Projects in South Africa
Volunteers in the Literacy Enrichment Project (LEP) partner with educators throughout South Africa to support and improve the culture of teaching, learning, and service for students, teachers, and communities. Reading is one of the most fundamental skills that a child must learn. An individual’s literacy ability can impact his/her economic earning potential, health outcomes, and well-being of families. It is critical for children to develop literacy skills early in life. This includes a robust foundation grounded in learning environments that connect listening, speaking, reading, writing, and critical thinking to the social and emotional development of students. Literacy programs should also integrate simultaneous, continuous skill building for growth in both “learning to read” and “reading to learn.”
Peace Corps supports communities at schools where a significant percentage of learners have not acquired basic reading and literacy skills at the primary level. Peace Corps Volunteers support teachers to strengthen effective early literacy teaching and learning techniques to foster valuable long-term educational outcomes through the creation of a positive teaching and learning environment. Peace Corps Volunteers work with learners in lower primary grades to increase English literacy levels and to help learners transition to English instruction from Grade 4. Peace Corps Volunteers also support learners with remedial needs of students to master English language learning in the Foundation Phase.
The Peace Corps Volunteer’s role is to co-teach students in Grade R through Grade 3 with teacher counterparts, while engaging in communities of practice. Ideally, the teacher and Volunteer partner co-plan, co-teach and or alternate sessions as part of the Volunteer’s service. The English teacher remains and active part of the learning process and models culturally appropriate support to the Volunteer in the form of classroom management and foundation phase teaching expertise.
In the context of controlling HIV/AIDS, epidemic control is reached when the total number of new HIV infections falls below the total number of deaths from all causes among HIV-positive individuals. The HIV Awareness & Prevention Program for Youth project (HAPPY) addresses structural drivers to health inequality, such as poverty, gender inequality, and associated stigma, as well as strengthening organizational capacity, which is critical to successfully reaching epidemic control.
Peace Corps specializes in a people-to-people approach to development that is based on relationships and skills exchange to implement sustainable, low-cost, replicable interventions to support community priorities. Peace Corps Volunteers work with host organizations to build their capacity for sustainable delivery of services to community members impacted by HIV/AIDS. Peace Corps Volunteers are uniquely positioned to serve as role models to their communities’ youth, training them in HIV prevention through areas such as youth sexual and reproductive education. This is done by increasing knowledge and skills to community members to improve their health, and assisting families through direct support and linkages to HIV services. Outcomes of the HAPPY project are to ensure:
- Youth adopt practices that prevent HIV
- Youth demonstrate employable skills
- You are supported to remain HIV-free
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
The HIV/AIDS outreach project, part of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, offers a unique opportunity to play a significant role in the development of South Africa, putting Volunteers at the forefront of the country’s response to the epidemic. Volunteers are placed in all four provinces to provide HIV/AIDS services at the grassroots level.
The goal is to help organizations become more effective and sustainable while increasing the provision of HIV/AIDS services to communities in need. Volunteers provide advice to non-governmental organizations, local governments, and community-based organizations on how to improve the quality and effectiveness of their programs and services, mentor staff, and introduce or strengthen creative approaches to resource identification and mobilization.