PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

Kaya Responsible Travel participant with the locals Kaya Responsible Travel participant with the locals

Wild Coast Schools Computer Literacy & Arts in South Africa

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

I am already saving for my return visit

I decided to volunteer for the simple reason that I wanted to use my skills to give something back to the communities who needed it the most and to experience something completely different from anything I had ever experienced before. Being a computer programmer, when I found the Wild Coast Computer Literacy project in South Africa, I knew instantly that this was the right program for me.

One of my main concerns before embarking on my volunteering experience was that I would not get along with the other volunteers in the volunteer house, and that they might all be really young. However, all my worries were wiped away almost immediately when I arrived as the experience of living together and all sharing the common experience of volunteering caused everyone to bond very quickly; even after a few days we were all close friends. And, by the time I left, I felt like I was leaving family, not only with the volunteers but also with the staff at the house and the office.

Not only did I find it very easy to get along with the volunteers at the volunteer house, I also was amazed about how easy it was to meet different people at the local backpackers where the volunteers often spent our evenings. I loved the friendly atmosphere and spent many evenings mixing with people from all walks of life. The friendly atmosphere was not limited to the backpackers; I found all the locals in Chintsa very friendly and the town was a small, beautiful, intimate place in which I really felt like part of the community. Even the local shopkeepers knew my name and would always take the time to have a conversation with me even if I wasn’t buying anything.

I found it refreshing to spend time with such different people than those I would normally hang around with back home in England; the new friendships I forged whilst in Chintsa are one of the highlights of my experience.

My main highlight was undoubtedly working with the children. I was completely taken aback by the fact that they were so alive, happy, and full of energy despite the fact they had nothing. Their boundless energy and enthusiasm meant that it was impossible for me to feel even the slightest bit down whilst being in their company. The fact that the children really appreciated me being there was an immense feeling and witnessing the children progress even in the short time I was there made the whole experience feel all the more worthwhile. There was no doubt in my mind that the work being carried out on the project would have a positive impact on these children’s futures and I was pleased to have been a part of making that difference.

It wasn’t just the people that I met that made my time so memorable, the beauty of the area and all the wildlife I encountered whilst there made my experience even more enjoyable and unique. Going outside for a 15 minute break between lessons and seeing giraffes, zebras and ostriches wandering past was a completely surreal experience!

Overall, I feel that after you have volunteered something inside you changes. I feel more alive than before and hungry to go out into the world and experience more of life.

I believe my whole perspective of live has changed. This experience taught me so much about myself; learning not to put myself first was one of the biggest things and I definitely think that the experience has turned me into a more considerate person.

I am already saving for my return visit and I am hoping that my company will donate a satellite terminal for them to use on the mobile computers project.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It is a once in a lifetime experience that I promise you will never forget!

It is the most rewarding and humbling experience. It makes you put your life into perspective and how we are all motivated by money and material things. These people have not one quarter of what we have but they know no different and are happy with their lot. The project creep into your heart and you leave a little piece of your heart with them.

Did you have any worries before you left?

Would it be safe? – yes perfectly as long as you are sensible and don’t take any risks.
How would the flight connections work? – JNB airport is huge but there is always someone to ask if you get lost
Will someone meet me from the airport? – greeted by a friendly face and my name on a board
Where will I be staying? – in a lovely house in a lovely village

Did anything surprise you?

How friendly the locals are, if you spend the time they love to chat to you.
The children love any attention you can give them
The children are not angels but cheeky little imps that you can’t resist.

You experience their culture and their way of life as opposed to just seeing the tourist parts. In a very small way you are making a difference

If anyone was thinking of doing this project I would say DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!!!!!!

Volunteer Experience:
I volunteered here 5 years ago and have always wanted to go back. The place, the people and the children always stay in your heart.

Living Situation:
The house is comfortable and warm. It is not slumming it by any stretch of the imagination. You have comfortable beds, running water and 3 meals a day. The added extra is the house mama who looks after the cooking and the cleaning of the house. You feel very looked after, even spoilt.


Community Impact:
The people, the place and the children are all truly special and will always hold a place in my heart

A typical week of my time on the project:

Monday morning – off to run Grade R (reception class – aged 5 -7 years old) at the farm school, this morning we are learning the letter A and number 1. We are learning to write, colour, play games and a story all in English to help the children learn the language.
Monday afternoon – off the orphanage to play with the children, do arts and crafts and teach computers. A small privately run orphanage where any help is welcome and the children love new people to play with. A very humbling place but happy children.

Tuesday morning – Grade R at the farm school. Its arts and crafts day! Today we are making play dough for the children to mould and play with. Then we are decorating Giraffe masks to wear and play outside as giraffes.
Tuesday afternoon – Sports with the village children at the sports field. The sports field has been creating in the last couple of years through fundraising and volunteers hard work. The village now have a football pitch, changing rooms, volleyball pitch and soon to be completed netball pitch. Volunteers help teach a variety of sports to the children.

Wednesday morning – Grade R at the farm school. It’s the letter B and number 2 today. The children practiced writing the letter and number, some have only just started school so haven’t even learnt to hold a pencil, others need to develop this skill.
Wednesday afternoon – We spend the afternoon together going on dune walks, walks along the coast or boat trips! Anything organized by the team!

Thursday morning – Grade R at the farm school. Its arts and crafts day again!!! This time we make cars from cardboard boxes and play with them outside. Next we also make bracelets from bottle tops and pasta necklaces
Thursday afternoon – the school concert. The whole school sings for the tourists in the hope they can earn donations to help their feed a child scheme. It is a truly amazing spine tingling experience that you shouldn't miss. The children have amazing voices and have no musical instruments, just them and their clapping and stomping. It makes you hair stand on end!
Sports afternoon – you rush back just in time for the second sports afternoon of the week. Sport is very important part of the volunteer project. It is hoped that by keeping the children active and giving them something to focus on, especially the teenagers, it will divert them away from early drinking and pregnancy. Plus the fact the younger ones absolutely love it!

Friday morning – Back to Grade R for more writing and learning. Its letter C and number 3. We always finish the day off with a story and songs. The children can sing a few songs in English and its where they practice for their starring role in the school concert.
Friday afternoon – is afternoon off. You can hit the beach, swim in the sea, go to Buccaneers the backpackers across the beach (also where to go for party time!!!), have sundowners cocktails at Michealas restaurant or hang out in Barefoot café.

Saturday and Sunday are your own – you can go on safari, ride quad bikes, go mountain biking, cultural tours and visit Mama Tofu and her village to learn about the local culture and customs, organize weekends away to Hogsback mountains or Cape Town or just hang out and enjoy the chilled out vibe of beautiful Chinsta.