WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
For any mother looking after her children is a rewarding and enjoyable experience; however, with few alternative childcare options available it also means that her opportunities to contribute financially to her family are limited. This project aims to provide that much needed support to families by providing a safe and fun environment for children to spend their days, allowing them to benefit from vital academic development. This also ensures that mothers have time available to undertake paid work and support the family financially.
Impoverished children from local townships often do not have the opportunity to learn English during nursery and their early education. This leaves them severely disadvantaged when they begin Grade 4, as most subjects from this point are taught in English. One of your main responsibilities will be to assist in the teaching of basic English to help prepare them for this transition. In South Africa English is described as the ‘bread language’, meaning that it is literally a life supporting skill which opens up an array of opportunities for the future and particularly those centred around the tourism industry.
This project is perfect for anyone hoping to make a real difference in a child’s life – help these enthusiastic, happy children to reach their full potential and support them in developing the skills which will give them the best chance in life.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
You will be working in one of a number of educational centres and nurseries in the Cape Town townships supporting disadvantaged nursery children in a crucial stage of their educational development. You will help lay the foundations of these children’s future success by encouraging and supporting their personal development and helping to deliver and reinforce a broad education.
You will be asked to help with a variety of tasks and activities during your time on the project, many of which may change on a daily basis depending on the needs and demands of the children in your care.
For the younger children, you will focus on their physical and social development, primarily helping them learn through play. Activities will most likely revolve around arts and crafts, music, drama and storytelling. Playing games, both inside and out, is the perfect opportunity to get to know the children you’ll be working with and is a great way to teach English in an informal but effective way.
Work with the older children will concentrate more on their literacy and numeracy skills. This aspect is vitally important to ensure that they are at a suitable level to continue through the higher levels of schooling. You may take part in formal classes, where you’ll take on the role as teaching assistant, or you may work with a small group on your own cementing information previously taught in class, or alternatively you could be working with a child on an individual basis, providing tuition with homework and any other academic issues they may have.
The project staff will ensure that you are always busy helping in some way or another. You will find your contribution to this project incredibly rewarding as you come fully to understand the very large difference that your small but valuable input can make.