SAAYC Volunteer Programme
The valuable role that volunteers play in South African society is increasingly being noticed. Volunteering has a long and rich history in South Africa. The spirit of UBUNTU has been the life source of communities for centuries. Volunteering was a mainstay of the anti-apartheid movement and youth played an integral role in that process, as volunteers. Today, many individuals are doing their part in communities across the country to build South Africa to its full potential. This year's energetic response to Mandela Day by South Africans of all backgrounds and all ages confirms that volunteerism is still at the core of the South African way of life and that participating in community-based effort has strong appeal.
That said, the full potential of volunteering as a tool for development and as a spur towards social cohesion and nation-building in South Africa, particularly among youth, has not yet been achieved. The reasons for this are manifold. Too often, youth lack access to a diverse set of quality opportunities for volunteering in the vicinity where they live. While there is a great need for volunteers among community-based organisations and non-profit organisations, these organisations often lack the capacity and know-how to successfully recruit and engage volunteers. Lastly, despite the tradition of volunteering in the country, misperceptions and negative stereotypes of volunteering abound and thus many young people perceive volunteering as an unattractive activity of little or no value.
The Southern African Association of Youth Clubs (SAAYC) has been at the forefront of promoting volunteering and civic service among youth. SAAYC seeks to promote a more positive image of volunteering so that a wider spectrum of South African youth comes to see volunteering as a worthwhile activity that yields personal and societal benefits than a means of keeping themselves busy.
For more information, contact SAAYC National Office.