Volunteers are welcome at any time
Volunteers should be older than 18 years, should be fluent in English and a driver’s license is beneficial. Thabang covers costs except the flight. Volunteers need to stay for at least 3 months and will be picked up from the airport in Johannesburg. See detailed information below:
Kyra von Carlowitz
Kyra von Carlowitz, born 1991, from Krefeld/Germany volunteered at Thabang February through April 2012. She integrated well in the daily work schedule of the girl’s place (CPoS), assisted the house mother with pre-school, played guitar and soccer, and also helped in the kitchen now and then…
Julia Cramer from Berlin, Germany, stays with Thabang from February to May 2011. She looks after Thabang babies and toddlers, she assists in the kitchen, she helps the care workers to work on the computers.
Rachel Pekker stayed and worked at Thabang Children’s Place of Safety from 21 February to 15 May 2010. Rachel, who grew up in Germany and Israel, helped with the care for the older school girls, the pre-school kids as well as the toddlers.
Marie Heimann, who grew up in Germany and the United States, stayed with Thabang from January 08 until March 08. She looked after Thabang babies and toddlers and taught our care workers how to use the sewing machine.
Jojo, born 1987 in Hamburg, left school in April 2007 in Germany and stayed with Thabang from August until November 2007. Jojo helped out with everything, but his main job was to do soccer training with our Thabang Tigers.
Eilika, born 1985 in Hamburg, left school in 2005 in Germany and stayed with Thabang from March until September 2006. She took care of the children and volunteered at Chrome Mine School, teaching English to learners of the 6th and 7th grade.
Roger Taylor, born in 1943 in the UK, helped us to build up Thabang in the initial phase in August 2005 and gave us valuable input as a retired Acting Headteacher of a Junior School in the UK.
Our first volunteer was Mrs. Chantal Heinis from Switzerland, born 1978, who helped in administrative work. She spent time and energy in our project for 3 months from January to April 2005.
Get basic information about volunteering at Thabang!
This document is not intended to cast a negative light on volunteering experience, but rather offer a realistic view of what can be expected at Thabang and South Africa as a nation, in the best interests of both the Thabang Project and those wishing to offer voluntary services.
Thabang Children’s Project is situated in the bushveld of Limpopo a rural and very poor part of the country and Volunteers from ‘overseas’ will possibly miss material comforts and conveniences to which they may be accustomed at home. African culture is far removed from that of the Western world and may require some adaptation and flexibility on the part of Volunteers. It is the responsibility of foreign Volunteers to inquire about the nature of their undertaking and about South Africa by researching as widely as possible. Although Thabang is more than willing to help with this information we will not be responsible for Volunteers who fail to inform themselves as to the nature of their undertaking or the country to be visited.
Volunteering at Thabang can offer many enlightening and exiting experiences, but access to nightclubs, pubs and eateries is limited as Thabang is situated in a rural area, approximately a three hour’s drive northwest from Johannesburg, where these activities can be found. Therefore Thabang advises those volunteers who are looking for an urban experience, to overlook Thabang as an option.
South Africa is a beautiful and varied country but it is one of extremes, and ‘overseas’ volunteers may encounter this in terms of climate and environments. In recent years there have been increasing problems involving crime both in the urban and rural areas of South Africa. Thabang takes reasonable measures to ensure the safety of its volunteers, but strongly advises that volunteers adhere to the rules and safety advice provided. However, as Thabang cannot foresee how the crime situation or political issues might develop, we cannot be held responsible for any loss or injuries suffered.
Thabang provides the structure of the Volunteer Programme but Volunteers engage themselves at their own risk. To this end, we insist that all Volunteers must have their own personal insurance policy.
To ensure quality of service delivery, Thabang conducts screening of all applicants. The screening process may include some or all of the following: Volunteer Applications and Verification, Interviews, Police Checks, Child Welfare Checks etc.
In order for your time at Thabang to be of value, we request that all volunteers are fluent in English. Volunteers have to be older than 18 years! Thabang prefers stays with a minimum duration of 3 months or longer.
Volunteers are not required to pay for the opportunity to be at Thabang and are offered accommodation in volunteer’s rooms. Thabang provides all bedding and towels.
We provide three meals a day. If volunteers have special dietary requirements, they will have to cater for these themselves.
All volunteers are fetched from O.R. Tambo International Airport and driven to the Thabang (a three hour’s drive) by one of the Thabang staff members.
Volunteers are requested to send through complete flight details: date of departure, city of departure, airline, flight number, expected time of arrival and lastly date and time of departure from O.R. Tambo International Airport.
Below is a basic outline of the activities that volunteers perform during their stay at Thabang. Volunteers that have special qualifications (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, teachers, etc.) are mainly used in their areas of expertise but will participate in all parts of the programme so as to have a balanced view of the Thabang as a whole.
Thabang Children’s Place of Safety – Caregiving
This program targets female volunteers only. Play with children, Stimulation, Exercise, Lunch, Homework, Sport, Bathing, Dinner, Art with different groups of children
Baby Care and assistance the with the different stimulation activities, creative and play programmes. Volunteers work under supervision but please let us have your creative ideas!
Thabang Youth Centre – Soccer training/Maintenance
This program targets male sports students who want to get involved in social work. It entails assistance in general maintenance work, building, gardening etc., daily soccer training of the Youth Centre boys, soccer training in the sqatter camp twice weekly.
Chrome Mine Primary School – Assistance
This is a special program run by Thabang in conjunction with Chrome Mine Primary School, a poor school with about 400 learners within a poor settlement. It particularly targets teaching students from ‘overseas’. Please contact the Thabang Management for further information.
Volunteers will receive an orientation on arrival at Thabang. The staff is there to help and assist. But please bear in mind that they have been living and working with the kids for a long time and have made certain rules and put certain policies in place based on experience and in the best interest of the children.
Please stick to the guidelines set – your time at Thabang should be fun, enriching and valuable – for you, the children and the staff!
Thank you for your interest in supporting the work of Thabang Children’s Project. We look forward to speaking with you in the future.
We are always glad to have the assistance and input of volunteers.
Please click here to view a report by volunteer Kyra von Carlowitz on her visit to Thabang.