- Created on Monday, 15 October 2012 08:32
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So what are you going to do next year? If you can't answer this question and you are currently in Matric, you might want to consider reading on.
First - you are not alone.
Lots of matrics don't really know what they want to do when they finish school. Matric is such an all-consuming year with little space for reflection or planning of a career path. For a school leaver who is not sure of their next step taking a gap year can seem a good plan.
The idea of a Gap Year can often frighten parents, evoking visions of teenagers lounging around at home, hanging out on the streets, spending hours on FaceBook and gaming at best and leading to more dangerous and risky experimentation with drugs and alcohol without the boundaries of school and routine. Gap years can be expensive and worrying, with inexperienced teenagers travelling overseas, getting into tricky situations and needing lots of foreign currency.
A volunteer gap year is a well-known option in many other countries, particularly in a shifting economic landscape where opportunities for employment are increasingly scarce. In the US, the UK, Japan, Australia and many European countries it is common practice for young people to spend a gap year after school volunteering in NGOs and charities. The benefits of such an experience are well known and well documented. Here are some of the things young people in the UK say they gained from their volunteering experiences.
- Real work experience in a friendly caring environment;
- Growth in confidence, self worth;
- Did good for the community;
- Felt happier;
- Developed boundaries;
- Easier to apply for employment;
- Helped in interviews;
- Got good references;
- Gives you that little push; and
- Helps you sort your life out.
So with which organisation can South African youth consider embarking upon such an experience? Action Volunteers Africa (AVA) is a non-profit recruitment organisation (NPO) set up to foster a volunteering culture among young South Africans by placing school-leaving students from a wide range of schools into 6-12 month volunteer learnerships in a variety of South African NGOs. AVA recruits will gain practical structured working experience, assisting both the organisations and the communities they serve and at the same time developing new skills and deepening their understanding of their fellow South Africans.
Prospective AVA Learners:
Be sure to go to AVA's vacancy page and check out the learnership vacancies AVA has on offer.
Please indicate clearly on your form which learnership you are interested in.
The AVA programme will go live in February 2013 when 20 - 40 AVA recruits begin their volunteer learnerships in a variety of NGOs mostly situated in the Western Cape. The programme will be scaled up during the year and AVA is aiming for a national launch with a much larger group of recruits in NGOs throughout the country in early 2014.
Download: AVA Pilot Programme Application Form.
Download: AVA Learnership Template.
Contact AVA:185 Landsdowne Road
Tel: 021 671 3150
Fax: 021 683 4688