Dalat - Discover It Before Everyone Else Does!

 

Youth

Township Orphanages

ELI works with orphanages located in the townships on the outskirts of Cape Town. Many of the children are abandoned or have been removed from their families for safety reasons, and many are HIV+. Volunteers coordinate group activities, assist students with homework, mentor and provide some much needed emotional support. These are great programs for upbeat, motivated volunteers who want to make a difference in the lives of little ones! Minimum time requirement is 2 months. Questions? Click here

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After you fill out the application form on our website, our applications adviser will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Teaching

Teaching

There is always a shortage of teachers. Volunteers are desperately needed to help poorer schools meet the needs of the students. Volunteers usually start by shadowing as a teacher aide, but after a couple weeks take over their own classroom. All educational backgrounds are welcome! Most volunteers teach English, math, social studies, music and art. Minimum time requirement is 2 months. Questions? Click here

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After you fill out the application form on our website, our applications adviser will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Refugees

Refugee Programs

The organizations we have partnered with specifically support abandoned, abused, terminally ill, and refugee children from Rwanda, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The minimum time requirement is 2 months, and these projects are primarily located in townships on the edge of the city so participants must be prepared to commute.

Women's Programs: Participants who wish to work specifically with marginalized women do so in a number of ways: Capacity building, small business development/micro-finance, soup kitchen assistance, and health related programs. Most women's organizations offer assistance in more than one of these fields, so participants in the this field often assist in different projects during their stay. Minimum time requirement is 2 months. Questions? Click here

"I just wanted to once again thank you for sourcing two amazing students for us! Both Amy and Michaela have been incredible! They are both so willing and capable and just make things work. It has been awesome having them with us. Amy has even gotten her whole household involved in sleepovers for the kids and they are all pitching in to take a group of kids on an outing - so great! We are so incredibly blessed by the people you provide for us, without them we truly would not be able to do what we do. THANK YOU!" -Alison, NGO Director

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After you fill out the application form on our website, our applications adviser will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Wildlife

Wildlife

Animal programs are some of the most popular ELI projects in Cape Town. These placements are a great fit for dedicated conservation, pre-veterinary or veterinary students who would like to simultaneously learn from professionals and contribute their skills. Specific placements are available working with monkeys, ostriches, penguins, birds, cheetahs, reptiles, horses, or the aquarium. For advanced students and professionals who wish to focus on veterinary care, placements are available with an organization that cares for neglected animals, vets, and with a zoo. All animal placements require a minimum two month commitment. Questions? Click here

Here one of our previous volunteers describes her experience:

"As much as the 3 months was difficult being away from friends and family and living with various personalities and ages and also working really hard and often beyond open hours of the facility, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat!  It was a dream come true for me and I’ll have the memories forever.  I will definitely return to the cheetah center and SA as soon as I can, if only to visit!"  -Tara

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After you fill out the application form on our website, our applications adviser will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Public Health

Public Health

TB/HIV/AIDS:
South Africa is suffering from one of the worst TB/HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. In 2006 the South African Department of Health estimated that 29.1% of pregnant women were living with HIV. ELI is currently filling positions in education, research and treatment. In an effort to prevent the spread of HIV (especially in young female populations) and to counter misinformation and discrimination, HIV outreach volunteers work in teams with professionals who conduct health education campaigns at local schools, focusing on lower economic areas of Cape Town. Volunteers work in teams to create and present material, answer students' questions, spend time with the children, research, and assist with administrative aspects of the campaign. Volunteers with a background in public health research can assist at the university, where numerous studies are underway to better understand the correlation between TB and HIV/AIDS and treatment options. South African hospitals and clinics are struggling to keep up with the needs of HIV/AIDS patients, and consequently many of those seeking medical attention are unable to receive care. Volunteers assist with children’s programs at the hospitals and at orphanages for HIV+ children by leading activities, mentoring and ensuring that the children are taking their medications on time. For medical professionals, volunteer positions are available in a state funded training and counseling center. Volunteers assist in training social workers and nurses to specifically work with HIV/AIDS patients long after the medical volunteers have returned home. These programs require a minimum two month time commitment. Questions? Click here

Psychiatry:
Positions are available for professionally skilled and experienced interns to assist with adults and children. These placements are supervised by a professional and typically require a minimum three month commitment. Interns in this program need to be professional, open-minded, and culturally sensitive. Questions? Click here

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

Students and professionals in this field are in great demand. This is an opportunity to work with local professionals in the field and make a difference in the lives of children. After receiving care at the children's hospital, many children are not well enough to return home. If that is the case, they are routed to one of the many children's homes that are just outside the city center. During their recovery, many of the children spend much of their time in cribs. Further, some of the diseases cause their muscles to atrophy. Regular therapy can alleviate the pain associated with inactivity and help shorten their recovery time. Participants in this program learn how to implement programs for specific conditions and lead small groups in activities to keep these kids active and smiling. These internships require a minimum two month commitment. Questions? Click here

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After you fill out the application form on our website, our applications adviser will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Engineering

Engineering

For interns or people who want the experience of working in a foreign country, the chance to work with an engineering firm in Cape Town can be invaluable! Highly qualified participants can intern in the fields of solar energy, civil construction engineering, yacht building, mechanical engineering, water and wastewater engineering, Administration, HR, Software Development/IT, or finance/cost accounting in an Engineering firm. Questions? Click here

These internships require a minimum two month commitment. Most companies, however, prefer interns to stay at least three months to fully integrate into the organization

Media, Marketing & Graphic Design

Media, Marketing & Graphic Design

Positions with some of the top advertising firms in Cape Town are open to serious, upper-level students and recent graduates. Interns assist with print, radio, commercials, marketing research, product promotion, product launches and special events. There are also marketing and logistics positions available with NGOs, and promotional positions with sports related companies. Interns should have some relevant education and/or experience in advertising, marketing, or graphic design. These internships require a minimum two month commitment. Questions? Click here

"As my time in South Africa comes to an end, I would like to thank you for your generous help and support throughout my stay here. I definitely had the most amazing time here in Cape Town and the people I encountered were so interesting and welcoming. It was wonderful to stay in this beautiful country during my summer holiday (even though it's winter here!). I really hope that one day I will come back to South Africa and see more of the country. My internship has been rewarding and I am very grateful that you placed me there, where I was able to learn from the wonderful ladies and to gain some insight into how the company works." -Guanyuan

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After you fill out the application form on our website, our applications adviser will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Fashion

Fashion

The fashion industry has exploded in Cape Town. The new burgeoning middle class has created a completely new market for local clothing designers and manufacturers. Rare opportunities are available with successful local clothing designers assisting with the design, manufacture, and retail approach to their lines. Other placements include African craft organizations, large-scale manufacturers, and a national knitwear manufacturer. If you'd like your program to coincide with Cape Town Fashion Week, that event usually occurs mid-August. Questions? Click here

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After you fill out the application form on our website, our applications adviser will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Tourism

Tourism

An internship with an adventure tour company, sports and cultural events organization, hotel or safari company is a great way to gain real world experience and meet visitors from all over the world. Interns assist with safaris, tours, logistics, customer relations, administrative duties, event planning, public relations, and integrated marketing. Knowledge of European languages (German, Italian, French, or Spanish) can be useful but is not required. Questions? Click here

These internships require a minimum two month commitment.

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After you fill out the application form on our website, our applications adviser will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Wineries

Wineries

South African wine is famous throughout the world, especially their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. At wineries in Stellenbosch, ELI participants are trained to help with everything from cultivating, preparation, tastings, to marketing and export. Harvesting happens in February. Questions? Click here

These positions require a minimum two month commitment.

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After you fill out the application form on our website, our applications adviser will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

My last post was on the French legacy in Southeast Asia. So when I read feedback from an intern (medical) who just finished up his program in Dalat, Vietnam, it seemed the right time to add more on the subject. He raved about his placement there. He admitted that he went more for the internship than the setting, and sounded surprised by how much he loved Dalat and its people. He wasn't the only one, we had quite a group this summer in Dalat involved in a variety of programs. Our programs there were also recently approved by the Regis University School of Pharmacy for their students.

I love when we can introduce a great destination to people. One they had never thought of or even heard of. It’s true that Dalat often catches visitors by surprise. The city is unlike any other area in Vietnam: a former French colonial resort located at 4,900 feet.(1500 meters) above sea level, it boasts lush mountain scenery, stunning waterfalls, European architecture and very friendly locals proud to show off their city. Louis Pasteur was one of the chief advocates for the development of this getaway in the late 19th century. Prior to that it was an undeveloped jungle!

Although Vietnamese tourists have been going to Dalat for decades -- it’s among the most popular honeymoon destinations -- the city remains somewhat off-the-beaten path for many mainstream Western visitors.

My advice: go for it while it’s still a bit undiscovered by the masses. It’s only a matter of time before this little paradise is on everyone’s itinerary!

So, in short, why Dalat?

  • It’s cooler than Ho Chi Minh City, and we mean that literally. This is where you can go to escape Vietnam’s relentless heat: its higher elevation and frequent mists have earned Dalat the nickname of “City of Eternal Spring.” Average highs usually top at 80 degrees F (27 c).
  • It’s the perfect blend of city and nature. Dalat has cafes, clubs and a backpacker party scene, yet its lakes, waterfalls, pine forests and surrounding hills still give it a refreshing, relaxing vacation vibe you’ll quickly embrace.
  • It’s oddly European... Lonely Planet thinks Dalat is reminiscent of the French Alps in springtime. But there’s also a castle. An Eiffel Tower. Chalets. Colonial architecture. A crazy Gaudi-like house called, appropriately, Hang Nga Crazy House. (And speaking of crazy, you just have to see the giant concrete chicken in Lang Dingh An.)
  • ...yet very Vietnamese: The area is home to indigenous tribes you may see wandering in the city wearing their native garb, pagodas, old and new temples, silk industry and possibly one the tackiest tourist parks (even the locals say it’s kitschy) called Valley of Love -- all very Vietnamese.
  • It’s a great base for outdoor adventures: everything from kayaking and canyoning, to trekking, rock climbing and biking. Whether you have a day to play, or a week, local tour companies will make sure it’s filled with adrenaline-pumping fun you’ll never forget.
  • It's inexpensive. It is geared to local tourists, the prices are great and there are restaurants galore. I remember having an excellent dinner in a vegetarian restaurant for about a dollar!

I'd encourage volunteers and interns to consider a program here instead of the more popular locations of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. They're great places to visit, but for daily life, nothing beats the eternal spring weather and the welcoming people of Dalat.

 

By Kevin O'Neill

 

 

We’re here to tell you: go for it while it’s still a bit undiscovered by the masses. It’s only a matter of time before this little paradise is on everyone’s itinerary!

 

So, in short, why Dalat?

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