What can we offer you?
We have a variety of different volunteerprograms to offer, so you can choose one that's closest to your interests and capabilities. All projects are equally important in our community.
Because of the lack of jobs in the area, most people move to the cities in hope of a better life, leaving the local schools with decreasing numbers. Government regulations in this region state that the teacher to student ratio be 1/35. Due to smaller numbers in individual grades, this requires teachers to instruct multiple grades at one time. This is a very difficult situation for both teachers and students and is one of the main reasons volunteers are needed. With the assistance of local teachers, volunteers will instruct students in English, Math, Geography, and Life Skills.
There are two pre-schools in Lushington. Both of them are run by local “mama's” who have no formal education in child-care. Volunteers can be a big help in the pre-schools by giving practical examples of age appropriate games and lessons that can be later implemented by the caregivers once the volunteers leave. The language in the pre-schools is primarily Xhosa, however English can be introduced to children at this young age to help set the foundation for further learning as they enter primary school.
A few years ago, Mziwemfundo Junior Secondary School (Grade 8 – Grade 10) in Lushington were donated ten second-hand computers for student use. To date, they have never been used, as the current teachers don't have proper computer skills to instruct students. Since computer literacy is so important in modern day life, volunteers can play a major role by teaching basic computer skills, which will benefit students later on in life.
During the school day, children are not exposed to arts or sports. After school, children typically play in the village without adult supervision. This is the ideal time to introduce children to sports, games and other artistic activities. Best known sports are soccer for boys and netball for girls, but volunteers are encouraged to introduce other sports like karate, dance, gymnastics, etc. These activities will be organised for primary school children and will teach them important life-skills such us winning and loosing, working as a team, etc.
Future Vision is still in its infancy, therefore we have many ideas about starting other programs. Reintroducing agriculture into the community is one of these ideas. Lushington used to be a very intensive agriculture area during apartheid times. Our hope is to stimulate the local economy by bringing back this way of life and helping to establish food gardens and professional farms. Another project idea is to teach furniture making to the locals. We have a semi-professional wood working machine and a trained carpenter to help with this project. Lastly, we would like to start a sewing cooperative with local ladies from the village. There are a few trained seamstresses in the village, but they need resources for material and other sewing supplies. For these projects to take place, we need your help and input.