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Responsible tourism: Volunteer with school children in South Africa
Our volunteer placements are designed to contribute towards sustainability of the environment. We always educate our volunteers and partners of the environmental impact the create and how to best avoid or reduce this. 1. Animals : In South Africa if volunteers visit the Kruger Park we ensure that they go in with rangers and also are helping to conserve the natural habitat of the animals by adding with the rules of the reserve. We always book with safari tour operator that focus on safe tours for both families and animals. 2. Water: We make sure that our volunteers always refill bottles at home rather than buying mineral water. 3. Energy: We always ensure that our volunteers conserve electricity by turning off lights and fans at the house and at the project sites when not using these. 4. Transport: We always recommend walking and using bicycles where possible instead of walking. In South Africa most of our projects are in walking distance of the house and we also try to take all our volunteers in one van to avoid multiple journeys and more fuel usage that pollutes the environment. 5. Waste: We encourage all our volunteers and project partners to dispose of waste carefully and separate our plastic, glass and food waste. We also teach the children in the community to do the same and encourage them to think about the environment they live in. Activities such as planting trees, discussions on waste disposals and debates on environmental topics has helped us to create some awareness in the community.
The importance of the project: Our Partner organisation was established by four individuals in 2004 and registered as a Non Profit Organization in Aug 2006. Situated in South Africa, Limpopo Province, Mopani District, Bolebedu South, Fobeni Village – the organization initially focused on vulnerable children but as time progressed it was determined that a more holistic approach in service delivery was needed. South Africa has a high-cost, low-performance education system that does not compare favourably with education systems in similar developing economies. There is a multitude of well-publicised problems, including a shortage of teachers, under qualified teachers and poor teacher performance. In the classroom this results in poor learner standards, a lack of classroom discipline and is exacerbated by insufficient resources and inadequate infrastructure. On a government level, difficulties have been caused by a failure of appropriate inspection and monitoring, and confusion caused by changing curricula without proper communication and training. The need for volunteers and this project is necessary to help alleviate some of the problems faced in the community.
Meeting local needs: As well as helping to serve the local community an important role in protecting the local economy. The Kruger area relies on its wildlife and landscape to attract tourists, as there are no big cities nearby. The centre brings visitors to the area and has created jobs for local people. It also promotes local art and helps villagers to market their wares to tourists. By helping with education and English teaching, the local community can get jobs in the hotels and lodges around, earn a living and get out of the poverty trap that they may be living in.
Cultural sensitivity: We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in rural South Africa. Our policy is to send people to the developing world in small groups or individually. This minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination and helps them to integrate into the local community.
We also want to ensure that Teaching projects are following the guidelines of responsible travel. This includes :
Having Qualified teaching applicants taking classes only. Non qualified applicants can assist teachers only. Accepting long term applicants of 4 weeks minimum Making DBS checks compulsory Minimum of a days training on arrival Having a child protection code