Community Outreach Volunteer in South Africa

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By joining our Community Outreach Initiative you will assist us in providing opportunities for members of Knysna’s underprivileged communities to better their lives. Our projects are aimed at empowering locals and moving away from the “hand-out” sentiment as we believe that this is the only way to move forward and develop a nation. By keeping the empowerment theme throughout our projects, we encourage locals to gain a sense of pride in the projects they are involved in, and hopefully we are creating a brighter future for poorer communities.

This initiative targets the main areas of concern in the local community: Health, Education and Nutrition, and aims to provide an all round service to the poorer areas of the community.

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based on 3 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Value 8.7
  • Safety 8.3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
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Review of Edge of Africa Volunteer Experience

My experience was organized by my university, but I fundraised money to go myself. This process raised awareness about Edge of Africa within my local community and social groups.
My experience was unique because I knew no one going, although I was travelling with fellow UoC students, we had never met before and were all from different departments within the uni. I now have friends for life from my trip. The bond we made was so strong, mainly due to the tough nature of the programme. Many of us got ill and had to overcome personal challenges during our 5 week trip which naturally made us closer as a group. I also met other volunteers in the volunteer house. Girls similar ages to myself, from Denmark, Switzerland for example.
During our stay. we were invited to learn about South African culture with our daily sessions about food, traditions and the community. The programme staff were also really welcoming and friendly, making sure we had everything we needed and were comfortable delivering out workshops. Going into pre-schools highlighted to me how different children's lives can be compared to home. The lack of resources (even paper and colouring pencils) was a shock to us, we just expected to have those kind of things. This made me reflect on my own school experience and really opened my eyes to the poverty in some communities in South Africa. One thing we all noticed though, was all the children were happy. They had so much energy, and soul about them, which lifted our mood every day.
My advice to future participants would be: go with an open mind, expect the unexpected, look forward to visiting the most beautiful varied country, be ready for a challenge, and don't worry too much about what you'll be doing or where you'll be staying. Edge of Africa really look after you and make sure you get the most out of your experience, for you and their community.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe some more support from staff whilst out on placement. We were dropped off at our pre-school with another volunteer who wasn't that helpful. It would have been useful to have had an Edge staff member to introduce us properly to the school and guide us in gradually. We were definitely thrown in at the deep end which was good for us, but it was a lot to take in all at once - especially after such a long journey!
I also think it'd be nice for staff to run weekly one-to-ones with volunteers. To talk through their projects, make sure they're doing okay in themselves and just to touch base.
Yes, I recommend this program

Best five weeks ever!

I met such amazing people in my five weeks in Knysna. I absolutely loved working in the pre-schools and interacting with the children who were so enthusiastic and cute. The various community projects we did were also great because the work Edge do is so important for the community and it was also very eye-opening for me to get a real sense of the difficulty of many people's situations. Myself and the other girls in my group are still in contact and all talk about going back someday!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Edge of Africa- Community Outreach.

I am currently in the Royal Air Force and studying through Open University. I volunteered with Edge of Africa for 2 weeks beginning of April 2017. If I could have stayed longer then I would have.
It was one of the best experiences of my life, the projects you will be involved in are all brilliant. Everyone in the organisation truly cares about the cause and works hard on running the projects they provide, I’m glad I got to be apart of it. We visited pre-schools,high schools elephant sanctuary and an elderly persons retirement home as well as other projects. I would recommend having a variety in the program you choose so that you can experience as much as you can and have a new experience to look forward to every day. On the weekends the brilliant staff organise the best excursions the area has to offer (they're insane!) Bungee jumping, shark cage diving, playing with a leopard? (one of my favourite experiences) They have it all. I feel I made a tangible difference volunteering and I now never take what I have for granted, which I believe is a great lesson to learn in this day and age. I would go back in a heart beat.

How can this program be improved?
I honestly wouldn’t know how it could be!
Yes, I recommend this program

About Edge of Africa

EDGE of AFRICA is committed to ethical volunteering and responsible traveling, providing volunteer and internship placements in Africa for gap years, career breaks, university internships, school groups and corporate team building projects. EDGE of...