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Khaya Volunteer Projects

Community Assistant

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Missionvale Care Centre focuses on people in need in Missionvale township, and offers a variety of services such as education, healthcare and more.

About the Program

The Missionvale Care Centre operates in the extremely poor shack township of Missionvale in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The centre was founded by kindhearted Sister Ethel, an expatriate Irish nun, who started offering help to this needy community under a tree between the shacks. Today, it is a centre that provides care, love and material support to the poor, with particular emphasis on and attention to those living with HIV/AIDS.

Missionvale Care Centre is a non-profit organisation committed to providing quality care and support to improve the lives of the residents through love, participation and self-development.

The help of all types of volunteers is desperately needed, but nursing and medical volunteers and anyone who doesn’t mind hard work, while coming face to face with extreme poverty, are especially welcome.

Participating in this project is both challenging and diverse. You will get acquainted with circumstances in which 70% of South Africans live today. By volunteering here, you get to experience their lifestyle and Xhosa culture. We need volunteers who are independent and mature as they will be facing misery and poverty every day.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • You need to respect the vision and mission of the project.
  • Have an independent attitude and be willing to get very busy.
  • Be flexible in the tasks and activities and changes that will happen.
  • Be open minded and mentally strong, and have the will to make a difference

Typical Tasks

Primary school: About 140 kids attend school here and need assistance with reading, writing, social skills and sports – as well as individual personal attention. Volunteers will also make sandwiches for the kids’ lunch, and their play time needs to be supervised.

Nutrition unit: Volunteers provide the people of Missionvale each day with half a loaf of bread and a scoop of nutritious soup powder; making it possible for them to go home and cook a meal for their families. This unit also distributes food parcels weekly to the families who are on the care centre’s adopted list.

Medical support and clinic: An optometrist visits the centre once a week and provides free eye tests and glasses where necessary. The centre is always looking for old glasses that can be recycled to use here because giving a person the ability to see again is an amazing gift.

The clinic acts as a one-stop facility where people can go for a check-up and other additional care – and it’s mainly aimed at people with tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. There are qualified nurses working at Missionvale, but not enough can be done and we call out to anybody with a medical or nursing background to volunteer here and make a difference so more patients can be helped.

Crafter unit: The women working here work very hard on various projects such as curtains, placemats, handbags, aprons, pillows and more. These items go on sale at Missionvale Care Centre as well as at weekly fairs. These women are taught the basics of sewing and gain experience, which increases their chances of being employed by businesses in the area. Volunteers can assist and give creative input.

Child support and development: An afternoon program is available to make sure the children stay off the streets and are able to play safely. They get a meal, computer lessons, listen to stories, learn how to play the drums and take part in cultural dances and play sports outside. Volunteers must be energetic and patient!

Clothing warehouse: Clothing donations are cleaned and sorted so that anyone in need of clothing can be assigned a parcel with clothes that fit and are clean. Give us a hand!

Community gardens: The residents can plant and grow their own fruit and vegetables and donate some of their harvest to the soup kitchen. Volunteers with a green thumb can apply it here!

Guidance and Supervision

Coordinators of the different units will guide and supervise you throughout your stay.

Typical day

Volunteers will generally work from 8.30AM until 5PM on weekdays including the following tasks.
  • Food Distribution
  • Take care of children in school
  • Do sports with children
  • Gardening help
  • Home visits
The start of any volunteer at Missionvale will provide you a program to assist at all the units after which we will be able to look at your personal interests and talents to make a personalized program. 


Free-time activities

The Eastern Cape and the surroundings of Port Elizabeth show a large variety of natural beauty and make PE a great central place to visit the variety of South Africa. To the East you will find the Wild coast (former Transkei and Ciskei) which is mostly rural and undeveloped, but closer you will find Addo Elephant Park and great coastal villages such as Port Alfred. To the North you will find the great Karoo; a semi desert area with wide open spaces, large nature areas and long open roads with historical places such as Graaff Reinet, the Baviaanskloof Wilderness and much more. To the East towards Cape Town, you will be amazed by the Tsitsikamma National Park, holiday villages such as Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and natures Valley or the surf mecca of Jeffrey’s Bay. This gives you plenty to see and visit while you are here.

During the weekends or after work there are a few beautiful places in Port Elizabeth as well that you can visit. Such as SAMREC, where you have the biggest penguin colony in the world, Sardinia bay, or catch a boat and go sandboarding on the Sunday river.

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Sports
Riding

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Be comfortable around another non-western culture and be ready to help with any tasks that might come up.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:30 - 17:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

Any questions? Just ask. We at Khaya Volunteer Projects are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Khaya Volunteer Projects.
Services by Khaya Volunteer Projects

Information and assistance before departure - Pick up on arrival and drop off at the end of your stay - A welcome pack with an information guide, free SIM card and maps - All meals - Accommodation in our beach front volunteer house - Daily transport to and from the projects - City Tour and Introduction Programme - Direct donation to the project - Volunteer support and coordinating - Free social activities

Airport Pickup at Port Elizabeth International Airport

Your airport pickup is included in your fee when arriving on Monday or any other day of the week. If you choose to arrive on a weekend, we will gladly organize a cab to pick you up (or you can take an Uber) to any accommodation of your choice. We will collect you there on Monday morning at 9AM to start your stay with us.

 

If you prefer to come to us directly over the weekend, as well as when you depart again, we will charge an extra Weekend Fee of R200 (15 EUR) for your pick up or drop off. An additional R250 (20 EUR) per night for any extra nights outside of your booking dates. Please discuss your personal preference with us to make sure all is prepared for you.

Accommodation

The volunteer house lies in the popular beach front area of Humewood, and is only a 5 minute walk away from the beach. Shops, beachfront cafés, restaurants and access to other facilities are all within easy reach.
The volunteer house offers spacious living conditions and is shared with other volunteers.It is fully furnished and has all the facilities needed and more, we have shared bedrooms and bathrooms (so you might share your room), a large swimming pool and 2 lounges.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Our full time cook, Melanie will provide all meals at the volunteer house on a daily basis. This means you will be able to enjoy great South African home cooked meals, learn how to cook some of these specialties and have a House Mother to comfort you when needed. Melanie is a lady with a warm heart and even bigger embrace for those that need it and she will look after the house and the meals to provide the best possible.

We believe in participation, so volunteers will not be sitting back and get served, they still need to help her cook at times, chop vegetables, clean dishes and warm up the food for dinner themselves.

Melanie will create weekly menus offering breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as alternate meals like stews, curries, stir-fry, soups, pastas and other wholesome options. Meals will be prepared and cooked from Monday to Friday, where on weekends volunteers will only have to heat up a meal or make their own similar meals.

There is free coffee, tea and cordial juice available at any time. For breakfast you will have toast, fruit, yogurt, cereal and/or eggs. For lunch you can have sandwiches with cheese, marmalade, cold meats or other spreads. Please tell our coordinators about any wishes, vegetarian wishes and allergies concerning food.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
$370.00
8 weeks
$2,220.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$3,220.00
Average fees
$319.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Port Elizabeth/South Africa between 1 week and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Khaya Volunteer Projects will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Khaya Volunteer Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Africa Southern Africa South Africa Port Elizabeth, 3 Chalmers Road, Humewood
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