This crèche opened in the township of Masiphumelele almost 20 years ago by an inspirational township resident who was committed to keeping her community’s children safe while their parents went out to earn a living. Masiphumelele means “we will succeed” in the local Xhosa language, which is certainly the case for the +70 children the crèche looks after today. Aged between 3 and 6, the children who attend this crèche have days filled with fun lessons to help them prepare for ‘big school’, and receive two nutritious meals each day.
While the crèche is run by its passionate founder and some paid staff, the children attending need some extra attention to help them get the best out of their days. This is where volunteers play a vital role. By teaching, playing and giving these underprivileged children some extra attention during your volunteering experience, you really can help them go further in life.
The township crèche in Masiphumelele is open from Monday to Friday, 6.30 to 17.30. Volunteers start at 8.00 and can volunteer until either 13.30 or 16.00. You’ll get stuck into whatever the crèche has scheduled to keep the children entertained each day, which includes assisting with fun lessons, singing and creative work. You’ll help feed the children at mealtimes and help them settle down to sleep at naptimes. By speaking and reading English to them, you’ll help the children improve their language skills too.
While you are guaranteed to feel exhausted at the end of every day, this is a volunteer experience that can’t help but leave you feeling fulfilled. The children are full of energy and crave the attention they might not get so much of at home, and they will make you feel like a vital part of their life. The crèche is open during the weekdays only, giving you the weekends free to discover the stunning city of Cape Town, which is about 45 minutes away. There are plenty of smaller towns and sites of natural beauty all the way down the Cape Peninsula, where the Masiphumelele township is located. You’ll be staying at a nearby volunteer house or a local backpackers. This is a volunteer project that gives you the chance to make an important difference in young children’s lives, yet provides the freedom for you to have your very own Cape experience in your free time. There’s no doubt you’ll be very attached to the children and the Cape lifestyle by the end of your volunteer placement.