Voluntours - Johannesburg
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Looking for something to do for your GAP-year? Tired of sitting in traffic and behind a desk – isn’t there more to life?
Are you an active and youthful 50+ traveller? Done the beach and safari holidays for the umpteenth time? Then a volunteer holiday is for you – leave more than just your footprint behind!
Volunteering your skills should provide not only you, the volunteer, with a rewarding and enriching experience, but should also benefit the community / project in a sustainable way. By volunteering with a multiple Responsible Tourism Award wining company like VOLUNTOURS you are assured that your and the community’s interests are looked after. Project durations vary from one week to 3 months. All ages welcome.
Unfortunately, in some cases, poor and vulnerable communities are exploited and do not benefit from volunteers. While volunteers in turn are made unrealistic promises, are over-charged and only a small portion of their spend goes into the community. This is why YOU must choose very carefully who you spend your Volunteer holiday with – you are a donor of your money, your skills and your time. Volunteer Responsibly.
Gauteng / North West Province
1. Community Pre-school Volunteering; Set in an impoverished semi-rural community the pre-school is owned by Sibongile and run from home. Starting out with few resources she now runs an effective community facility. Volunteers help with skill upliftment and improving the infrastructure. You do not need to be a qualified teacher, just a love for children, patience and a willingness to learn and share. Accommodation is either in the nearby traditional Ndebele Village lodge or living with a local family in their home.
2. Life Skills Volunteering: This semi-rural community has a great need for volunteers that can impart knowledge and skills to the children, the youth and the elders in a variety of areas. Your skills, interests and hobbies such as tutoring support for children, basic education for adults, teaching, computer literacy, sports, art, music, drama, DIY and so much more are likely to benefits the community. Accommodation is either in the nearby traditional Ndebele Village lodge or living with a local family in their home.
3. Bicycle Volunteer Project: This community run project, started by previous volunteer Nigel, provides affordable bicycles, small business opportunities, recreational support and tours in the rural community. Bicycles have 'revolutionised” the community and are no longer regarded as an inferior means of transport. Volunteers assist with designing and building of load carrying trailer, repairs, training and DIY opportunities. Accommodation is either in the nearby traditional Ndebele Village lodge or living with a local family in their home.
4. Eco-Build Volunteering: Help by building new or upgrade existing infra-structure in this rural and impoverished community. You don’t need previous building experience or be familiar with alternative building methods as you build with local people thereby creating employment and training community members. Previous projects include extending and renovating the pre-school, building pit latrines, water towers and traditional Ndebele huts. Accommodation is either in the nearby traditional Ndebele Village lodge or living with a local family in their home.
5. Solar Cooker Volunteering: Reduce fossil fuel burning and local deforestation by contributing to this environmental project by educating local communities about the benefits of solar cooking. Build simple but effective solar cookers, from very-day material, with and for the community members. The project was piloted by volunteers Alex (Australia) and honeymoon couple Brett and Betsy from America. Accommodation is either in the nearby traditional Ndebele Village lodge or living with a local family in their home.
6. Orphanage Volunteer Support: We work with a local orphanage in the community that we operate from. The orphanage which homes about 10 children, aged 8 – 19 years, has made education one of their priority goals for their children. You don't need to be a teacher to help with Primary and Secondary school tutoring. You need a desire to assist children with their learning / homework, computer work and clear stumbling blocks in a range of subjects.
7. Soweto Pre-school Volunteering: Volunteer at a needy pre-school in the township of Soweto, the most populous and trend setting black urban residential area in South Africa. The husband and wife team provide for as many as 90 kids from their community in their small home. Visit Nelson Mandela’s home and other struggle site in the area. Accommodation is at the only black-owned Backpackers in Soweto and is accredited by Fair Trade in Tourism SA.
8. Soweto Grassroot Volunteering: Volunteer within a community-based NGO that provides grassroot holistic support to children and families affected and infected with HIV and AIDS pandemic in our most populous urban township of Soweto. They provide support to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s); a home-based support programme and run poverty alleviation training programmes. Accommodation is at the only black-owned Backpackers in Soweto and is accredited by Fair Trade in Tourism SA.
Western Cape Province:
9. Dolphin Volunteer Experience: Receive a certificate in recognition of your love and interest in marine mammals and conservation. You get hands-on experience and theoretical exposure in the everyday running of a research organisation. Volunteers' gain exposed to a range of activities from the routine, to the 'CSI-like' fin-matching computer programme, to the spectacular! Volunteer input has contributed to the publication in many scientific journals.
10. Shark Volunteer Experience – Fair Trade in Tourism SA Accredited: Working with local experts and researches you will add to the growing body of knowledge aimed at understanding the impact of their declining population and to understand and interpret shark behaviour. You will play a pivotal role in observing, collating data and promoting these graceful and majestic creatures as well as other endangered marine mammals and animals. Observation takes place on their boats and during cage diving exercises.
Eastern Cape Province
11. Wildlife Volunteer Experience – Fair Trade in Tourism SA Accredited: Volunteer on a big-5 private game reserve and get hands-on behind the scene experience. A focus area is the monitoring the integration of the lions into the reserve by tracking and recording their behaviour. Community support is also an important aspect with regular visits to community projects. The Reserve is a successful conservation project which has seen the re-introduction of many species. The project offers a balance of conservation tasks, community involvement and fun activities.
Madagascar – Award Winning Charity Partner: 1. Madagascar Lemur Volunteering; 2. Madagascar Pioneer Volunteering; 3. Volunteer School Build. 4. Volunteer English Teaching.
Peru: Peru Amazon-Rainforest Volunteering
Nepal – Recommended Operator Partner: Nepal Volunteer Teaching
Malaysia / Borneo - Award Winning Partner: 1. Malaysia Orangutan Zoo Volunteering; 2. Orangutan Volunteer Experience; 3. Orangutan & Pygmy Elephant Voluntour
Mauritius: Mauritius Dolphin Volunteer Experience
Our partners and projects
Our communities, projects and partners are hand-picked to ensure that they meet our ethos of providing a volunteer product that is truly responsible, ethical, sustainable and transparent. Many of our partners are themselves award winners and fair trade accredited. Volunteers participating in our community projects are screened as they interact with orphans and vulnerable children. This is our way of protecting not only the volunteer but the community. We also work with our applicants to match their unique skills, interests and hobbies with the needs on the ground ensuring that a transfer of skill takes place where appropriate.
Of course we gained our award winning reputation by placing volunteers in community and conservation project across South Africa. Our exclusive portfolio has been extended to include key volunteer projects across the world so that you are able to travel and support local communities.
A variety of short, medium and longer-term placements are available ranging from one week to 12 weeks.
Our unique package allows you to volunteer and sight-see at the same time – “Voluntour” or travel with impact. To put it simply, we at VOLUNTOURS need your help to create a better world for people to live in and a better place to visit.
Our specialised Travel Agent, First Travel, is able to book all your international flights, accommodation and your additional local and regional travel needs as well!
Voluntours, P.O.Box 57, Halfway House, Gauteng, 1685, RSA, Tel: +27 (0) 11 315-4049, Fax: +27 (0) 11 315-4050
Marnie: +27 (0) 82 441 2749; Jeremy: +27 (0) 83 474 6801, Email: [email protected], Webpage: www.voluntours.co.za
2008 Winner - Chairman's Award
2008 Finalist - Best Social Involvement Programme
2007 Joint Winner – Chairman’s Award
2007 Highly Commended - Best Practice: Economic Impact
2007 Finalist - Best Social Involvement Programme 2008 TO DO! AWARDS Short-listed within top 8!
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