Student Volunteer Programme
Volunteerism and volunteer activities can no longer be seen solely as extra-curricular. Volunteerism provides students with skills that are necessary for the production of well-rounded graduates and good citizens. Volunteering provides students with the soft skills that they need in order to be prepared for their work and social environments. The screening and placing of students has to be done with care as it should attempt to match the student to the needs of the placement. Suitable training and orientation is necessary so that volunteers are able to contribute productively to their placements. Equally important is the development of Community Partners so that they are able to make effective use of the volunteers. Currently there are 252 students registered as volunteers in the SVP and 146 students have been placed with 22 community partners in the first semester of 2010.
A programme coordinator identifies the specific needs of CBOs and NGOs in order to be able to translate these into volunteer skills requirements. Students are then carefully matched to community projects. Before the students are placed, they attend specialised compulsory training.
Student Cassidy Parker, BA 2nd year, comments: “Volunteering has taught me about myself and my relationship to people and the world around me in ways that no text book on philosophy or economics ever could.”
Regular monitoring and support visits are undertaken to ensure that both the student and the project benefit from the engagement. Because of the great poverty in Grahamstown, the potential to grow opportunities for students to engage with the community is unlimited.
Annually several organisations participate in the project, including:
-Amasango School for street children
-Eluxolweni Street Shelter
-Raphael HIV/AIDS Counselling and Support Centre
-Centre for Social Development ( Responsible for all Early Childhood Development Centres)
-Home of Joy
-Grahamstown Public Library -
-St Mary's Day care Centre
-Sakhuluntu Cultural Group
-Kuyasa Special School
For more information on SVP Programmes, read... 2010 Handbook or