Hilltop Empowerment Centre
South Africa is where wild nature, vibrant culture, and challenges and opportunities of a young nation overlap to create a place unlike any other. With natural landscapes ranging from majestic mountains to stunning ocean coastlines and accommodating, warm climate similar to Mediterranean, South Africa truly is a gem of African continent. With 11 official languages and the country’s motto being "!ke e: ǀxarra ǁke" ("Unity in Diversity"), it is clear why South Africa is often referred to as “Rainbow Nation” to describe its wonderful diversity.
South Africa, like many emerging economies, has to deal with a fair share of social, economic, cultural, and political challenges. The circumstances led to South Africans becoming resilient, resourceful, and above all, incredibly optimistic. It is also entirely possibly that they are one of the world’s most welcoming nations: once you visit, you will likely think of some of the people you encounter as your family.
There are countless people dedicating their time and effort to improve the lives of some of the disadvantaged South Africans, and the great thing is that you can become one of them. If you volunteer for Hilltop Empowerment Centre, you will make a tangible, meaningful contribution to the lives of many people, most of whom will be schoolchildren.
What does the project do?
In short – a lot! Hilltop Empowerment Centre runs multiple projects in different locations. Most of them are based
around the Eastern Cape, although some can be in other regions. All projects are coordinated from our office in King William’s Town and Hilltop Farm (which is located a short drive from King William’s Town). There are different areas Hilltop is involved in, but the focus is IT education, youth development, and community work.
The area majority of our volunteers are involved in is IT education in rural communities. That translates to daily work of teaching locals (schoolchildren, adults, and also school teachers) basic computer and Internet skills, which developed world takes for granted, but which are often lacking in South African schools. The other aspect of the work is maintenance of PC’s in local schools and communities, and ensuring they are operational on a daily basis. Your daily work will make an additional impact by empowering locals, boosting their confidence, improving their communication skills etc.
Another area we are heavily involved in is youth development. We work with orphans, abandoned, and abused children in their communities so that they can have a better chance in life. We offer skills transfer (academic and interpersonal) through arts and crafts, music, sports, dance, languages, and IT skills. It’s something we are very passionate about.
Hilltop is also involved in a number of projects of social nature: community support centres, women empowerment, working with victims of abuse. By employing (and teaching) soft skills, such as teaching interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and small business mentoring, Hilltop is giving local people the skills needed to enable more (and better) opportunities in their lives.
What will I be doing?
Given multiple areas we’re working in, we are looking for volunteers from a very broad spectrum.
If your interest is in IT education, rest assured, you don’t need to be an IT graduate to satisfy the requirements. Decent level of computer knowledge, patience, and resilience are all you need to succeed. Your workload will be perfectly manageable – around 35 hours per week.
If your interest is in youth and community development, then your interpersonal skills and motivation are paramount, with no specific academic or technical knowledge requirements. There’s always so much to do, and we look for people with more than one skill set.
Other skills that are welcome are: languages, sewing, handicrafts, art, music, theatre, professional singing.
Volunteering for Hilltop, you will be embraced by project’s staff and treated like part of the family from day one. You will never need to face any challenges alone or in isolation, and your wellbeing will be paramount. The objective is to make you feel at home.
You will discover – perhaps to your surprise – that South Africa is a progressive and liberal country. We welcome volunteers of all genders, ages, nationalities, religious and cultural backgrounds.
The local community will welcome you with love and open arms, and will express their gratitude in ways that will stay with you for the rest of your life. You will have ample free time to explore your local area and South Africa in general.
INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER OPTIONS
- International volunteers welcome
- Housing provided
- Families (adults only)
- Training Provided
- Housing provided
- Fee Required
- Schedule Flexible
- Full time (35 hrs/wk)
- Mid to long term (from 3 to several months)
- Short term on exceptional basis
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