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people and places

Digital Learning Centre Assistant

Volunteer your skills in a learning centre which aims to provide children and young adults from rural areas with access to world-class education using digital technology.

About the Program

This program supports an NGO working to support education and opportunities for rural Africa by providing access to digital technology and teaching the skills to use it.  While the project has local staff, it needs volunteers to increase its efficiency and effectiveness in specific areas, so would welcome expertise in the following areas:

  • teaching or classroom support
  • developing proficiency and confidence in English through conversation and reading
  • expertise in digital technology, especially education-based programs and apps
  • working in the hospitality, media, music or conservation industries
  • creative arts activities for children
  • preparation of imaginative resources
  • teacher training
  • developing business skills and entrepreneurship
  • careers advisors
  • helping adult learners prepare for employment, assisting with CVs and interview skills
  • organisational and management support.

Why this is important

There are currently over 4 million unemployed individuals in South Africa, mainly in the rural areas. These numbers exclude work seekers who have become discouraged and are no longer seeking employment and this takes the expanded unemployment rate to an unacceptable 43%.   In addition, despite attempts in the last 20 years to introduce a fair education system which is open to all people in South Africa irrespective of colour, race or class, inequalities between urban and rural schools have never been more prominent.  This breeds a discouraged young generation who are insufficiently equipped for the job market, particularly in the digital age in which we now live.

About the Digital Learning Centres

Good Work Foundation opened their Digital Learning Academies to address this problem.  Their aim is to create ‘Centres of Excellence’ which leapfrog existing education structures and give children and young people in rural communities access to world-class education through the medium of digital technology.

There are currently five Digital Learning Academies, four of them in Mpumalanga Province and one on Free State Province.  The largest of these is Hazyview Digital Learning Centre in the village of Shabalala which opened in August 2012.

The Learning Centres are made up of academies that deliver English literacy, digital literacy and career-training to school-aged and young adult learners.  Open Learning Academies focus on digital literacy, English literacy, maths literacy, conservation and life skills for school-aged learners.  Career-Training Academies provide vocational skills courses and digital literacy tuition to adult learners. 

Each Digital Learning Centre partners with local schools, enabling children from these schools to have access to a wide range of educational apps and to up-to-date technological equipment, providing them with access to educational information from around the world and teaching them the skills to access it.  The programme has had an impressive impact on results, with the first school to send their learners to the DLC showing a 30% improvement in the National Assessment scores.

The primary focus for the Career Training Academies is to ensure that adults in rural communities have the opportunity to become digitally literate and employable.  Students complete courses in digital literacy, English literacy and have a choice of training courses designed to gain them employment.  250-300 young adults graduate from Hazyview DLC every year; many have gone on to university or further training, some are now running their own businesses.

Your Role as a Volunteer

There are many ways volunteers can support this project, depending on their skills and experience.  They may help to support the staff in their work with school children, or those training older students in digital literacy.  

They may provide support on one of the vocational courses, or help those providing careers advice.  

They may help to build the capacity of the training centres as a whole, or work in one specific area.  In all cases this is an opportunity to help support a really innovative project which offers real hope to children and young people from rural areas.

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
50+

Typical day

The day begins at 8.00 with a morning meeting, and lessons begin at 8.30.  The day ends at 16.00.  Lunchtime is from 12.30 – 14.00.  Volunteers exact timetable will vary according to which section of the Learning Centre they are working in.

The structure of the day varies for the different academies.  T

he Open Learning Academy for the school-aged learners mainly happens in the mornings, with children arriving by 8.30 and staying for between 60 to 90 minutes, before being replaced by the next group. Three groups of children are fitted into most mornings. Within each session, children are divided into groups of 8-10, and spent about 15 minutes on an activity before moving on to the next.

The ICDL course for young adults begins at 8.00, and each group of 50 students has a two-hour session, meaning 200 are taught every day.  English, Life Skills and Careers sessions for these students are mostly fitted into the mornings, but this can be flexible depending on what activities have been organised.  

As there is a high demand for places on the adult courses, course start times are staggered throughout the year.  Students are only entered for exams when they are ready, so finishing times also vary; there are usually three or four graduation ceremonies a year.

Details on Arrival

The Learning Centres are open all year round except from the beginning of December to the middle of January, so volunteers can join at any time of year from late January to the end of November.  

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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High school level
Required Documents
Life story and references
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:00

Any questions? Just ask. We at people and places are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator

Free-time activities

The Leaning Centre is located in Hazyview, a town on the edge of Kruger Park.  

There are many scenic drives and walks around the area, which our local partners can advise you on, and some sports facilities in the town.  Some volunteers also hire a car to explore a little further afield. 

 However the highlight must be a safari trip into Kruger Park which is only 10 minutes away.  

Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Sports
Contact & Reservation
$392
/week
$392
/week
4 - 12
weeks
4 - 12
weeks
18+
age
18+
age
Airport Pickup
Housing
Food
Internet
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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Services by people and places

Included:

  • self catering accommodation in a comfortable volunteer house
  • airport transfers
  • daily transport to work
  • full local orientation
  • project and placement liaison
  • contribution to project

Airport Pickup at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport

Volunteers will be met as they leave the arrivals hall by our local partner, who will have a sign with their names on it.  They will then be taken by car to their accommodation which is 23 miles away.

Accommodation

Self catering accommodation in a comfortable volunteer house in a safe gated community. The house is fully furnished and comprises a sitting room, kitchen with stove, microwave, fridge/freezer and washing machine, bathroom with separate bath and shower, and two bedrooms: one with twin beds and the other with a double bed. The house has a verandah and a small backyard.  

If two volunteers are at the Learning Centre at the same time, you would share the house but have your own bedroom.

The house is on a gated estate in the small town of Hazyview, about a 5 minute drive from the Digital Learning Centre where you will be working.  It is just a one minute walk from our local partner’s own home.  

Hazyview has a range of shops, supermarkets, banks, ATM, Internet café, doctor, pharmacy, restaurants – all the amenities you would expect in a small town.  

Bungalow
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$1,766.00
5 weeks
$2,060.00
6 weeks
$2,355.00
7 weeks
$2,649.00
8 weeks
$2,943.00
9 weeks
$3,237.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$4,120.00
Average fees
$392.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Hazyview/South Africa between 4 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. people and places will let you know about the final price during your application process.
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 people and places during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in South Africa

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for South Africa. Please check the visa regulations for South Africa.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in South Africa and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in South Africa.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP) in Nelspruit. 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.
Vaccine Checker
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.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in South Africa while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Shabalala, 1242 Hazyview, South Africa zoom="6"

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