WOULD YOU LIKE TO VOLUNTEER AT THE HOMESTEAD? WE REALLY DO NEED YOUR HELP.
The Homestead loves and needs our valuable volunteers without whom life at the Homestead would be very difficult and the children’s lives that much more poorer. The Homestead has very high impact, highly specialised and dedicated volunteers who add immense value to the Homestead, we also have volunteers who are prepared to get down and dirty and do what it takes to help care for the traumatised, neglected children in our programmes. Volunteers sit on our Management committee, drive huge programmes such as our Sponsorship Education fund or our big fundraisers; they help our job creation project with sales, they fix our computers, apply their specialised training in the care of children, they repaint our facilities, build healing parks, jungle jim’s, provide regular therapeutic groups, collect funds to buy new clothes for our children and so much more. Volunteers can be found throughout the Homestead, they offer the most wonderful Christmas and birthday parties, train our children to swim and even help to educate our children. Volunteers are the companies, groups and individuals who come in and do special events, who spring clean our centres, teach the children to read and we are most grateful to each and every volunteer, most of whom remain life partners of the Homestead, dear friends and supporters.
On the other hand strict legislation and the nature of the highly traumatised children we work with mean we cannot accommodate volunteer tourism in our specialised therapeutic care units. We also cannot accommodate exceptional large groups or any unsupervised interaction with the children in our care without the appropriate checks having been completed. We therefore do not accept short term volunteer placements unless it is for a specific purpose, a special event or to help with a specific task (ie no generalised short term volunteer access to the children). So apart from supervised groups or individuals coming in to do a special once off volunteer tasks, we therefore do not accept volunteer placements for less than 3 months and all long term volunteers have to be cleared via the Child protection system.
We only have a small staff, and local volunteers are valued especially evenings and weekends, but any time outside of school hours. Engaging the children in activities is welcomed – reading to the boys, soccer coaching and practice, sports coaching of any kind, dance, drama, music, computers – any of the things that stimulate a child and help to develop self-esteem and confidence.
Regular volunteers are needed to just be with the boys, especially those with skills in counselling, youth work, child care and relationship-building. However, these are not essential skills. More important is a commitment to remain with the process for a longish time so that the children do not experience constant loss. They are in need of lasting relationships with adults they can learn to trust, and who will give them special time. The more contact that they have with caring people, the more they learn to value themselves and to find a sense of belonging.
Before beginning a voluntary job it is important to think about the length of regular service you will be able to give. Continuity of service is important in building up relationships with the boys.
The work can be very challenging. Volunteers who are emotionally balanced, sensible, able to maintain strong adult boundaries, and have a sense of humour tend to cope best with the work circumstances we offer.
Once Off Projects
Not all volunteering requires such a commitment. We also need help with special once-off projects, such as a group of friends getting together to paint a room, put up gutters, fix cupboards, arrange a special outing or to plant the garden in Khayelitsha with shrubs, flowers and vegetables. The group could go on to help with maintaining the garden on a regular basis, and involve the boys in learning about gardening, or just do the once-off tasks.
All of these suggestions will impact positively on the children – either on the environment in which they live, or their ability to form relationships, or enabling them to develop skills in various areas.
The Homestead welcomes and values foreign volunteers. Generally a minimum commitment of three months is required (for the reasons outlined above). Only in special circumstances will we consider a shorter placement. We are not able to provide airfares, accommodation, transport or any form of payment for foreign volunteers. What we can provide is a chance to learn about another country and its diverse cultures, and an opportunity to help disadvantaged children to rebuild their lives. All foreign volunteers must be over 21, provide a certified copy of their passport as well as a police clearance certificate from their country that clearly states that there is no reason why you should not be allowed to work with children.
In order to apply, you need to provide us with
- Short CV and two contactable referees.
- The completed volunteer application form
- Certified copy of your ID
- Police clearance certificate obtainable from your local police station.
- Signed affidavit stating that there is no reason why you should not be allowed to work with children.
Please either download and print the PDF version of the Volunteering Application Form and fax it to us 021 419 2600 or email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org