Volunteering at Starfish is one of the best ways to tangibly have an impact in improving the lives of at-risk children in South Africa. Most of what needs to be done can be done from the comfort of your home. In fact, the thing we need least is volunteers to play with children. As you may know, legislation that protects children from potential harm prescribes that all adults working with children must be screened against the Child Protection Register. Because this is a lengthy process and child safeguarding costs are high, we prefer to utilise volunteers with other specific skills. Below is a non-exhaustive list of the assistance we do need.
We are looking for skilled individuals, knowledgeable in child-development, to contribute to drafting curricula to be used by Community Caregivers in developing the skills of children and their parents/caregivers. Of special interest to us is:
- ECD@home – Early Childhood Development, the first 1000 days
- Responsive Caregiving. Developing awareness and capacities for parents to better respond to their children’s needs. Also providing parents with practical tools to encourage participative play, role-play, imaginary-play, etc.
- Youth Development. At Starfish, we’re committed to providing youth development that is research-informed and evidence-based. Essential skills include:- Resilience Development; Executive Function Development; Positive Civic Participation; Sexual & Reproduction Health and Rights; Debating; Reading for Learning.
- Health & Nutrition. Foundational to a child’s wellbeing is their health and access to the right nutrients at the right amount. Though there is much material available in this sphere, making it more accessible to the indigent, semi-literate mothers needs to be improved.