Benevola is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to raising awareness of environmental issues in Africa through radio programmes and the latest mobile phone technology (pilot).
The School for Autistic Children was founded in January 2010 by a group of people who had autistic children of their own or in their family. Donations in the form of cash and consumables from the local business community were secured in order to open the school. The school provides children on the autism spectrum the opportunity to learn and grow within a social environment along with their peers – an environment that respects every child's uniqueness whilst promoting learning and development by using an Individual Educational Developmental Programme (IEDP) approach.
Statistics show that there is a rising percentage in the amount of autistic children worldwide. Although statistics about the prevalence of Autism varies, Autism Western Cape estimates that 1 in 86 children in South Africa under the age of 6 years are affected by it. Autism is 5 times more prevalent in boys than in girls (Autism Western Cape Website). Autism Spectrum Disorder is a term often used as an umbrella term for Pervasive Developmental Disorders as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for mental disorders 4th Edition.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability whereby those affected display difficulties in the following 4 areas (by some referred to as the “Quadrant of Autism”):
- Communication and Language difficulties;
- A narrow restricted repertoire of thinking and behaviour;
- Difficulties with sensory modulation;
- Difficulties in relating to other people.
Benevola seeks to recruit a Volunteer/Classroom Assistant, based in Western Cape.
Our partner's school is growing fast with the increase in Autism awareness worldwide. The aim is to provide quality education for learners from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Therefore, our school fees are very little and we can't afford staff assistants. The objective would be to give the volunteer an opportunity to work closely with Autistic children (between the ages of 3 and 16) under the guidance of an experienced teacher.
We currently have 3 classes at the school, with 6-7 learners per class.
Level 1: This class is for children aged 3-6. These children need hands-on motoring through activities, learn self-help skills like toilet-training, eating with cutlery, sensory integration throughout their school day, basic social skills, communication (most of them use PECS) and routine. Focus on fine and gross motor development.
Level 2: These children are between the ages of 7 and 10 and the focus of the activities in this classroom is: Refining of social, communication and independence skills, Pre-reading, writing and numeracy work, Focus on fine and gross motor development.
Level 3: This class is our so-called "higher functioning" learners, ages ranging from 9-15. This class focuses more on academic work and developing the learners for mainstream education. Social skills are of utmost importance in this class.
We currently need at least one assistant per classroom to ensure that we give each learner a quality education (our teacher: learner ratio is 1:7 which is not ideal). The person’s duties would mainly include assisting the teacher in daily educational activities. S/he would write out the planning of the day as well as each one's responsibilities. Duties could include (but is not limited to) facilitating/helping children with academic word in class, getting materials ready for the lesson, cutting/preparation of learning material (e.g. making visuals), joining the learners on field-trips, assisting with break-duty, attending or helping with administration around our fundraisers.
Working hours will be from 08h00 to 13h00 every day, and basic training will be provided.
- Special heart and lots of patience for learners with special needs;
- Must be able to work in a team;
- History of working in an education system or with Autism spectrum disorders will be beneficial, but is not a necessity;
- Honesty and motivation.
For more information, register and apply online, click here.
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For more about Benevola, refers to http://benevola.net.
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