Cape Town Community Project

The Cape Town Community project is a non-profit organization committed to providing quality care and support in order to improve the life of the people of Lofdal, Cape Town. They give love, consultation, participation and self-development and respond to the many needs of the people in the circumstances in which they live.

Project includes the following

Accommodation Yes
Meals Yes
Transport Yes
Project co-ordinator Yes
 

Cost of Project

1 week 254 euro 340 USD 210 GBP
2 weeks 514 euro 690 USD 420 GBP
3 weeks 754 euro 1020 USD 615 GBP
4 weeks 984 euro 1330 USD 800 GBP
Extra weeks 250 euro 330 USD 200 GBP
Transfers (return) 76 euro 110 USD 60 GBP
 

About this project

The Cape Town Community project is a non-profit organization committed to providing quality care and support in order to improve the life of the people of Lofdal, Cape Town. They give love, consultation, participation and self-development and respond to the many needs of the people in the circumstances in which they live.

The Cape Town Community Project operates in the extremely poor informal shack land township of Lofdal and Kraaifontein, which are two of the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in the Western Cape, South Africa. Since 1994 we have seen this community expand, from a mere 85000 people to more than 200 000 people, most of this relocated from provinces and countries of origin in search of a better future. Many of them were not successful in this quest and had to settle for a minimum wage, day to day employment and low cost housing. Due to the lack of sufficient income, because of to the scarceness of work in South Africa, with its 45% unemployment rate, poverty, child neglect, alcohol abuse is at the order of the day. A large numbers of people staying in Bloekombos are treated for TB , HIV and Aids related illness. The successes of these treatments are many times delayed due to malnutrition and the lack of food.

The help of volunteers is highly appreciated as there is a variety of projects to do and support needed. The project has the following options for volunteers to come and help out:

Helping with Food
Helping with the preparation and cooking of meals that get transported to be handed out to the different communities in need.

Foster Care (not orphanage)
Helping with the daily running of the foster care. There will be 2-8 abandoned toddlers at a given times. The ages range from very small babies until 5 years of age.

Crèche
Helping with the daily running of the crèche with toddlers between the ages of 6 months to 5 years. These children are looked after while their parents are working during the day.

Grade Learning Centre
Hlep run CrechesHelping out at our preschool caring for 183 children (five classes), giving individual care and assistance to children and educator’s, organizing and playing games, exercise, singing and dancing.

Aftercare facility
An afterschool programme to accommodate the children of working parents of the nearby community. During the afternoon the children will be fed and thereafter take an afternoon nap.

Rehabilitation centre
This centre presents life skills to recovering substance abusers (men and women) from the age of 18 years and older for three months. They are accommodated in two separate homes on the premises of the project. Thereafter the men or women have the option to extend their stay with another three months on a volunteering basis in a different aftercare program where they will be serving the community.

Gardening
Agricultural work in the community gardens to supplement the soup kitchen and family’s needs.

Project needs
The project has an on-going challenge to make ends meet and especially financial donations are very welcome. There is no obligation of course but if you do want to fundraise for this project we advise to bring the money and see where it is spent in the best possible way.

Employees
You will work hand in hand with the local staff and meet a variety of people as coordinators, kitchen staff, care givers and teachers.

Daily guidance
Daily guidance will be given by the coordinators of the different units.

Other volunteers
Take care of African kids at crechesYou most likely won’t be alone when volunteering at the Cape Town Community Project and meet both local as international volunteers at this project. We get volunteers from all over the world, such as USA, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, UK and many other countries. We do focus on an individual and personal approach and as a small organization we cannot guarantee that there are other volunteers at all time.

Tasks and activities

Daily activities
Because of the combination of all these programmes it is possible for volunteers to help out in different ways. You can help with the distribution of food, the children in the school, help in the gardens and much more.

Working days and hours
You are expected to work on weekdays from about 8h00 until 15h00, but times can differ due to the activities you can be involved in. Weekends are off for visiting Cape Town and enjoying a variety of tours if you like.

Area description

The area
You will be working and staying in the Kraaifontein area. Kraaifontein has a community which consist of mixed backgrounds, but is mostly black (IsiXhosa speaking) or coloured (Afrikaans speaking). It has many challenges of which some are the problems with tik (Meth amphetamine) which leaves many youngsters addicted creating new problems in the area, but especially general housing conditions (shacks or bad stone housing), unemployment, lack of services such as social services, lack of medical services, substance abuse, poverty, domestic violence and much more makes it hard for this community to rise up and change positively.

Safety
Despite general ideas of South Africa being very unsafe it is important to know that South Africa is known to many as very friendly and welcoming. But please remember that you must realise that in big cities you have to stick to a certain conduct of behaviour to avoid complicated situations. As 70% of people live in poverty and few are extremely rich, the differences in live and hope for a better future creates a situation that fuels crime, lack of education, substance abuse, domestic violence and many more problems.

Cape TownTo keep safe we advise you to:

  • Do not walk at night, use a cab!
  • Walk in a group where possible and stay on roads where you are in sight of other people.
  • Do not walk around with valuables.
  • Do not carry a backpack on your stomach; its shows you have valuables and are a tourist.
  • Have a phone and airtime so you can call somebody for help if you are lost or feel unsafe.
  • Especially to be confident and know where you are going.
  • For your own safety we request that you do not wander into the township alone.
  • Only draw money in shopping centres and other secured areas.

Activities
During weekends there are lots of activities to enjoy and see the diversity of Cape Town and South Africa. We suggest you go stay at a backpackers lodge in Long Street, climb Table Mountain, visit Robben Island or go wine tasting in the Winelands. The project works together with several local tour operators so when you are there they can help you plan your activities for the weekends.

Accommodation

Host family
African HomestayHost Families are carefully selected by the project considering safety and sociability. This option allows you to be part of a local family whilst making a financial contribution to the household that you will be part of. You’ll have your own room in a brick-built house with running warm water and electricity. There won’t be any luxury but you will be in a well-kept and (most important) safe environment.

Meals
Breakfast, a packed lunch and supper is included in your fee. These will all be basic home cooked meals. Should you have any special dietary needs, these grocery items will be at your cost and is not included in the proposed pricing. Luxury items are also not included.

Shopping
There are some shops within walking distance where you can buy your luxury times and/or special dietary items. Larger shopping malls are not within walking distance, so you will need to use a taxi for this.

How to get there?

Arriving at the project
You will be welcomed and picked up upon arrival at the airport or hostel in Cape Town and brought to your accommodation. When you leave you will be brought to the airport as well.

Daily transport
Assembly at Great Learning CentreThis Transport from and to the project is arranged and included in the price. You will be picked up and taken home every day by one of the staff members.

Possibilities for arranging own transport
If you have any travelling plans before or after your stay or for weekends it is possible to rent a car if you would like to. The volunteer project co-ordinator knows of several options to rent cars fairly cheap, so let us know if we can assist.

Costs

Your donation will not only be helpful for the support of these projects but will also be used for the maintenance of buildings in the area, food for children and for the organization of activities.

1 week 254 euro 340 USD 210 GBP
2 weeks 514 euro 690 USD 420 GBP
3 weeks 754 euro 1020 USD 615 GBP
4 weeks 984 euro 1330 USD 800 GBP
Extra weeks 250 euro 330 USD 200 GBP
Transfers (return) 76 euro 110 USD 60 GBP
 

Break down of volunteering fee
Accommodation, meals & transport 30 %
Direct donation to the project 30 %
Coordinating and pick up costs 15 %
Admin and Marketing costs 25 %

Costs will cover the following:

  • Personal collection upon arrival from the airport
  • Transport to and from the projects from the accommodation
  • Accommodation: host family stay
  • Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner
  • Guidance and supervision during your stay

Costs are excluding the following:

  • Air tickets
  • Insurances
  • Personal luxuries
  • Tours and outings

Dates and duration

Volunteers can start at any given time. Keeping in account the South African school holidays where volunteer wants to come and participate in school program it will have to change to holiday clubs which has to facilitated and coordinate well in advanced.

ConditionsTeach a class

  • To be enthusiastic and independent, in order to complete (with guidance) a successful term
  • To show respect towards the people and culture of the local community. You might not agree with certain ways of conduct during your term here, but don’t forget you are a guest here, and you can’t try to change everything in a period of just a few weeks.
  • This is a faith based origination and its policies and procedures are Christian founded. Volunteers are not forced to participate but they would be welcomed to interact as to experience local social interaction.
  • Volunteers would be required to respect the structures that is in place
  • Volunteers would be given the freedom to introduce alternative ideas in assisting the different programs and its participants with the consent of the program directors.
  • To be a Go-Getter!

Fundraising

If you like to do more for your project and fundraise before you come we of course encourage this and although 15% of your fees will be donated directly to the project on an annual basis there is always a need for extra financial help.

If you are willing to fundraise we advise that you bring money instead of clothing, toys etc. as it tends to be much cheaper to buy things in South Africa and you learn while you are here where the biggest needs are at that moment.

Here are 10 tips to start fundraising;
1. Think, ‘who do I know'?
Successful fundraising costs nothing and reaches everyone. Think: "who can help me?" Build your strategy around what you already have and who you or your network knows.
2. Always keep your reasons for travelling in mind
Being passionate about what you want to do will bring in the donations - especially when you are ‘face-to face' fundraising. So don’t make up this nice story about the children that need you; be honest and tell with passion why you want to do this and you’ll see that people appreciate that even more.
3. Do research
Get busy and Google until late in the morning, there are loads of options and examples to be found on the internet that can help you with new ideas.
4. Make a fundraising leaflet or letter
Explain your plans and why you want to do more. Showing information and pictures of the project you are fundraising for will help a lot.
Successful fundraising costs nothing and reaches everyone. Think: "who can help me?" Build your strategy around what you already have and who you or your network knows.
2. Always keep your reasons for travelling in mind
Being passionate about what you want to do will bring in the donations - especially when you are ‘face-to face' fundraising. So don’t make up this nice story about the children that need you; be honest and tell with passion why you want to do this and you’ll see that people appreciate that even more.
5. Have a goal
Set a goal for an amount you like to reach. Set your targets and focus on reaching those.
6. Ask for specific donations
Think of asking for 10 pounds or 20 euro. Make it a specific amount with the freedom for donors to give more of course and explain how far you are with reaching the final goal.
7. Write well-targeted letters
Target individuals, privately or in any company, this works much better then asking a company for a donation, go for the manager or owners and if you are passionate enough they will want to help.
8. Organize a fundraising event
Make it stand out and draw attention to your goals, get sponsorships and give publicity to any companies who have already donated to your cause or similar causes. It is a good idea to go for local press coverage too, so phone around and tell people why you are doing this and if they can help to give you exposure.
9. Offer something in return
To every sponsor who makes a donation it will be a great way of seeing something back for their donation. Offer to n ame their company in your weblog, to send a thank you letter to the local newspaper stating they helped you. Send them pictures and updates on how you are spending the donations and surely people will be moved by this.
10. Plan ahead
Plan this with a reasonable time limit. Don’t start 3 months before you want to go and get disappointed when things take time. Start with planning ahead and set smaller and bigger targets.

Some fundraising ideas that worked:
Take care of kidsRik Beijer from the Netherlands asked the local supermarket to have a table setup in their shop which displayed several products which are much needed at his project of choice in South Africa. Things like a bag of rice, soap, baby nappies, and drinking water. With easy to read and clear explanations the customer could buy one of these products on top of their own shopping and donate the product for Rik’s fundraising event. Rik then ‘sold’ the product back to the supermarket and used the money they gave in return to partly fund his volunteer trip and use the money to buy sports equipment for the local high school.

Gracia Smith from the USA held a sponsored car wash. Nothing unusual there you may think, except that the people doing the washing were ten of her good looking girl friends in bikinis! Maybe this is not for everybody, but it brought in enough money to supply a school with stationary and learning material for a long time to go.

Marius Voss from Germany organized a fun
run with the local primary school and the whole school got involved to sponsor every kilometre walked by the kids for his cause. His fundraised money covered the renovation of a children’s home which was much needed.

Think out of the box and you will be successful. If you like to ask any questions about your fundraising ideas please let us know.

Practical tips

Clothing
Bring clothing for a variety of weather conditions. Even though it is Africa it is not always hot and especially in winter the nights can be cold. So bring a wind jacket and some long trouser, a hat is always handy on sunny days and some good shoes for weekend outings and running around with the children.

Cultural differences

Culture and language
Hand out foodSouth Africa has been referred to as the 'rainbow nation', a title which epitomises the country's cultural diversity. The population of South Africa is one of the most complex and diverse in the world. Of the 45 million South Africans, nearly 36 million are Black, 4 million White, 4 million Coloured and one million Indian. The population density is 32.9 people per km².

The Black population is divided into four major ethnic groups, namely Nguni, Sotho, Shangaan-Tsonga and Venda. There are numerous subgroups of which the Zulu and Xhosa (two subgroups of the Nguni) are the largest. The majority of the White population is of Afrikaans descent (60%), with many of the remaining 40% being of British descent. Most of the Coloured population live in the Northern and Western Cape provinces, whilst most of the Indian population lives in KwaZulu Natal. The Afrikaner population is concentrated in the Gauteng and Free State provinces and the English population in the Western and Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal.

There are eleven official languages in South Africa, namely English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sepedi, Xhosa, Venda, Tswana, Southern Sotho, Zulu, Swazi and Tsonga.

South Africanisms
just now sometime soon, shortly
now now sooner than "just now"
howzit hello (a greeting), as in "how is it going?"
bakkie pick-up truck
robot traffic light
braai barbeque
garage petrol station
 

History
Take care and keep smilingEspecially for a country like South Africa, researching the history before you go will explain the cultural differences you will see and will add a whole new dimension to your experience. If you understand the history of a country you will understand not only the country but the people, their culture and customs.

Way of life in SA
It is important to also prepare yourself and obtain local knowledge. Get a good guidebook and look into it before you go to inform yourself about the country and their people. This will help you avoid offending people or breaking local laws however unwittingly.

Show respect towards the people and culture of the local communities. You might not agree with certain ways of conduct during your stay here, but please don’t forget you are a guest here, and you can’t try to change everything in a period of just a few weeks. The people in the townships live in visible poverty but have a high self-esteem and their self-esteem and dignity must be honoured.

The way of life and work in South Africa is a lot different from other continents.Foreigners consider South Africans often as lazy, always late, talking loudly, chaotic and hot blooded. But are you, just because of the fact of being from overseas and not from South Africa, then automatically hectic, not enjoying life, always focused on work, always on time, humourless, serious and cold blooded? Pretty sure you are not like that, so please think twice before you form an opinion and always keep in mind that we are all the same human beings no matter where we come from or how we look like.

Links to get further information
www.southafrica.net 
www.lonelyplanet.com/south-africa 

Books
Nelson Mandela – ‘Long walk to freedom’: While not travel literature, Nelson Mandela’s superb and inspirational autobiography, is one of the best ways to prepare for a South Africa trip.
Alan Paton – ‘Cry - the beloved country’: A beautifully told and profoundly compassionate story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom, set in the troubled and changing South Africa of the 1940s.
Steven Otter – ‘Khayelitsha’: The account of the years journalist Steven Otter spent in the township, drinking in shebeens (unlicensed bars) and challenging his preconceptions about race.
Jason Carter – ‘Power Lines’: Two Years on South Africa’s Borders: The chronicle of a Peace Corps volunteer’s perspectives on the still-deep divisions between white and black South Africa.

Movies
‘Invictus’: A biographical sports drama film about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, hosted in that country following the dismantling of apartheid.
‘Bang bang club’: A drama based on the true-life experiences of four combat photographers capturing the final days of apartheid in South Africa.
‘Tsotsi’: Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader.
‘Goodbye Bafana’: The true story of a white South African racist whose life was profoundly altered by the black prisoner he guarded for twenty years. The prisoner's name was Nelson Mandela.

Expectations

Lofdal Christian AcademyWhen travelling to South Africa you are going to the African continent, yes, but the country South Africa is pretty developed and modern. You will not find people in the cities living in mud huts or lions walking on the streets. And a word of fashion advice, when going to South Africa it is not necessary to bring multi-function safari khakis.

Extra money

This depends on your spending habits. South Africa is not an expensive destination but we all like an ice-cream, beer or greasy snack at times! Maybe you like to buy some souvenirs or see as much as you can by joining the weekend outings; bring some pocket money so you can.

Immunization & Vaccination

This is a malaria free area; in fact we have very little mosquitoes at all. It is best to contact your local physician before you leave your country to check what inoculations they advise you to have. Rabies is NOT common here and no real risk, so no need for that.

Insurance

Accidents can happen to anyone. Make sure you get comprehensive travel and medical insurance. Shop around and make sure it’s right for you. Think about activities you may be doing, even spur of moment ones, and make sure you're covered for these. Your policy also needs to cover medical costs. If you do not take out proper insurance, you will foot the bill.

Next to your international travel insurance we advise you to get the VOLUNTEER CARD. This will not only cover your volunteering activities but will also give you an incredible amount of discount options throughout the world! US and Canada nationals can order the card online, other internationals can email us for the order form! www.volunteercard.com 

Passport

Your passport must have enough pages for any visa. Your passport should have 2 pages free for every country to be visited. Please ensure that you take your own passport out from your hotel / backpackers safe the night before departure. It is absolutely necessary that you make a copy of your passport and give it to your supervisors; we strongly recommend that you also leave a copy at home or with some friends. Please note that South Africa insists on people having 2-free pages available when you enter. Keep this in mind if you are going to fly home from South Africa after completing a tour to multiple African countries. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your date of departure from Africa.

You are personally responsible for ensuring that passports, visas, vaccination certificates and other travel documents are in order and for all costs relating thereto.

Visa

As visa requirements vary considerably, please contact the various embassies or a visa service agent to recheck, visa requirements at least 4 weeks prior to departing. Please note that visas are the responsibility of the traveller and that the volunteer project co-ordinator will not be held responsible for clients being denied entry should they not be in the possession of the relevant visas. All travellers must be in possession of a valid onward/return air ticket.

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