, what to do in the settlements, where not to go, what to do in case of an emergency, sea currents, HIV AIDS and crime. There is a volunteer co-ordinator with our volunteers at all times while on project to ensure the safety of the children and volunteer. We offer all our volunteers 24/7 support and assistance.
Volunteers will stay in one of our volunteer houses with bedrooms sleeping 2 - 5 people. All houses are facilitated with electricity, hot water, a kitchen, one or two toilets, a bathroom with a shower, beds with linen (no towels). Male and female volunteers will share rooms unless otherwise requested. Upgrades to private single or double rooms are available at extra cost.
Volunteers are responsible for keeping their own room and volunteer house tidy. Two to three times a week a cleaning lady will be there to clean the house and change linen. The volunteer houses are at walking distance from shops, restaurants, entertainment, bus stops and the beach. The volunteer accommodation has a pool. Accommodation can be upgraded to private rooms for an additional cost.
Volunteers will be met at Cape Town International airport. On project days the volunteers will be transported by private car or mini bus. The vehicles are roadworthy and have all relevant licenses and liability insurance.
Volunteers will receive 3 meals a day which include:
Breakfast: self-catering breakfast of cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast & spreads
Lunch: self-catering lunch of breads, fruit, cold meats, salad & spreads
Dinner: a hot meal will be served every night. These range from a traditional BBQ, stews, casseroles, fresh vegetable etc.
Tea and coffee will be available all day.
All dinners will include meat, starch and vegetables.
A generous amount of food will always be given so no one will go hungry.
All other drinks will be at own expense.
A refrigerator is available for volunteer’s personal food.
PLEASE NOTE: Participants must advise us on their dietary needs when filling out the application form.
Visas & Insurances:
Visas and insurances are the responsibility of the volunteer.
Winter in South Africa:
Please note that May through to September are our winter months and it can get quite chilly with an average temperature ranging from 5 degrees Celsius at night to 15 degrees Celsius during the day. So please make sure to pack enough warm clothes if you plan your trip in that period.