Southern Africa Bush Tails

Brand New Teaching Volunteer Programme in Victoria Falls

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We are very proud to be working with Children in the Wilderness on a brand new and exclusive volunteer teaching programme just outside Africa’s adventure capital, Victoria Falls. Although hands -on wildlife conservation and research is the primary focus of Conservation Travel Africa, we know that if children do not receive adequate education and leadership development, conservation programmes will have less long term success.

As a teaching volunteer on this rural school literacy and teaching programme you will spend your time providing much-needed teaching assistance in the under -staffed and under-resourced schools in the Jabulani area of Victoria Falls. You will help teachers in the classroom plus help with extra lessons, after – school clubs, homework and sports and help deliver a curriculum which includes life skills, conservation, environment and wildlife education.

Very often, rural African schools are ov ercrowded and children commonly receive little or no individual attention. Outside the major cities, there is a lack of qualified teachers and in many rural schools, school – leavers or partly qualified teachers learn on the job and teach classes of children only slightly younger than themselves. Volunteer teachers can be very beneficial for schools in rural Africa, both to help teachers in lesson planning and also to give children more support in and out of class. Volunteer’s enthusiasm and their overseas school experience can be a big motivation for local teachers – everyone in the first world is lucky enough to have been to school (although it may not have felt lucky at the time!) and teaching volunteers are often able to bring new ideas and inspiration to African teachers.

Inspire children to care for Africa’s wilderness areas and become the conservationists of the future We have joined forces with Children in the Wilderness, a non -profit organisation who have been bringing leadership development and lite racy programmes to rural schoolchildren throughout Africa for many years. They have worked extensively with local teachers, education experts and the Department of Education to establish a literacy, environmental and life skills education programme in Zimbabwe. 

 
Who are Children in the Wilderness?
The Children in the Wilderness environmental and life skills educational programme began as a result of discussions between actor Paul Newman and luxury safari operator, Wilderness Safaris in August 2001. Since it began in Botswana, the programme has also expanded through Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Children in the Wilderness literacy curriculum focuses on the next generation of rural decision makers and conservationists. In addition t o running wilderness camps for rural children, fostering a passion and interest in wildlife, CITW also bring their educational programme into schools, focusing on literacy, numeracy, environmental and conservation education, HIV/AIDs, nutrition and life sk ills. This is where you come in! We need volunteers to help support local teachers and you will get very involved in all aspects of the Jabulani school.

What makes this programme different?
There are a lot of teaching and education volunteer programmes o ut there, so why is this programme different? We believe that to enhance the volunteers experience in a school and to really make a difference, they need to get involved in the classroom. And this programme definitely does that – you will receive full training on the curriculum from Children in the Wilderness staff prior to entering the school and be given a teaching pack for each lesson with learning objectives, activities and outcomes. To start with you will assist the full time teaching staff but you will soon be able to take your own classes and be responsible for helping out with small groups or individual children.

Do I need to be a teacher?
Absolutely not! No specific teaching qualifications or experience are needed! Although it is classroom based (and remember, your classroom might be under a tree!), you will be given all the materials you need before you go into the school and will start off by assisting the teachers. As you become more confident you will help individual students or take small grou ps for extra lessons or project work. The children are keen to learn and VERY enthusiastic! If you have a can -do, flexible attitude and an interest in children, then this is the project for you!

What sort of things will I be doing?
You will get involved with most aspects of the children’s school life, so as well as helping with lessons and teaching assistance, you may also work in the gardens, kitchen and laundry, getting to know other members of the community and really immersing yourself in the Ndebele culture.

 
Your days may include:
• Working with the teachers – acting as a classroom assistant and giving one -to-one support
• Cultural exchange – giving talks on your own country
• Extra lessons – taking children out of class and giving them extra coaching
• After-school clubs – helping children with extra activities, playing sports and gardening
• Helping with homework
• Holiday activities
• School maintenance and improvements
• Life skills lessons – helping teach children about themselves and their environment
• Getting involved in daily life at the school – cooking, cleaning, chopping wood and laundry!
 
Will I get to see the Victoria Falls
Definitely! No-one should come to Zimbabwe without visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and you will get lots of time to explore Victoria Falls town and all the activities it offers – from bungee jumps to white water rafting, walking with elephants and game drives. For volunteers spending more time on the project, arrangements can be made to visit H wange National Park, an hour from the project – a wilderness area half the size of Switzerland which is home to Africa’s largest concentration of elephants as well as huge herds of buffalo, lions, leopards and the elusive rhino

 

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