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education support for children & young adults in a learning centre near Kruger Park (ED)

Location: South Africa
Project type: education support
Price from: £1365.00 - details below

Volunteer in education, digital technology, media & business-work in a learning centre on the edge of Kruger Park. The centre aims to provide children & young adults from rural areas with access to world-class education through digital technology.

Skills required

Whilst the project has local staff, it needs volunteers to help increase its efficiency and effectiveness in specific areas, and so would welcome expertise in the following areas:
  • teaching or classroom support
  • developing proficiency and confidence in English through conversation and reading
  • expertise in digital technology, especially education-based programs and apps, coding and robotics
  • working in the hospitality, media, music or conservation industries
  • creative arts activities for children
  • preparation of imaginative resources
  • teacher training
  • mentoring
  • developing business skills and entrepreneurship
  • careers advisors
  • helping adult learners prepare for employment, assisting with CV's and interview skills
  • organisational and management support

Main project details

Good Work Foundation (GWF) is a registered NGO and currently operates six Digital Learning Centres in rural South Africa, five of them in Mpumalanga and one in the rural town of Philippolis in the Free State province.
GWF supports rural communities through access to world-class education. Its digital learning centres are made up of academies that deliver vocational skills and career training to adult students and open learning in maths, English and conservation to school-aged learners through the medium of digital technology. 
Open Learning Academies focus on English literacy, maths literacy, digital literacy and life skills for rural and low-income elementary schools. These students are given access to tablet computers, to fully licensed education-based applications, and for the first time - under the guidance of digital learning facilitators - to technology that is focused on improving the "languages of access": English and digital.
Career-Training Academies provide vocational skills courses and digital literacy tuition to adult students.  About 90% of the current adult students are recent school-leavers who use the existing 12-month course as a "second-chance" bridging year.

Included in that year is: 
  • International Computer Driving Licence certificate, an internationally recognized end-user Microsoft Office Suite accreditation
  • A purpose built English course designed to focus on skills required to enter and succeed in the job market, assessed through Track Test, an online testing facility for non-native English speakers.
  • A Ready to Wprk course
  • A Media course which provides an introduction to the safe use of social media etc.
At the end of the year, young people should be more "employable," but they should also be in a position to sit at a computer in any rural space and enrol in an online diploma or degree.
Approximately 30% of these students then choose to specialise in one of the Academies.  Some continue their studies in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Academy. Along with an advanced Microsoft Office program, the academy offers A+ certification (computer technician) and N+ certification (network technologies, installation, and configuration).   Some specialise in the Travel and Tourism Academy whose online multi-media and internationally recognise Lobster Ink programme equips students with a thorough introduction to food and beverage management and other fields of the hospitality industry, including specialised modules in wine and coffee; alternatively students in the Travel and Tourism Academy may specialise in Conservation, equipping them for work in the nearby national parks.  The Facilitator Academy was opened in 2021, providing basic teacher training for those students who have been given work as facilitators for the Open Learning Programme.  All Academies are specifically chosen to provide a progression route to locally available employment. 

You can also volunteer on this project from home through our e-volunteer programme.  For more information about e-volunteering click here

To learn more about how the volunteer programme works with this project read more here.


We  live in a digital age. Access to the world's information now lies at our fingertips, whether we access it through our computer, our i-pad or our phone. In schools across the developed world it is becoming the main tool for learning, but in rural African schools, as in other developing countries, such technology is an impossible dream. How can overcrowded schools, with not enough teachers and few resources, be expected to build and maintain expensive media centres with the latest educational software and apps, let alone to have the digital expertise to make full use of them? So, more and more rural students are left behind because they cannot navigate the digital world, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots becomes wider and wider.
Hazyview Digital Learning Centre, which opened in 2012 in the village of Shabalala in the province of Mpumalanga, was built specifically to address this problem.  Hazyview, and the other Digital Learning Centres run by Good Work Foundation, aim to bypass existing educational structures and methods and give students access to the world's body of knowledge, and the skills to access it, through the use of digital technology.
Kate Groch, CEO of Good Work Foundation, says: 
`Access to great teachers, great technology, great curriculums and the Internet in rural Africa.  Today it's possible.  Tablets make it possible.  Cloud-based learning.  Forward-thinking apps.  Online course material.  High-speed broadband.  Inspired teachers.  If we can use digital technology to leapfrog existing education structures, then we can change the lives of an entire generation of young people in rural Africa.  And we believe we can.'

Whether you are a professional teacher or classroom assistant, retired or in work and looking for a career break, you can share your skills and experience with local teaching staff in this education development project. Other skills and experience will be welcomed too - take a look at the list of needs, as identified by the project, near the top of this page. 

'It was wonderful to be accepted as (almost) part of the furniture by the brilliant staff of the centres and to feel part of the GWF family.'  Volunteer, Paul

Minimum duration

4 weeks minimum
Placements of longer duration are also welcomed - please ask.

Living Conditions

Accommodation is provided in a fully furnished house for the exclusive use of volunteers in a secure housing estate, close to the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre, shops and restaurants. The house has two bedrooms so you may be sharing the house with another volunteer, but you are guaranteed your own room.  You will cater for yourself in the house - it will be your home for the duration of your stay.
The town of Hazyview has a small shopping mall, grocery stores, pharmacy, doctor, banks, ATMs, internet cafes, shops and restaurants.   You can get anything you need there. 
Alternatively accommodation can be arranged in a hotel in Hazyview

Project costs

From £,1365 based on 4 weeks in comfortable private self catering accommodation. NB double rooms are available at a reduced rate from £1,100

Based on rand at 20 to £

Read about our costs and pricing policy here

Watch an explanatory interview with programme director Sallie Grayson

How your money is spent based on a 4-week placement duration:
RSA 1365 ( 652GBP) direct costs in South Africa (airport transfers from Johannesburg, accommodation, daily transport and  orientation)
RSA 5160 (258 GBP) - project management, liaison & supervision in South Africa 
RSA3900 (195 GBP) - project donation in South Africa 

- recruitment, matching & project development in UK
Included: airport transfers, work day transfers, private self catering accommodation, full local orientation,  project & placement liaison
Your project donation will be used for the purchase of essential equipment. 

Not included:
flights, insurance, visa costs, meals, personal expenses such as phone calls, data packages for smartphones, medical expenses.

If you or your friends and family wish to make further donations to this project please contact us at

Recommended reading

'Long Walk to Freedom' - Nelson Mandela (a must read for all)

Kate Groch's TED talk

Project gallery

Project Reviews

Registered volunteers can learn about the local team for this project - LOG ON to learn more about this project and the local team we work with. Not registered yet? It's easy and free HERE!

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