Children’s Day Care - Volunteer Reviews

SOUTH AFRICA

Read what our volunteers say about their time volunteering

Find out more about the Children's Day Care project

Jessie - 2016

“This volunteer project of working at the day care center in Cape Town, South Africa was amazing. I loved the people I worked with and the kids were absolutely adorable. I gained a rapport with them all so quickly and I was there less than 2 weeks. I felt I was free to help when and where needed and at the same time was given direction on what was needed to be done. There was a good balance. The second I walked in the door in the morning I was greeted with all the kids screaming, "hello" and when I was leaving and they were actually supposed to be in nap time, would all scream, "goodbye." I would highly suggest anyone who wants to volunteer not only to do it but also to do it with this company POD. This was my second year volunteering for them and both times was perfect! The organization is very organized and thorough and I appreciate having that especially when I am across the country volunteering.

What did you find most rewarding?
Working with the kids of course!

What did you find most challenging?
The language barrier for sure.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Just to take the risk and do it because they won't regret it!”

Rachel - 2015

“This trip to South Africa has been a life changing experience. I did so many things I never thought I would do. I also met friends that I will have for life. Truly a once in a lifetime experience!

What is a typical day at the project? Wake up early, Monty drove us to the school and then we would get there and help with arts and crafts, help feed them, and play with them.

What did you find most rewarding? Working with the underprivileged kids.

What did you find most challenging? Language barriers and culture shocks.

What advice would you give others considering doing this placement? Be flexible and open minded. Also, you’re more than likely going to want to extend your stay.

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad? It helps the world.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer to your friends? Yes”

Mackenzie - 2015

“Volunteering at the children's day care in South Africa was an amazing and life changing experience. It can seem a little bit unorganized at times but it was an awesome experience and I would definitely recommend It if you are considering going.

What was a typical day at the project? We work arrive at around 8 and play with the children, do the daily activities like painting or reading or puzzles and try and help them with english and then we would usually be picked up around 12:30 to go back to our apartment.

What did you find most rewarding? Working with the children was very rewarding

What advice would you give others considering doing this placement? That at times it seems very unorganized when you are in South Africa but just keep an open mind and have fun and try and enjoy your time there. It goes by so fast and it is a great opportunity to be able to help other people.

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad? It is an amazing experience and really makes you appreciate what you have back at home and it is a great opportunity to see another country and their way of life.

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer? I was researching companies to volunteer with online and came across pod and really liked the website and when I contacted pod Ellie was really helpful with all the questions I had.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer to your friends? Yes”

Kathryn - 2014

“My experience working in South Africa was fantastic. Pod were really supportive before and during the assignment. I was slightly unsure about doing volunteering as I am slightly older than the average but would recommend it to anyone. I loved working at the crèche - the kids were so cheerful and welcoming. You felt you were really making a contribution. There was also plenty of opportunity to explore the area and make some memories.

What was a typical day at the project? Arrive about 8.30 and play with the kids until about 9.00. Help with serving breakfast and washing up. Assist with activities such as reading, drawing, painting until about 10.30 then help with serving tea and biscuits. Playtime (playing with dolls, ball games, train sets, outside swings) until about 11.30 then help with serving lunch and washing up. Help with preparing nap time. Leave about 1.00

What did you find most rewarding? Being asked to read one of the books I had brought to the kids.

What advice would you give others considering doing this placement? Just relax and enjoy it. Don't worry about anything - you've got the support of a great company who can help you with anything.

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad? It is such a rewarding experience. You've feel so proud of yourself afterwards.

Why did you choose Pod? Their website and initial contact were really professional and I had great confidence in them.

Would you recommend Pod to your friends? Yes”

Helen - 2013

"I thoroughly recommend this placement because It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and memories that I will never forget. Children that will make your morning!

What was a typical day at the project? Get picked up at 8am and taken to out nursery. Where we say hello to everyone and help the staff prepare and hand out breakfast. Once the children have eaten their breakfast we wash up and dry up the bowls and spoons. Then we help the staff with play activities and supervise and play with the children during free play. Mid morning we will hand out snack and drinks for the children and then wash up. After snack time children usually go outside to play depending on the weather. After outside playtime children are then brought inside we play with them during free play and help the staff with nursery and song time. After song time children tidy away to get ready for lunch, after lunch children's teeth are brushed and then put down for naps.

What did you find most rewarding? Working with the children and giving them one to one attention.

What did you find most challenging? The language barrier as a lot of the volunteers were German speaking and some didn't know very good English.

What advice would you give to others considering doing this project? Do as many sightseeing activities as possible to make the most of the time you have there!

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad? An experience you will never forget!

Why did you choose Pod and would you recommend us to others? Yes! Good for first time travellers as very well supported and organised.”

Beth - 2013

“Child Care in South Africa was great. Seeing the kids’ faces in the morning light up when you walk through the room is an amazing feeling. The accommodation was lovely and having the weekends off meant that I had time to explore Cape Town.

What was a typical day at the project? 8.30- Get picked up 9.00-Arrive at Project and play with the kids until around 9.15 9.15-Children eat breakfast 9.30- Songs and bible reading with the children 10.30- Snack time 11.00-Learning activities with the children such as alphabet etc 11.30-Lunch 12.00- Children have nap time and we go home.

What did you find most rewarding? Seeing how happy the kids were when they just got a small bit of attention

What did you find most challenging? Some of the parents have not washed their children or fed them which was very sad to see.

What advice would you give to others considering doing this project? Enjoy yourself, make the most of your placement and take time to explore Cape Town. It is a beautiful city.

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad? It’s nice to see different cultures and the way others live. It’s a great experience and you come back with memories that you will never forget

Why did you choose Pod and would you recommend us to others? Yes! My friend has worked with POD for 3 years now and has always come back with good comments.”

Caroline - 2013

“The staff at the project were friendly and obviously enjoyed having the volunteers there as I was made to feel very welcome. The children were a delight-always friendly and so appreciative of anything that was done for them. I loved my stay at the project and would love to return.

What was a typical day at the project? The routine was very well structured which meant that we knew exactly what we had to do each day. We just helped the children with all the things that they did in the centre. Each day I helped with feeding, playing, schoolwork and anything else I could do to be useful.

What did you find most rewarding? The work with the children and their appreciation of all that was done for them.

What did you find most challenging? The language barrier- other volunteers were German/Austrian.

What advice would you give to others considering doing this project? Do it!

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad? It helps to give us a perspective about what is important in our lives whilst doing something that is immensely rewarding.

Why did you choose Pod and would you recommend us to others? Yes! The service and help I was given made me feel more confident about travelling abroad on my own.”

Lacey – 2012

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take part in such an amazing experience! I had a brilliant time! Seeing the children's face light up when you walk in is something special that will stay with me forever!

I'm 18 years old and was a bit wary about going to South Africa on my own for 4 weeks! I can honestly say I had the most amazing time! The sense of achievement the project brings, and the smile on the children's face when they see you is something I can cherish for the rest of my life! It helped me to grow up and very much influenced my career path! Brilliant!

What did you find most rewarding? The sense of achievement when the children come and hug you or when you teach them a new word and they remember it.

What did you find most challenging? Seeing what they had, which was nothing there were about 30 kids in one small room, but no matter what the kids are always happy! I really had to think and be prepared to bring in new ideas everyday.

What advice would you give to others considering this project? Just go for it!

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad? To explore the different cultures around the world and share your knowledge.

Why did you choose Pod and would you recommend them to others? Yes! When I came across the website I found it was the most helpful in explaining exactly what the project involved, also Erin was very quick to reply to my email/application.”

Sandra - 2011

“What did you enjoy most about the project? The project was really nice. I enjoyed every single day working there. The women were very friendly and I got some new friends, working with the young children was great.

Summarise your stay in South Africa in one sentence: The experience of a lifetime which has given me an appetite to do more.

Would you recommend this project to your friends and why? Yes, working on a project is an excellent way to get to know South Africa.”

Monique - 2011

“Did your time in South Africa meet your expectations and why? The project was absolutely great, especially Alta the leader of the project. I learnt a lot about myself and the culture of South Africa.

Summarise your stay in South Africa in one sentence: I learnt a lot about myself and I got a lot of experiences in a country full of diversity.”

Carine - 2011

“What did you enjoy most about the project? That the children in the crèche were accepting me since my first day. I could do different projects with them. Christina took me for walks to see life in the townships.

Summarise your stay in South Africa in one sentence: It was a great experience to see and work in South Africa and I learnt a lot for the rest of my life”

Miriam - 2011

“What did you enjoy most about the project? I enjoyed every single day working there. The women were very friendly and I got some new friends, working with the young children was great.

Would you recommend this project to your friends and why? Yes I think it is a nice project for people working with children.”

Marina - 2011

“What did you enjoy most about the project? I met the happiest people in the world, so I am very glad about this. Also to see the children are happy even with small money”

Lauren - 2011

“Did your time in South Africa meet your expectations and why? My stay in South Africa met my expectations and more. I knew I would be working with children but not as much as I have, I also enjoyed meeting new people”

Anja - 2011

“Did your time in South Africa meet your expectations and why? I saw beautiful places but I also see the sad side and the problems this country still has.

What did you enjoy most about the project? The kids. They are adorable and very impressing- I learnt a lot from them. The teachers are very friendly and helpful and open. Some of the ways of educating is different.

Summarise your stay in South Africa in one sentence: A country of contrasts, definitely worth returning to.”

Leonie - 2011

“What did you enjoy most about the project? There aren’t negative aspects to the project. The people are so nice and friendly and the children are so cute and the work there was fun. It was interesting to get information about their lives.”

Find out more about the Children's Day Care project

AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal