This unique volunteering and internship programme has helped launch over 200 pre-schools that are now serving over 18,000 children. The country-wide HIV Pandemic has claimed the lives of many parents, leaving more than 1 million HIV-affected orphans in the care of their grandparents. This programme supports such orphans and their caregivers and opens up opportunities for volunteers and interns seeking to make a difference by working within local communities.
Some of the work involves renovating classrooms, whilst training community members to become teachers at the pre-schools, which are established within existing schools. The programme literally converts a kindergarten into a healthcare centre! Ownership of these programmes remains within local communities, ensuring the sustainability of the programmes long after development partners, interns and volunteers have left Zimbabwe.
Volunteers and interns will join the local staff in providing children with early childhood learning experiences, immunisation and routine medical checks. Additionally, the children receive protein and vitamin-fortified daily meals prepared by volunteers and interns. UNICEF recognised the achievements of this project with a 2010 “Best Practice Award” after reviewing 77 similar programmes in Southern Africa.
Our development partner organisation, which runs this programme was established as a non-profit charitable Trust in 1966 and has gone through various transitions to date. It now focuses on providing educational opportunities whilst simultaneously tackling the toughest challenges and responding to threats to child survival and healthy growth.
The programme operates within four districts in Mashonaland West Province: Zvimba, Mhondoro Ngezi, Chegutu and Sanyati.
You will work at kindergartens with a difference, where children from under-resourced households receive medical checks and nutritious meals free of charge. You can support medical professionals with conducting medical checks and assist early childhood educators with meals and leading class sessions. Volunteers and interns can also be involved in supporting community members such as grandparents with taking care of orphaned children. We expect volunteers and interns to lead fundraising activities both while they are still at the project as well as when they return to their home country. We’ve all heard that “it takes a village to raise a child”. This programme lets you become an important member of that village.
- Provide support to children, youth, and educators in Zimbabwe
- Support local staff with training of community workers
- Leave knowing you created viable results, such as a repainted classroom
- Assist medical professionals with medical checks and immunising children
- Make friends for life with local people, other volunteers and interns from all over the world.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
You will have the option of either a shared apartment or house, homestay with a local family, a backpackers lodge/hostel, or hotel. All the accommodation is comfortable and located in safe residential areas either in the city centre or a few kilometres from the nearest town.
To keep costs low, it is advisable to share rooms. The houses, apartments and hostels are equipped with satellite TV and internet. A laundry and cleaning service is also provided.
We really make sure that you feel at home, and smoking is only allowed in the designated areas away from the house, apartment, or hostel.
Volunteers – require some of the following:
- Degree / Masters / PhD in the areas of education, youth work, community work or a related field
- Work experience as an education professional, community worker, youth worker or within a related field
- Confident with planning, teaching and evaluating lessons
- A valid police clearance from your country of residence that is no more than six (6) months old
- Passport valid for at least (6) months from the date of your intended stay in Zimbabwe
Interns – require some of the following:
- Students enrolled for or training towards an education-focused programme
- An interest in working with children and youth
- Some experience would be beneficial
- An interest in, and ability to teach, activities such as; art, sports, music, drama, writing and more
Should you wish to extend your stay beyond the initially-offered 4 weeks, we are here to make the experience you’re looking for happen! We’re here for you and we can also customise longer-term placements!
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