This essential program delivers early childhood development opportunities through 30 centers, educating 4,500 young children in the Hwange District of Zimbabwe. The non-profit program provides a safe place for vulnerable children to attend where they are cared for and educated amid a life of poverty and instability. The centers offer a solid foundation to start children on the right path, ensuring not only their educational needs, but their health and wellbeing needs are also being met. Volunteers on this program will work within an amazing organization on a variety of projects across a number of centers. They will experience the local area and participate in many aspects of delivering essential programs to children in need. The centers supply quality educational opportunities for children, along with the opportunity to learn through play. The centers train facilitators on early childhood development curriculum, such as child protection issues, facilitating positive parenting dialogues and child rights to ensure children are well cared for, healthy, happy and ready to learn. Children need a solid start to begin their education journey and this program provides this start.
Goals of this Project:
- Improve the future prospects of the children of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe with early childhood development programs for disadvantaged children
- To promote volunteerism as a tool sustainable community development
- To offer affordable and exciting volunteer projects in one of the magnificent world heritage sites, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- To create a better understanding of the African culture and value system
This programs success is dependent on volunteer labor. Without a willing workforce of volunteers, the program would be unable to provide essential care and educational services to the vulnerable children of this region. Volunteers play a crucial role in the running of the program, working with program staff to ensure centers run smoothly and children are being cared for in the best possible environment. Volunteers may travel to different centers throughout the day to assist on projects where needed most.
Volunteers contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Assist with the day-to-day running of program projects
- Converse in English to the children and interact with them – from feeding to playing
- Complete internal reporting
- Provide logistical support for projects
- Assist with projects at the center to develop facilities
- Build/make play equipment for children
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A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:
8:00am Breakfast at the host family accommodation
8:30am Walk or bus to project site
9:00am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor
9:15am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START
A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in during the day, but often the timing of breaks will change based on the needs of the local staff and number of volunteers on hand.
3:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END
3:15pm Debrief with project supervisor
3:30pm Walk or bus back to host family accommodation
Evenings Free time to relax and have dinner with your host family or explore the sights and sounds of Victoria Falls!
Upon your arrival in Victoria Falls, you will be collected at the airport by a representative of the local project team and delivered to your host family accommodation. Here you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Victoria Falls Airport, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (CODE: VFA)
Volunteers joining our team in Victoria Falls are accommodated with one of our carefully selected local host families – which are perfectly located in the safe and convenient suburbs of Chinotimba and Mkhosana in the heart of the Victoria Falls township, within convenient access to local restaurants, internet cafes and shops and of course the UNESCO world heritage site of the majestic Victoria Falls! In most case they provide the volunteer with a private room, but during busy periods you may need to share with other volunteers. The families are experienced in hosting international volunteers and will take very good care of you.
Staying with a local Zimbabwean family is a great way to be truly immersed in the local culture. All families have been fully vetted by our local team and have plenty of experience in hosting international volunteers. Plus, transport to and from the project site is provided daily (included in program fee).
On working days, volunteers are provided two meals (breakfast and dinner) on a daily basis while at their home stay house, while lunch will be provided at the partner office on weekdays. Lunch will be taken at home on the weekend. If you’re working over your lunch break you can take a packed lunch with you.
For those social occasions with your fellow volunteers, Victoria Falls has a sprinkling of top class restaurants, several African buffets and a few coffee shops, sandwich shops, and fast food options. Easy!
Registration Fee: The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the Trip Planner.
Requirements: We welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for people living in marginalized communities of Zimbabwe. While this project is best suited to those pursuing a career in the fields of anthropology, social work, social entrepreneurship and/or economics, volunteers who simply wish to be involved in a more ‘varied’ project are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist and individual projects can often be tailored to suit the particular skills and interests or each participant. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Project Location: Victoria Falls is a town in the western portion of Zimbabwe, across the border from Livingstone, Zambia, and near Botswana. The town lies immediately next to the falls which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. Although the falls are the major attraction, this popular tourist destination offers both adventure seekers and sightseers plenty of opportunities for a longer stay. While in Victoria Falls you will have the opportunity to undertake many leisure activities ranging from white water rafting and bungee jumping to canoeing, fishing and boat cruises. Your program coordinator can assist you if you wish to book one of these activities and they often get a better price for volunteers.
Start Dates & Duration: This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks.