Teaching assistant volunteering in South Africa

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Teaching assistant volunteering in South Africa

Environment

Our programmes are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this. But we make sure that local people benefit too.

Environment
We send out comprehensive pre-departure briefing, which includes a section on protecting the local environment. In particular we advise participants to take care with water, which is scarce in many of our destinations. We recommend they avoid unnecessary washing, using hand wash gel where they can. We also instruct them on how to dispose of waste properly, not to litter and, where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles which are not easy to dispose of environmentally. Those going trekking are advised to keep to marked footpaths so as to prevent further erosion of the landscape.

Our company is an environmentally responsible one that operates recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas, electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid.

Community

Meeting local needs
This project allows children living in some of the poorest townships in Port Elizabeth to have access to English-speaking volunteers and learn from them. As well as improving the children's knowledge of English, you will also contribute directly to the area’s economy. The volunteer scheme provides work for domestic staff at the accommodation. You will eat locally-sourced food and make use of shops and leisure facilities in the town. You will not be taking jobs away from local people. The project employs local staff where possible, but relies on volunteers to support them.

All our volunteers are fully trained on arrival and will work in groups when coaching the children so will never be left unsupervised. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Volunteers are required to have a referee and a background check.

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 South Africa’s poorer communities. 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.

All of our participants receive comprehensive pre-departure briefing as well as training on arrival. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation. They are also briefed on how to dispose of waste properly and where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles as these are not easy to dispose of environmentally.

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