||Available all year round (except between 15 December
and 15 January), you choose your start date
4 weeks to 6 months, subject to visa requirements
||You should be studying, or be qualified in, Social
Work, Psychiatry, Psychology or Counselling, or a
related subject. Minimum age 21.
Full Price List / Other
►Full pre-departure support and assistance,
►Payment Protection insurance
►Meeting you at the nearest airport
►Transfer to your accommodation
►Transport to and from your project
►Local in-country team support and backup
►24-hr emergency support.
►Certificate of Completion
What's not included
Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Return
transfer to airport.
Who can do
This project is open to all nationalities and all ages
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out,
grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in
gaining overseas work experience.
Also suitable for anyone just wanting to study abroad
and learn about Social Work practices overseas.
Please see "Requirements" above.
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Africa and the many
diverse cultures in South Africa
The enormous satisfaction of helping
knowing that you made a difference to them.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding
of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head
and shoulders above most others in the job market.
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
"The volunteers we receive
through Travellers Worldwide add a special dimension to our
activities. Some come with the enthusiasm and youth of being
newly qualified and others with a wealth of experience, having
practiced and worked for many years."
Excerpt from Project AGM Minutes
Your role and the types of work/activities you are given may vary and may
depend on certain factors such as what’s required at the time that
you're there. You'll work as part of the team and
may spend various periods of time during the day counselling adults and couples,
families, groups, adolescent groups and teenagers.
You'll assist in some or all of the following
You could assist with many areas of counselling, from marriage
preparation and enrichment, relationships, individual, family,
re-marriage and divorce counselling and mediation.
You'll assist the Counsellors in group counselling (not one-to-one
counselling). Due to the nature of
the work, counsellors themselves have to undergo compulsory counselling
and regular evaluations.
This can take place either at the FAMSA offices or at the local police
station. FAMSA provides a 24 hour/7 days a week trauma counselling
programme to victims of crime and violence for the South African Police
Force at the local police stations. Other forms of trauma support you
might be asked to assist with are sickness, accident, rape, death/loss,
family violence and abuse, and HIV/AIDS counselling.
FAMSA offers various forms of training that you can get involved with,
from basic counselling skills, debriefing, group work training, stress
management, life skills, personal growth and domestic violence. These
are aimed at local volunteers to give them the tools to be able to
assist with counselling
Counselling is often given to parents to help them deal with
difficult behaviour in children, assisting them with effective parenting
skills training and addressing specific problems in groups and
individuals. Please note that only adults are counselled, but children
can be referred to Child Psychologists in the area, if needed.
FAMSA runs various different programmes giving support and
assistance to groups and individuals. These include the Life Skills
Programme and the “Women in Need’ programme. These are programmes for
men and women which are aimed at starting up support groups that can
self-sustain victims of domestic violence to enable the victims to
generate an income and thus become self-supporting. This can be in the
form of a cooking or sewing group, for example.
There is also a Prison
Programme that has been set up where counsellors go into the Knysna
prison and offer group counselling and assistance. They try to impart
life skills and information to the prisoners, thus assisting in
rehabilitating and empowering them.
A Parole Counselling
Programme is also being set up to assist ex-prisoners who are
re-entering society. It is aimed at helping them to enter the job market
and thus hopefully staying away from a life of crime.
Fundraising: If you have
any skills in fundraising, you'll be welcomed with even wider arms! As
with any work of this type, funds to support it are always difficult to
come by, so any help that can be enlisted is always very deeply
A TYPICAL DAY:
Wake up, wash and get ready
Leave for project
Arrive at project
Lunch (this can differ day to day)
Back to work
Finish for the day at your project
Arrive home, shower, relax
Relax , watch DVD’s, read, contemplate the meaning of
EXTRA ACTIVITIES YOU MAY BE ABLE TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR PROJECT
You may also have the opportunity
to provide help and support to the local community through the various
afternoon activities we have to offer. This is an excellent way to immerse
yourself in the African culture, but most importantly to give a caring
hand to the local community. The activities could range from helping out at;
The Children's Home:Make the afternoons fun and exciting for these lovely
children by playing games, helping them with homework and just being
there to give them the attention that they so appreciate.
After-school drama or sports - Take some time out after school to set up after
school sports or drama clubs, the children love it and it's a great way
to get to know them better in a relaxed and fun environment. If
you'd like to set up a drama or sports club, please let us know when you
apply so that we can arrange it with the school before you arrive.)
community projects - Past volunteers have helped to paint the
outside of a crèche that was in desperate need of a lift. The crèche is
now looking very cheerful with brightly coloured walls. A jungle gym was
donated to this orphanage and volunteers also helped to put it together
for the crèche too! There may be other similar projects available at the
time you're there that you might want to participate in.
Township soup kitchen: On days that your school roster
might allow you to finish a little early, our volunteers sometimes help at a
local township soup kitchen. The soup kitchen is open on a Monday, Wednesday
The project may possibly be
extended to involve local unemployed people, or street kids, or even elderly
people or children's orphanages. These are just a few ideas and it may be that
some volunteers will have more ideas that will help to make this project a
worthwhile one that will benefit the community for a long time to come.
Street collecting for funds to
support FAMSA in their social work with local families and children
ACCOMMODATION: THE VOLUNTEER HOUSE:
The volunteer house in Knysna is within walking distance of the town,
yet set against a natural green belt. The bird life is prolific and
often the local Vervet monkey troop comes to visit to entertain the
volunteers with their antics. The sunset views from the top balcony of
the volunteer house of the Knysna lagoon are beautiful and great way to
relax after a day working at your placement or to catch up on your tan
in the summer. See photo on right-hand side.
The house is large and spacious and also has a self-contained
flat downstairs for couples and families. y volunteer
placements. The bedding in the two same sex dorms and the towels
in their ensuite bathrooms are changed regularly every Friday by
our much loved cleaner, Pretty, and there is plenty of cupboard
space to store your clothing.
Facilities include a kitchen kitted out for cooking, dining
area, a few bathrooms, TV, DVD
player, free Wi-Fi, garden and several wooden verandahs.
is an outside courtyard and garden in the secure grounds where you can have
a typical South African barbeque known there as a ‘braai’.
Make sure you try the local spicy sausage known as ‘boerewors’
and the Karoo lamb chops are to die for on a ‘braai’, but if fish
is more to your taste then a fish ‘braai’ with South African
‘snoek’ is a must.
You'll be given a food budget which will cover your basic
essentials (but not extras like alcohol, snacks and eating
out). The kitchen has all the cooking amenities that you might
need to take advantage of preparing meals with some of the great
seafood, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables South Africa has to
There are supermarkets and local shops where you'll do your food
There are plenty of excellent restaurants within walking
distance that offer the most incredible local and international
cuisine which our volunteers rave about. Knysna is also famous
for its oysters and even has an annual Oyster Festival where
everyone eats and drinks far too much!
The waterfront and marine is beautiful and full of restaurants
and cafes with cuisine that ranges from breakfast, coffees,
cakes and snacks, through to sumptuous meals and various
different nationality menus.
Volunteer house in Knysna
View from the house overlooking
Got any questions? Please email us:
MORE ABOUT FAMSA:
staff in counselling families and adults in the beautiful
coastal resort town of Knysna. Any person from any type of background
could need assistance and counselling, regardless of background. The
counsellors help people from Knysna’s more wealthy areas as well as from
the very large disadvantaged township surrounding the town.
The FAMSA (Families
South Africa) Centre's
counselling programmes include a wide range of methods and techniques by
which clients are helped :
and inter-personal problems
Select and adopt
more constructive attitudes and skills of relating
functioning in significant relationships and other interpersonal
The Centre's motto is ‘We believe in every person’s potential to
solve their own problems. We give support and guidelines for optimal
functioning.’ They have centres all around South Africa and in Knysna
are supported by the Department of Social Development, the Knysna
Municipality, the Lotto and various members of the public and
The services provided
by the Centre can be split up into five areas:
All counselling is done by appointment only
and takes place in the office at the Centre. The appointments last for an hour each.
If you're qualified and have experience, the Centre would
be especially delighted to have you as there is a massive shortage of
qualified Psychologists, Counsellors and Social Workers in South
Africa, so your assistance would be very valuable indeed!
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll
contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on
details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have
access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your
Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you
throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on
your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country
Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on
your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment
Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we
can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is
different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the
most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in
Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in
all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this
The Community Radio Station is located about 20 minutes from the
centre of Buenos Aires.
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our South African staff who
will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn
about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how
to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.
"The area is beautiful and travelling is easy. The house we stay in is lovely
and the Travellers workers are such kind, loving people which really makes it
feel like a home away from home. What with all the other volunteers and the
Travellers staff, it really does feel like our own little family ... well, our
own very big family, I suppose!!"
LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
The best advice you'll get from us
is to try to see some of the country while you're in South
Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting
and very, very beautiful. Cape Town is probably
the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up
there :-) KwaZulu-Natal comes a very
close second, albeit very different. Knysna is
where South Africans go on holiday, which gives you some idea of
how lovely the region is. When you lie on the beach and watch
dolphins jumping the waves, you'll think you're in Paradise.
is approximately 500km from
the beautiful capital city of Cape Town and voted South Africa’s
favourite town 4 years in a row! Its mountainous backdrop, impressively
sized estuary and indigenous forests really give the town a natural feel
to it. Although it still has that ‘small-town’ feel, Knysna is growing
rapidly, and has all the amenities you could ask for such as banks,
hotels, internet café’s, cinemas and shopping malls.
About 20-30 minutes' drive away from Knysna you'll find Plettenberg Bay
(better known simply as Plett), which is a bit smaller
than Knysna, but equally stunning. Its' pure white beaches stretch
as far as the eye can see and there is a lot to do, from whale and dolphin
watching, to hiking trails and awesome nightlife.
The Garden Route is famous for all sorts of activities from adrenalin
sports such as bungee jumping, skydiving and shark cage diving to more
relaxed pursuits such as hiking, quad biking in the forest or visiting one
of the many animal sanctuaries in the area. Your local Travellers liaison
will be happy to assist you in finding interesting things to do and places
to see so make the most of it!
Knysna nestles on the banks of a
beautiful lagoon in the heart of the ‘Garden Route’ of South Africa. It is
surrounded by a natural paradise of lush indigenous forests, tranquil
lakes and golden beaches, making it a real natural wonderland.
Knysna is a vibrant town, buzzing
with creativity and energy, and the pulse of good
music. It's a place where the you can enjoy the mellow
atmosphere of street cafes, watching the world go by. The
main street is very leafy with trees along the pavements and it has a wonderful
holiday atmosphere with sun umbrellas everywhere.
Most cafes have outdoors
seating areas overlooking the street or on the pavements, with colourful sun
umbrellas - a perfect place to sit with the sun on
your face, watching passers-by ambling along, sipping a steamy cappucino or
staving off the heat with a cold drink.
Read more about Knysna and its
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you
arrive in your new country, please
Support & Backup:
To read about the excellent
& Backup we provide before you leave and during
please click here.