Early Childhood Development in South Africa

Gain practical experience in the early childhood development field, while being based in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.


Program Information

This program is ideal for participants studying a related degree or qualification, as it provides an opportunity to applying practical experience to the theoretical knowledge gained in the lecture hall. Assist with teaching classes, coordinating extracurricular games and activities, and help young students develop to their full potential. Schools in this particular community require as much assistance as possible, as they are often overcrowded and under-resourced. You will directly assist in foundation building and setting learners up for the remaining years of their education.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

Working with children while they are in the early developmental stage provides them with a foundation to excel later in life, and gives them an opportunity to succeed that they may not have had otherwise. Utilise your theoretical learnings to implement specific foundational perspectives, including teaching concepts such as number sense, number concept, number development, spatial orientation and spatial insight, among others.

Educational support is one of the few things that can make a vast difference in the lives of these children and your work on this program with allow you to make a direct contribution to their lives and futures. By volunteering on this program, you will also get right to the heart of the needs of the community and work in collaboration with them to help realise help young educational and sustainability goals.

Highlights include:

  • Implementing theoretical learning in a practical environment

  • Making a direct impact on learners right at the beginning of their educational development

  • Growing your capacity as a global citizen, while participating with other volunteers from all over the world

  • Meeting inspirational people, making lifelong friends and falling in love with South African culture

Program Details

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Project Life

Weekdays

Your mornings will start at school, with a morning assembly and a teachers meeting, where you will help to outline the planned activities for the day. The rest of the day is spent in the creche or kintergarten, including teaching, organising and coordinating various activities and assisting the teachers you are working with to improve the general efficiency of the specific classroom environment. This is where you will be able to apply the theoretical learnings from your qualification to a practical environment directly.

During school breaks, participants will possibly assist with other necessary projects in the region, which will still be focused on promoting educational goals. This includes lesson planning, resource making, workshops, extra curricular activities, sport or other community programs or improvements and renovations to schools.

Accommodation

For the duration of your participation on the program you will live in an attractive coastal town just 1 hour outside Cape Town and Stellenbosch, with direct exposure to local culture and communities. Accommodation is basic with mixed sex rooms and bathrooms, hot running water and electricity.

Project Details

Working with children and providing them with the foundation to excel later in life, gives them an opportunity to succeed that they would not have had otherwise. Educational support is one of the few things that can make a vast difference in the lives of these children and your work with allow you to make a direct contribution to their futures.

How this project makes a difference:

Township schools in South Africa are generally under-resourced and overcrowded. Locally trained teachers require as much assistance as possible to provide the necessary levels of education to enable and empower children to have access to greater future opportunities. Basic language, numeracy and literacy skills help to provide a link between different communities, as well as build the foundation to assist the longer term development of the learners.

Cape Town's short, mid, and long-term objectives:

All of GVI’s programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

The following are the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Cape Town:

  • Improve the quality of education in Nomzamo and Zola.

  • Increase in-country capacity by providing training to marginalised people in South Africa.

  • Promote gender equality in the local community.

  • Solidifying early childhood development techniques in the classroom.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


Our 10 Ethical Commitments

 

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


 

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


 

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


 

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


 

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


 

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


 

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


 

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


 

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


 

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.


Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.


However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.


What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Exploration

Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate in programmes assisting various communities or endangered ecosystems, but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your downtime or further afield either before or after your programme.

Optional Side Trips

South Africa has such a wealth of fantastic opportunities for further travel. In Cape Town, you have easy access to the famous Garden Route, chances to explore the Cederberg Mountain range or take more time to enjoy the vibrancy of Cape Town. Other possibilities include the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains, the beauty of the Kalahari Desert, historic Zululand, the fantastic Southern Coast, the world-renowned National Parks of Kruger and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, and many more amazing options in this stunning country.

The Team

Shayle Havemann

Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.

When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!

Katelin Ryan

Service Learning Manager Cape Town

A sustainable development extraordinaire with a great commitment to create sustainable solutions for local communities. Katie has worked in South Africa for many years before her role with GVI and after completing her Master's degree in International Education she joined our team of professionals.




Her credentials include over eight years of volunteering, teaching, managing, and leading international education programs around the world. This includes working in zero-waste policy communities in New Zealand, and in an orphan bear refugee center in Croatia.




As our Service Learning Manager she is excited to use her experience designing experiential education programmes and managing community programmes.

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  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

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