WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION
"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 the Project's 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 services:
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.
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 appreciated.
A TYPICAL DAY:
07:50 Leave for project
08:00 Arrive at project
12:00 Lunch (this can differ day to day)
12:30 Back to work
16:00 Finish for the day at your project
16:30 Arrive home, shower, relax
19:00 Relax , watch DVD’s, read, contemplate the meaning of life
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!
EXTRA ACTIVITIES YOU MAY BE ABLE TO INCORPORATE INTO
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 Safe House: 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.)
- Other 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