Working with wildlife and underprivileged children

South Africa

Working with wildlife and underprivileged children

Would you like to get hands-on experience with injured and orphaned wild animals whilst educating local underprivileged children, giving both of them a brighter future?

Would you like to get hands-on experience with injured and orphaned wild animals whilst educating local underprivileged children, perhaps giving both of them a brighter future? At this Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage, this is exactly what you can do!         

The mission of this project near the Kruger Park in South Africa is to educate local underprivileged children to care for their environment through the medium of a wildlife orphanage. Every Monday the project welcomes a new group of 8 to 10 local under-privileged children for a week. As a volunteer your main tasks will be teaching the children and working with the animals.  You will give the children the opportunity to discover, learn and become passionate about wildlife and conservation, their heritage. You will also supplement their school curriculum in very basic English, maths, life skills, educational games and social issues.

The orphaned wild animals provide the basis for inspiring care and compassion for the environment. To this end we try to have animals that can be touched and caressed. This is not always possible.

Whether you are away from home for the first time or are an experienced volunteer, you will love the family atmosphere that is created at the project. Your help will make a huge difference in aiding conservation and animal welfare, teaching local underprivileged children and building bridges between local and international people. All in all you will be participating to a worthy cause and having a fantastic volunteer experience in one!

Every Monday the project welcomes a new group of 8 to 10 local under-privileged children for a week. As a volunteer your main tasks will be teaching the children and working with the animals.  You will give the children the opportunity to discover, learn and become passionate about wildlife and conservation, their heritage. You will also supplement their school curriculum in very basic English, maths, life skills, educational games and social issues.

The children are in the 8th grade, but they vary in age from 13 to 16 years old. Their English is very poor and need lots of support with general skill. Personal attention is something that they are not used to. That is why they really get the chance to blossom at the project. . They go home as different children and that is also because of the attention they receive from people like you.

No specific skills are required. We need your enthusiasm and dynamism.

It is a two way street. The children will give you back what you put in. Maybe sometimes you think it doesn’t work, but at the end of the week you will see the difference.

The best advice we can give is for you to really enjoy your placement and make it into a two-way learning experience. We want you to leave with the feeling that you have achieved something positive for the future of the children and the environment, but also for yourself

Whether you are away from home for the first time or are an experienced traveller, you will love the family atmosphere that is created at the project and their excellent food. Your help will make a huge difference in aiding conservation and animal welfare, teaching local underprivileged children and building bridges between local and international people. All in all you will be participating to a worthy cause and having a fantastic experience in one!

How does a day look like at The Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

You meet at 7.00 in the morning for coffee. From 7.30 you do a bush walk with the children and the dogs.

You then feed the animals and clean their camps. At 9.00 you have breakfast. Lessons start from 9.30 till 12.00. Then you have lunch and everyone is off till 14.00 when the lessons start again and will go on until 16.30.

You will feed the animals again between 16.30 and 17.00 just before discussing social issues with the children. Dinner is served at 18.30 and is followed by an educational game before the children are sent to bed. You will have a group meeting every day to discuss the tasks of everyone and the progresses of the children.

As a volunteer you will be expected to accompany the children on stabling duties. These tasks include:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting animal camps and cages
  • Providing fresh food and water for the animals
  • Checking the health and condition of the animals
  • Compiling newsletter articles for individual animal sponsors
  • Research and record keeping of the animals
  • Basic first aid for animals

Many animals require extra care and sometimes this may involve working during the night.

All volunteers work 5 days a week, from 7h in the morning until dinnertime with a break at lunchtime, when you will be able to enjoy the swimming pool.

You will have time off on Saturday and Sunday and will be able to take this opportunity to visit the surroundings. A trip to town is organised every Saturday and you will enjoy meeting up with the local community. We have many excursion options including Trips to Kruger National Park and tours through the beautiful Blyde River Canyon.

Field conditions

You will have time off on Saturday and Sunday and will be able to take this opportunity to visit the surroundings. A trip to town is organised every Saturday and you will enjoy meeting up with the local community.

Volunteers share a rondavel (round chalet with thatch roof or have a room in the main house. The chalets are rustic but comfortable with toilets and shower (hot and cold water). There is no electricity on the farm but light is provided with solar lamps and power with a generator to charge batteries, cameras and computers. You will have access to High Speed WiFi.

Languages: English

The project is set in a beautiful nature reserve with granite hills and the most stunning views. It hasn’t got the Big Five, but leopard and hyena do roam around next to the general plain game like impala, kudu, wildebeest, zebra and giraffe. You will mostly work in and around the camp with the children, but if you want to and where possible, the project leaders will also take you for walks and drives in the reserve. The scenery is stunning. Besides, it’s a great opportunity to pick one of the project leaders brain and learn from his vast knowledge on the bush and wildlife!

The arrivals for the programme are on Saturdays and the volunteers can stay from 1 week to 3 months.

You will have to book a flight to Johannesburg and then an internal flight to Hoedspruit airport where you will be picked up by the project team. You can also book a shuttle from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit.

On arrival you will be shown your room and the facilities. On Sunday the project will have a late breakfast and a general briefing to help you in your confidence and ability to enjoy your experience.

Costs

2019Euros (€)GBP (£)
1 Week€550£490
2 Weeks€890£870
3 Weeks€1,340£1,190
4 Weeks€1,570£1,390
6 Weeks€2,130£1,890
8 Weeks€2,690£2,390
10 Weeks€3,175£2,825
12 Weeks€3,810£3,390
100% of your payment goes to supporting this project.
What’s Included
  • Transfers from/to Hoedspruit Town/Airport, for arrivals on Saturday
  • Three meals per day, tea, coffee, juice
  • Accommodation including bedding and towels
  • Laundry (daily)
  • One trip to town per week
  • Working in the community
  • Access to High Speed WiFi
What’s not Included
  • Flights, internal and international
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal toiletries such as shampoo, sun block, mosquito cream
  • Sodas, cokes, alcohol

 

How do I get to the project?

You can book a flight to Johannesburg and then an internal flight to Hoedspruit airport where you will be picked up by the project team. You can also book a shuttle from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit.

Working with wildlife and underprivileged children

Would you like to get hands-on experience with injured and orphaned wild animals whilst educating local underprivileged children, giving both of them a brighter future?

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