Grabouw – August 2013
I could not even possibly begin to put the whole volunteering experience into words, so here is just a brief overview.
In August 2013 my parents and I headed to South Africa to do some voluntary work with a charity called Thembalitsha. Friends of ours had recently moved over to Grabouw in order to work for The Themablitsha Foundation, hence why we decided to go over and visit and help out in the few weeks that we were there.
The Thembalitsha Foundation has many different projects that you can get involved in. The project that I still hold closest to my heart that I worked with was ‘The Village of Hope’ – A project that see’s babies and children as young as a few months old living in a care centre. The centre has House Mums who dedicate their lives caring for these young children, feeding them, bathing them, playing with them and educating them. They truly are an inspiration! Helping out in The Village of Hope meant I could try and ease some of the pressure of the house mums by playing the children, helping out at feeding time and just generally being an extra hand to help. I absolutely loved volunteering at The Village of Hope, and am thankful for the experiences.
As well as helping out at The Village of Hope we also got a chance to help in the local community, this included going on ‘Soup runs’ where we collected soup and meals for those that could not afford to eat, and shared it out in the villages. Seeing children and adults chase after you when they see you have food in your hands really is heartbreaking. I was also quite involved with the sports groups they held in the villages too and helped out with netball in particular and football. This was great fun and the children loved being active, running around and being care free. And so did I.
The whole experience was great and a real eye opener. This was my first overseas voluntary experience, and it really was a pleasure. The memories I hold from my time there I will always treasure, and still to this day I think of the children I helped care for in The Village of Hope.
The Thembalitsha Foundation, along with many other charities, will always be happy for any help they can get. Whether this a donation of money, food or clothing, a share on your Facebook page, or getting on a plane and heading over to help volunteer.
If you have any questions about my time in Grabouw with Thembalitsha, please do not hesitate to ask! I would be happy to help.