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South Africa - Cape Town Community Projects

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My incredible adventure Educare & Skills Development in Cape Town, South Africa

This trip, from beginning to end, was by far one of the most life-changing experiences I have ever lived. Even though my young age, I feel as though this experience was simply eye-opening. I did not have any expectations before going to South Africa. Although poverty may be present in some areas of Cape Town, I couldn’t help but notice the beauty within the poorer communities.
I lived in a house, full of Europeans, all wanting to make a change in this world, starting by Cape Town, more specifically the area of Du Noon. We went to our designated schools (or educares) by 08:00. My educare was Foot Steps. A very small place, with two rectangular tin containers forming an ‘L’ shape. Those were the children’s classrooms. One was for the 3-4 year olds, the other for the 5-6 year olds. The principal of the school used her house as a classroom for the babies, aged from 0-2 years old. The kids do not have an interior toilet therefore they must pee in the outside area. The outside area is small. Too small for 45+ kids to play in. The children were all so sweet. I had the 3-4 year old class and the teacher’s name was Lulu. They all spoke Xhosa, the local language. Most could not speak English but they understood some words. The kids loved singing. They would sing “Head, shoulders, knees and toes”, or songs that they made up like “Days of the week”, “Seasons of the year”, and many other English and Xhosa songs. The kids get fed breakfast, lunch and dinner because most kids do not have food at home. Most parents invest in the children’s appearances with new clothing and nice weaves but do not have money to buy food.
There were also plenty of activities that I got to do. On my first weekend in Cape Town, I went to the Cheetah Outreach where my roommates and I got to pet cheetahs. Then we went shark cage diving (brace yourselves, pick up time is usually at 03:00). During the week, I got to go climb Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. I also took part in a wine tour, where we visited five wineries (best wine I have ever had). We went to Robben Island where we got to see nelson Mandela’s cell. The tour guide was an ex-political prisoner who knew Mandela while in jail. We got to learn many facts about the prison itself and the prisoners who were sent to Robben Island. I also did the Cape Point tour and learned about the history of Cape Town involving the Dutch and the English, as well as seeing penguins and ostriches at the Cape of Good Hope. I bought myself a long-board to go around Table View (the roads were perfectly smooth to cruise around). We also attended a rugby game featuring the DHL Stormers of Cape Town against the Crusaders of New-Zealand. Unfortunately, the Stormers got destroyed. My co-volunteers and I would also go to Long Street, also known as the Party Street. So many activities but so little time.
No words can describe the amazing feeling I had throughout this unbelievable trip. Everybody I have met, volunteers, teachers, locals… were all so open-minded and kind. I am beyond grateful for my project leaders, Gail and Shannon, who have helped me with everything during this adventure and I hope that everybody has an experience as incredible as mine.