Rosie Slavin - 2014 Program Participant

Orphanage volunteer in South Africa cuddling an orphan

Cuddles with the children after playing.

Why did you choose to volunteer abroad?

I chose to volunteer abroad as I thought it would be such an eye opener to learn new cultures and new ways of living. I wanted to help others who aren't as privileged as me so volunteering abroad was the best option!

What were your housing arrangements like in Cape Town?

My housing arrangements in Cape Town were really nice! I moved firstly into Deco Lodge which was lovely. They had an outdoor pool, however it was too cold to swim in it! Then mid-week I moved to African Heart which was beautiful. I shared a room with five others, so it was a brilliant environment to meet new people from all over the world.

Hiking in South Africa

Second day: Trip around South Africa.

What was a normal day like as a volunteer in South Africa?

A normal day in South Africa consisted of waking up around 7a.m. to catch our lift with the other volunteers from various accommodations. We would get to work around 8 a.m. to then start to look after the children. I was based within the older children section for half the day, then with the babies towards the end of the day. I would play with the children, feed them, help change clothes, and put them down for a nap midday. This is when we would have our lunch. Then the same process with the babies, which was lovely! We would teach them how to walk, crawl, or sit depending on how capable they here. At the end of the day we would help to feed dinner to the older children and then take them to bed. This is when we would get a lift back to the accommodation around 4 p.m.

What are the top reasons you'd want to go back to South Africa?

My reasons for wanting to go back to South Africa would be to visit everyone again! I would love to see our representatives to see how everyone is. I would also love to visit the Sarah Fox Hospital to see what has changed. To see the children again, if they are still there since I volunteered, and to help out again. I would visit South Africa to also visit certain areas which I didn't get to see as it is such a beautiful place.

Would you recommend Kaya to others interested in volunteering in South Africa?

Yes, I would recommend Kaya! The reason for this is because it is such an amazing experience. I learned a lot of valuable lessons which I will keep for life. Although you are there to help, you also can see South Africa and visit various things such as an safari and great white shark diving, which was unbelievable. I met amazing people also from all over the world which I still keep in contact with! Overall, it was the most amazing journey and adventure I have ever done. I would love to volunteer over and over again!

How has volunteering abroad impacted your life?

Volunteering has impacted my life as I have learned to appreciate everything around me. I have learned that life is a precious thing and helping others is so rewarding. I will always keep the memories from South Africa. Helping children who do not have what I have has made me realise how lucky I am.

Orphanage volunteer in South Africa

Rosie helping Somila to stand.

What was the most memorable experience you had while volunteering abroad?

My most memorable experience was helping a young child named Somila to walk. He suffered from a condition within his legs which resulted in him not being able to walk. I remember we were playing outside and he wanted to run around with the others. I picked him up and put him in a swing. He was laughing and smiling which made me happy! To see him so happy was such an amazing feeling.

If you could change one thing about your program, what would it be?

I would change the weather! We went during England's summer time, which was South Africa’s winter. I packed for autumn, so I had no jumpers or coats with me. It rained a few days, however during the nights it was very very cold! The experience itself I would change nothing about as everything was so amazing.