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Sparrow Schools | Johannesburg

Education and health project

In September 1989 Sparrow Schools took up the challenge of providing education to children and young adults aged 6-35 with learning difficulties and disabilities and preparing them for life and the labour market.

Special Education in South Africa

In South Africa, there are very few institutions that care for children and young people with learning disabilities and impairments. The few schools that do exist are usually expensive public schools. Sparrow Schools are mainly financed by donations and school fees. Compared to public schools (approx. 50 – 60 children per class) with a maximum of approx. 20 children, the learning groups are kept rather small.

What you can expect

Depending on your individual interests and abilities, you can apply for a placement at the Foundation School or FET College.

In the primary school you will support the teachers by providing additional supervision, preparing teaching materials, correcting schoolwork and homework, and taking over supervision during breaks. You are also the direct contact person for the children and act as a confidant. Twice a week you will also organise afternoon workshops.

About the project

Similar to the model of German special schools, Sparrow Schools are attended by pupils who cannot be given the opportunity to develop their full potential by conventional schools. The pupils often come from socially weak and/or difficult domestic situations.
Sparrow Schools comprises three schools, the Foundation School from grades 1 – 7, the Combined School from grades 8 – 9 and FET College. The FET College provides young adults with an education in the fields of catering, carpentry or automotive mechatronics. From the Foundation School up to and including FET College, the learning process is supported in order to provide students with a good foundation for their future. In order to be allowed to attend one of the Sparrow Schools, the children and young people are tested in advance. This ensures that Sparrow Schools is the right school to support and encourage them in their particular needs.

What you bring along

You will be working with

students of different age groups

Working Languages



32–60 First Ave
Melville, Johannesburg

You can find out more here:

Are you interested in volunteering in THIS project? Then apply HERE.

Sparrows has an incredibly diverse team with many young, energetic and creative people. For me, Sparrows is a representation of the multi-diverse city of Johannesburg.
Lisa Ünsever
North-South-volunteer 2018/19
Above all, the time I spend with the Sparrow children, whether on the sports field or playground, in the classroom or therapy room, and the special love for and from them will always be in my heart.
Marleen Lorenzen
North-South-volunteer 2017/18
Today, the Sparrow Foundation Trust continues to provide education and a safe environment for children with learning disabilities and social disadvantages.
Enna Boensch
North-South-volunteer 2018/19

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