St. Lucia, South Africa is a charismatic town on the North East Coast of the country. Just a short walking distance from the beach, St. Lucia is an ideal location for voluntourism. Here, you will be providing essencial services for an underprivelaged and undereducated population, while whitnessing the untouched beauty and breathtaking landscapes that South Africa has to offer. St Lucia is located within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and which is refered to as "Africa's premier bush-and-beach destination". The Park encompasses nearly half a million acres, providing a stunning and ecologically diverse area where five different eco-systems meet. You will find savannahs, wetlands, swamps, beaches, and above all, a wealth of wildlife. The area is home to the Zulu tribe, which has a vibrant and lively culture.
About the project
This project works across 3 different 'créches' or day-care centers run by local women and families. In total, the créches are home to over 200 children, who are in great need of additional attention and schooling. Volunteers on the project have also recently completed a brand new day care center to look after 80 children, many of whom are orphans. They built an adventure playground with swings and slides which the children can't get enough of! Volunteer contribution has helped refurbish classrooms, and added bedrooms to school facilities to help bring children in who live too far away to attend school regularly. Ongoing support for the local communities is paramount to the future of its children. Part of this support comes in education for the adults as well as the children. Many of the families in the community believe the HIV/AIDS virus to be a curse, and those affected are often rejected from their own communities and families, and often do everything they can to keep their infection secret. Helping these communities to understand the HIV/AIDS virus, along with teaching preventative techniques and treatment possibilities will provide them with hope, and the support they need to live their lives to the fullest.
Volunteer work and contribution
Volunteer work will vary day to day, but will be focused around caring for and spending time with the underprivelaged children of the local communities, as well as spreading knowledge, understanding, and awareness of HIV/AIDS to the surrounding area. Volunteers may also be asked to help on a partner project in the area, such as buildling, organic farming to encourage healthy living, and home-based medical care. Tasks volunteers may take part in include:
Teaching children basic themed lessons (with the aid of a translator)
Developing imagination and creative skills through crafts and games
Reading children's books
Helping with basic higiene, washing hands before meals
Feeding children and babies, distributing food donations
Helping to refurbish the day care centers to keep it a fun and exciting environment in which to learn
Running Holiday Youth Clubs during school vacations for 4-12 year olds.
Explaining, through simple methods approved by the UN, what the HIV/AIDS virus actually is, and how it affects the human body
Educating the public about how the virus is transmitted, and how infection can be prevented
Explain how, after infection, life can be prologed through medication, healthy food, and lifestyle changes.
You may expect to work from around 8:30am until about 16:30pm with a break for lunch.
Volunteers live at a large and comfortable project house, situated in the middle of St. Lucia. It is fully furnished, with a large lounge area, satellite television, a barbeque area, garden, and even a swimming pool! The house is located in a very safe residential area just a 10 minute walk to the town, and a 15 minute walk to the St. Lucia Beach and River Estuary. The house is staffed with a full time cook, laundry, and cleaning staff, along with a maintenance person. All bedding is provided, however you should bring your own beach towels. Rooms in the lodge are suitable for up to 4 volunteers.
Not Just Work...St. Lucia is a magnificent area not only to volunteer, but also to explore. One of the more special features of the area is the wildlife. Because you will be close to the coast, you might have the opportunity to spot dolphins in their natural habitat, explore the wetlands and the wilflife that live their, interact with different species of turtles and birds, and enjoy the quaint nearby town.
Min age 17 - Max age 80
Good physical fitness
Motivation to work with children and communities impacted by HIV/AIDS
Full travel & medical insurance
Immunizations (please consult your doctor)
To apply for this program, see Orphan Day Care