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e-volunteer - community development through education and training near Kruger Park (EV)

Location: South Africa
Project type: e-volunteer
Price from: £400.00 - details below


Volunteer from your own home , working with local staff at a learning centre on the edge of Kruger Park which aims to provide children and young adults from rural areas with access to world-class education and employment opportunities 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 any of the following areas from online volunteers:
  • developing leadership and management skills
  • team management
  • mentoring
  • coaching (personal and professional)
  • conversational English
  • career guidance assessments and interviews
  • running an online book club
  • mindfulness and/or yoga
  • working with trainee facilitators on various aspects of their training course
  • teaching phonics/English
  • teaching Maths
  • Blended learning
This programme offers the opportunity to volunteer without leaving home for little cost.

To see a mindfulness video produced by a volunteer for the GWF team click here

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.  All Centres were forced to close by the Covid-19 pandemic and remained closed from March to July 2020, during which time the GWF team created public information videos about the pandemic in a number of South African languages.  The Centres reopned slowly during the second half of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, operating a mixture of face-to-face and online learning.
 
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. 
 
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 Work 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. Others choose to advance their studies in the Media Academy, which offers online and practical training in areas ranging from writing blogs to making films.  Some join the newly formed Facilitator Academy where they can learn to become facilitators (teachers) at the Centres, following the GWF philosophy of 'growing their own staff'.  All Academies are specifically chosen to provide a progression route to locally available employment. 

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.

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

Context

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 have skills in community work, business or education, are retired or in work, you can share your skills and experience with local staff in this 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. 

'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

Flexible from 6 weeks, depending on the type of e-volunteering work you are able to do and how much time per week you can spare - we recommend a period of 12 weeks.

Living Conditions

You will work from your own home

Project costs

£400 based on a 12 week placement

Based on rand at 20 to £
 

R2000 placement design,management and support in South Africa including regular video conferencing with you and the volunteer coordinator and project leader
 
 
R2000 project contribution to fund the ongoing work of GWF and to cover any costs involved for GWF 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 £29.80.
 
 
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 sallie@travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk
 
 
 
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


Recommended reading

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

Kate Groch's TED talk

www.education.gov.za

Project gallery



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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