ICYE in the World
|Name:||Eros Cerebral Palsy School|
|Brief description and main aims|
Eros Cerebral Palsy School: Eros School for Learners with Special Educational Needs (ELSEN) has around 350 learners aged from 4y to 16.
Our approach to education, our core function, is to give all learners with specific barriers, the opportunity to access the mainstream curriculum so that they can learn and develop into independent and equal members in society.
We offer education from pre-school to grade 9 level. The learners have various degrees of difficulties including physical (Cerebral Palsy), behavioural and educational (Dyslexia). We also have a boarding facility (hostel) which accommodates learners not on the bus routes.
Staff at the school consists of Education Department employees such as teachers and therapists (39) and general assistants (cleaners and hostel staff - 34) There are also School Governing Body employees such as classroom assistants, security staff, gardeners and drivers (22)
Volunteers assist in various ways depending on their skills and interests e.g. personal assistant to a severely physically disabled CP, teacher’s class assistant or therapy assistant.
There are also opportunities for class teaching, sports coaches, swimming instructors, music therapy, dancing etc as well as group activities for behaviour modification and social integration.
Tasks in the classroom can be assisting an individual learner who is physically struggling to do their school work and requires one-on-one assistance or encouraging a slow worker to complete tasks or help the teacher design and make use of educational aids e.g. “word or number cards”.
Each volunteer develops their own timetable, according to the needs of the school and their own interests, for the five school days of the week and could also be involved in weekend activities for the children who live in the hostel. They always work with a member of our staff whether educator or general assistant. They could also join in extracurricular activities such as our “ Food Fair”, “Marine Day”, School Concert etc to experience the different aspects of life in South Africa.
|Volunteer requirements / Skills|
- Characteristics: Friendly with good interpersonal skills and empathy for children with barriers to learning. Patience is a virtue that is essential because the younsters with attention deficit and difficulties with impulse control, test it all the time!
- Skills: Any training or experience within an educational or residential facility (teaching or caring) for children with special needs, will make it easier for them. A special interest in any sporting code ( football/ soccer and swimming is very popular) or arts /cultural activities is useful. Music, dance or acting “teachers” most welcome!
- Language: Most of the learners understand and can communicate in English even though their mother tongue might be Afrikaans or Xhosa.
- Age, gender: We accept both male and female volunteers. Age does not matter as long as they are physically and mentally fit for the task. Males with leadership or mentoring skills are especially usuful because many of our learners lack positive male role models as they are often cared for by only their mothers or grandmothers.
- Technical/manual: We use adapted equipment a lot and have to assemble, construct or design our own equipment due to shortage of funds. Engineers are thus welcome too.
Athlone, Cape Town
|Hosting Situation (Board & Lodging)|
The volunteer will live in the accommodation provided at the project.
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