NOTE : Due to government visa requirements, to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa, you must submit FBI Background check documentation with your visa application.
This is in addition to Peace Corps’ legal clearance process. If you have you ever been cited for, arrested, charged with, or convicted of any offense, regardless of whether a citation, charge, arrest, or conviction has been sealed, dismissed, or expunged from your record (excluding minor traffic violations, traffic citations, and parking tickets), you should be aware that your application for a visa to South Africa may be rejected, and you may want to consider serving in a country other than South Africa.
The main three primary focus areas of the Early Grade English Education Project are to :
1. Increase the capacity of South African Kindergarten, Grade R, in order for teachers to teach literacy skills and manage their classes more effectively
2. Directly teach English to Grades 1, 2 and 3 learners, ages 6 9 years old
3. Provide remedial English lessons to small groups of learners throughout the primary school
English language learning is a high priority of the South African government to enable students to be successful. Although English is the official language of instruction in classrooms in South Africa, in many rural areas teachers must rely upon local language to explain things to students who have limited exposure to English.
Class sizes are often large, and teachers have limited time to provide individual support. Volunteers are recruited for their interest in directly teaching English to young children during their service.
The Volunteer will be expected to adhere to the curriculum provided by the Department of Education, South Africa : the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for English First Additional Language (FAL).
In addition to their primary duties, Volunteers may become involved in secondary projects which could include, amongst others :
Because of the context of living and working within South Africa, all Volunteers within South Africa receive training in HIV prevention and mitigation.
Education Volunteers specifically receive training to address the impact of the epidemic among youth. Beyond an Education Volunteer's commitment to his / her primary assignment and secondary projects, many Volunteers in South Africa engage in additional activities that focus on HIV prevention and mitigation with children and youth.
Volunteers also receive training on incorporating methods of gender analysis into community assessment and development efforts.
Volunteers find culturally appropriate ways to incorporate gender awareness and youth empowerment into their work as teachers and through secondary projects.
Our most competitive candidates will have one more of the following :
Full time Montessori teaching experience is also acceptable.
Peace Corps South Africa prefers that candidates have a minimum of 1 year experience teaching young children in a classroom or 2 years teaching / facilitating extra-
mural activities. It is advantageous for candidates to have an interest in or have a demonstrated record of volunteerism that reflects a personal commitment to children, youth and education / learning.
This may include, but is not limited to coaching or training in sports or after-school programs, childrens’ camps and any other work involving young children.
Required Language Skills
There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. While English is spoken in most parts of South Africa, it is more limited in rural settings.
Additionally, learning the assigned South African language is an integral part of the Volunteers’ success and provides a deeper and more rewarding experience for Volunteers.
Language training will be included as a key component of Pre-Service Training. By the end of Pre-Service Training, Trainees are expected to meet the intermediate-
low proficiency level. The language learned will be dependent on the site at which you are placed.
All Volunteers will be assigned to work in rural under-resourced schools. Typically, housing is located in the same community served by the school.
It is likely you will live with a family, but have your own room / dwelling separate from the host family or a room that is attached to the house with its own entrance and exit.
Volunteer housing varies considerably in South Africa. While a few Volunteers may have housing with running water and / or electricity, the majority of Volunteers do not have running water while some may have no access to electricity.
Many Volunteers have access to the internet via smartphones and the cellular network although the signal can be patchy. Volunteers should be willing and able to live in rural and low resourced conditions, and to walk up to 6 miles daily getting to and from work, markets, community activities, etc.
During the site identification process, Peace Corps evaluates the selected housing, ensuring that it meets the required housing criteria (room outside family compound, adequate water supply within the community, and access to a clean latrine).
A comprehensive security assessment will also be conducted of your housing to meet the requirements of Peace Corps. Volunteers are placed on the basis of their skills and the needs of the school, not on the basis of housing priorities.
The Department of Education will provide basic furnishing, including a bed, mattress and closet. The Peace Corps will provide you with a settling-
in allowance that will enable you to purchase sheets, blankets, pots and pans and other household necessities.
Living and working in South Africa means negotiating the disparity between extreme wealth and extreme poverty on an almost daily basis.
Volunteers must be prepared to live and work in a post-conflict’ area and the issues that come with such, including post-
trauma stress and challenges and unresolved conflict that will present barriers to day-to-day work. South Africa is an exceedingly diverse country with a complex history that continues to affect the country politically, economically, and socially.
Volunteers must be aware of this and consider the stress and challenges of such.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in South Africa : Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety including crime statistics PDF in order to make a well-
informed decision about serving.
South Africa is able to accommodate couples in the same sector that allow them to remain together during the entirety of Pre-
Service Training and 2 years of service. Therefore, your partner must qualify for :
Primary School English Teacher
Couples may be asked to work in the same school with different defined roles, or may be placed with different schools that are in close proximity.
To gain community acceptance, couples are advised to present themselves as married, regardless of their marital status.
Couples will live together and will be in similar housing to other volunteers. Couples will either live with a host family or in their own separate building.
Housing will be large enough to host two people.
Medical Considerations in South Africa
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.