Teaching projects in South Africa

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2016: 10 Oct, 17 Oct, 24 Oct, 31 Oct, 7 Nov
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Teaching projects in South Africa

Environment

We are based in a water scare region. Our volunteers are educated on the scarcity of such a precious resource upon arrival through orientation talks and sign-age throughout the volunteer house. They are encouraged to use as little water as possible when showering, washing dishes and doing laundry. This responsibility and awareness is also carried into the schools which we partner with. The schools have rain water harvesting tanks and volunteers work with teachers to educate learners about the importance of responsible water use at all times.

Our national power grid is unable to provide enough power for the entire country resulting in scheduled and occasionally unscheduled power outages. In both our volunteer house and office we encourage responsible use of energy - we educate both staff and volunteers about this through talks and signs in appropriate areas.

Secondary to this, we have created an innovative solution to the problem of reliable electricity in rural schools where we were previously unable to teach computer skills because of this factor. The Big Green eMachine is a mobile computer lab which powers the computers from a solar panel on the roof. There are batteries which store the power and are connected when the lab is in use.

Community

Our commitment to the community in and around Chintsa is extremely wide and varied:

FRIENDS & NEIGHBOURS - Our organisation recommends trips and tours to volunteers both locally and further afield. We recognise local tour operators and facilities that provide a responsible and authentic travel or cultural experience and encourage our volunteers to use these options as much as possible.

CAMPAIGNING FOR CHANGE - This is the essence of our organisation and project. The sub-standard level of government education available to learners in our area is a huge problem which exacerbates the poverty cycle and restricts the opportunities open to young people in the area. The Wild Coast Schools Project aims to tackle this issue in several ways - firstly through skill sharing and educating learners in computer technology which is a skill that is taken for granted by many. This knowledge and skill can lead to greater opportunities for education and employment later in life for these learners. The project also asks volunteers to lead by example in our partner schools; being punctual, prepared, always running lessons and activities according to timetable, being in control of the classroom and generally setting a good example to other staff members in the schools.

VOLUNTEERING & CHARITY - Volunteers are given the opportunity and encouraged to add to what they're giving to the community of Chintsa by taking part in additional initiatives in their free time. Local NPO Friends of Chintsa manage a wide range of initiatives in Chintsa including the local Soup Kitchen which recognises the need of underprivileged children in the area to have hot meals during the weekend (these meals are provided by the schools during the school week). Volunteers are always needed at the Centre to cook, clean bowls and dishes, help to organise and manage the serving and clearing away of food and equipment. Other initiatives supported by our volunteers include UNSTRESSED Surf School - a surf development initiative for underprivileged children and Bulugha School Feeding Scheme Concert.

A FAIR DEAL - The Wild Coast Schools Project was the World's First Fair Trade certified volunteer project. Since 2010 the organisation have under-gone a strict annual auditing process to ensure that our project, working conditions and training opportunities run in accordance with the Fair Trade guidelines.

LOCAL CRAFTS & CULTURE - Volunteers are often looking for something special to take home to loved ones as well as special experiences to remember of their time in Africa. Chintsa has an area at the entrance to the beach where local crafters sell paintings, carvings, beaded work and jewellery. Our organisation always recommends visiting these crafters when looking for souvenirs. We also encourage and facilitate trips to Mama Tofu who runs a traditional Xhosa Village experience nearby. Mama T is the oldest registered tour guide in South Africa at 94 years of age!

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