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e-volunteer - care points for vulnerable children in Swaziland (EV)

Location: Swaziland
Project type: e-volunteer
Price from: £400 ie £33.00 per week - details below

Work from home to provide support for disadvantaged children through education, child care, creative skills development, life skills training - there are numerous ways for your work to benefit the children, their teachers and local workers.

Skills required

We work closely with the local people who manage this project, and they have identified their primary volunteer needs as follows:
  • helping to teach the children English, maths, life skills and creative subjects to prepare them for school
  • preparing resources to help the children learn
  • encouraging learning through play
  • organising activities, games and educational outings for the children 
  • teacher training and curriculum development
  • therapists and counsellors to work with children with particular needs
  • taking part in community awareness initiatives such as running parenting classes
  • providing expertise on nutrition
  • constructing basic shelters and helping to improve existing shelter structures
  • developing gardens, water systems and structures needed at the centres and child-headed households
  • getting involved in fundraising activities and organising events with the aim to raise awareness and funds, which will in turn benefit the vulnerable children
The Neighbourhood Care Points (NCPs) require your help in many ways.  They cater for children aged from 3 to 6 but frequently have only one teacher, so classroom support is urgently needed.  They are mostly untrained so welcome any form of advice on teaching methods and ways to help their children learn through play.  You can help to organise activities for the children and prepare resources to make their classroom a more interesting place for them.  You can also help with children's individual needs, either educational or physical, or with community support projects, all with the aim of creating a healthier, more supportive environment for the children to live in.  You can help to develop the infrastructure for the NCPs, including the play areas and gardens.
Whilst educators, social workers, administrators and professional fundraisers are desperately needed, the project leader will welcome anyone who is willing and able to support the local team as they offer comfort and support to the children in the Care Points and local communities.
The NCPs operate in the mornings, from about 8.00 to about 12.30.  Volunteers' hours would vary according to their specific placement outline, but might include some work in the afternoons with teachers or the local community, or helping at homework clubs for school children who have graduated from the NCPs, or in the preparation of materials to support the curriculum.
This project offers a responsible alternative to the volunteer who would like to work in childcare but is rightly concerned about the ethics of short term volunteer work abroad in an orphanage.

How you can help !

This programme offers the opportunity to volunteer without leaving home for little or no cost.

Main project details

The project is based at six Neighbourhood Care Points where basic education, life skills and two meals a day are provided to vulnerable pre-school children.  The Neighbourhood Care Point initiative was originally started by UNICEF to provide support and care for children left without adequate family support because of the effects of the HIV/AIDs epidemic.  There are many NCPs throughout Swaziland, some run by NGOs, some by churches and some by the local community.  Their over-riding aim is to provide orphaned and vulnerable children with the care and support they and their families need to enable them to continue to live within their community.  Many children are cared for by grandparents or other members of the extended family.  Many of them are more vulnerable to abuse in all its forms than children brought up in more conventional families.  The NCPs are an important source of stability in their lives.  In addition the NCPs supported by this project aim to provide the right nurturing and educational environment to get children ready for school.
These Neighbourhood Care Points are basic, rough structures, located near community dwellings, although with volunteer help they are gradually being improved and extended.  The people of the community run the care points in conjunction with our local partners and volunteers from the communities look after the children, teach them and prepare their food.  All the NCPs have a garden where food is grown to supplement the meals.

During the pandemic the NCPs were forced to close as educational establishments; after a short while they were able to reopen as feeding stations - children came for food which they took home to share with their families.  Volunteers have been unable to travel to Swaziland but through e-volunteering there will be many opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge of the teachers by linking up with them remotely - one example is a volunteer and a Swazi teacher working together on a computer coding course which will form one of the activities offered to older children in the after-school homework club when schools are allowed to reopen.

Read more about how the volunteer programme works with this project here.


Despite its stable history and peaceful reputation, Swaziland has the world's highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate which has taken its toll on the population leaving many children orphaned or vulnerable. It also has an unemployment rate of about 30% which rises to over 50% among the youth. These factors combine leading to approximately 63% of the population living below the poverty line.  Young people in particular are increasingly becoming vulnerable to poverty; around 31% of children in Swaziland experience health challenges due to malnutrition, and on average children attend school for just seven years. Many of Swaziland's children have lost their parents and thus face food shortages, lack of adequate shelter and care, and most of all lack of attention and love. 

'This project is excellent for early learning volunteers, very well organised, possibly the best organised of all the projects I've been on.' Volunteer, Yvonne
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 childcare staff in this education and community 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. 

Minimum duration

Flexible depending on the type of e-volunteer work you are able to do

Living Conditions

You will work from your own home

Project costs

£400 based on a 12 week placement
£100 placement design,management and support Swaziland including regular video conferencing with you and the volunteer coordinator and project leader
£100 project contribution to fund the ongoing work of the NCPs and to cover any costs involved for the NCPs to facilitate your placement - eg purchase of materials locally 
£200 matching, preparation support in the UK including regular video conferencing with you before and during your placement and liaison with local partners
You will need to go through the people and places matching and monitoring process, which includes an up-to-date enhanced DBS check - if you require a new DBS check the cost is currently £18.
You will also need to cover the cost of any resources you wish to buy in the UK to support your e-volunteering work.
If you or your friends and family wish to make further donations to this project please contact us at
Why are we asking you to pay? Please take look here to learn why our work would not be possible without a payment from you

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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