Latest News & Blogs
Student Lifeguards Pass the Test
This weekend in Chintsa saw a lot of smiles and jubilation amongst the UNSTRESSED Surf School crew with the trainee-lifeguarding team completing and passing their training program. The internationally recognised qualification will open up job opportunities for the young, beach loving guys including employment options such as life guarding at both local and international pools, beaches and more. The certificate also acts as the first building block for some of the team who wish to become surf instructors.
I'll Be There "Just Now"
I read a hilarious article recently about South African slang terms that drive people mad and it spurred me to to share my experience of when South African slang caught me out!
You can read the original article "12 Odd South African Expressions that Drive the World Crazy" here.
I'll be there Just Now
It was 2008 and I was a recently arrived English volunteer living in Chintsa.
Travel Tips - How to get to Chintsa, South Africa
It's always super exciting to have made the decision to volunteer and journey to an unknown country to find your next adventure. If you're thinking of booking and you need to know the price of flights and what flights to book or you have confirmed your volunteer placement and are now looking into booking your travel - this blog is for you!
Here are our top travel tips to help you book your travel to South Africa (and Chintsa) and make the journey here as easy as possible:
Booking International Flights
Chintsa is in the Eastern Cape, the nearest city is East London (approximately 40km away). If you're coming from outside of South Africa you need to fly into either Cape Town or Johannesburg international airports and then book a domestic flight from there to East London.
Community Preschool Volunteer Project
VA32's Community Preschool Projecthas been partnering with local preschools for over 5 years. The schools that we work with change from time to time depending on where the biggest need is currently identified.
In 2016 we will be partnering with two local schools - the African Angels School foundation phase and Acacia Tree Nursery School.
About the Schools
Sponsor a Lifeguard: Friends of Chintsa Project
Just over four years ago, the UNSTRESSED Surf School was established by a team of local surfers and with the support of key international donors. Inspired by the want to engage young people in Chintsa in a healthy love for the Ocean, in an amazing sport and in learning the skills and experiences surrounding being a part of something so pro-active.
Four years down the line UNSTRESSED is mentoring both junior and senior surfers - a hand selected team of individuals who show commitment to being a part of the initiative as well as enthusiasm for surfing.
Computer Geek Club 2015: Texas State University Volunteers
17 participants. 13 Texas Student University (TSU) teaching volunteers. Five days. A whole host of multi-media technology to get to grips with.
Now, five days may not seem a lot, but do not underestimate the powers of TSU volunteers and their professor Lori Assaf. Following the success of Geek Club 2014 and prior to the arrival of the group, Lori and I discussed how to not only match but also extend and ignite passion in the abilities of our talented young geek clubbers. We wanted to engage not only the young people of Chintsa, but also get them thinking about their own community and how they interact with it. Last year, saw the same participants research their dream careers, along the way they met and interviewed guest local speakers about different careers - from Dr Madeleine Muller to our very own Thobs the tour guide. We ended up with some fantastic presentations.
Teaching English and Computer Skills in South Africa
The final blog in our series of experiences shared by Texas State University teaching students who volunteered in the Wild Coast Schools for three weeks during July this year. This blog was written by Bri who volunteered at Bulugha School teaching computer literacy and English. Bulugha School has been receiving weekly computer lessons from VA32 volunteers since 2005. It is interesting to read about the difference in experiences from Bri and Emily (whose blog entitled "The Challenges of Volunteering in Rural South African Schools" can be read here), who completed the same projects but in different schools. The level of English speaking, creative thought and competency on the computer equipment is higher at Bulugha School where volunteer presence has been sustained and consistent, and makes teaching in Chefani School a bigger challenge where support is intermittent and the learners have not had as much exposure to technology or experience in the English language.
Volunteering with Preschool Children in South Africa
Meagan - a teaching student from Texas State University who joined VA32 for 3 weeks during July this year, shares her experiences working in a rural Wild Coast preschool. Foundation phase education in the Eastern Cape of South Africa is one of the most challenging areas to work in. Generally the preschools and day care centres are under-staffed and under-resourced with few facilities and a lot of children!
"Our first day at the school I, myself and the rest of my peers at that school, met the principal and all the teachers in the computer lab. After we all met, the teachers left the computer lab and shortly after, I went to the crèche where I would be teaching to meet the kids. To my surprise though, it was just the kids, Pumi (the teacher) was nowhere to be found.
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