Latest Volunteer & Intern Travel News

Very excited children! - Maud's Journey pt. 10

I had a lovely visit with my parents and sister, but I was happy to see the Ilitha daycare children again, and they were happy to see me. Last Tuesday we went to an educational farm and the children were very excited. We went in two buses, and on the way the children were talking non-stop about all the things they saw during the trip. The farm was in Port Elizabeth and we had half an hour’s travel time.

Maud's Volunteer Journey pt. 9

Simon is coming on so well with lessons this week and I am extremely proud of him! He is still learning how to write his own name. I alternated teaching his name with his wife’s name, and then numbers.  I didn’t want to overwhelm him with new information and make it too difficult for him. First of all I wrote down his name, so he could see how it looked. After that he had to write it by himself, but I gave him the letters. By the end he could write his name by himself. Although we have lots of practice to do, I was glad he could spell his name without my help.

Literacy Classes With Simon, A Test At The Daycare, And Rugby! - Maud's Journey pt. 8

Last Thursday I helped at an adult literacy class in the township. The people were learning to recognise the letters of the alphabet, and write letters and words. Most people who join the literacy classes struggle quite a bit. One of the women couldn’t recognise the difference between the letters “h” and “b”. Someone explained it to her a few times, but it didn’t work. The teacher explained using the words hello and baby. It was a little sad that she was struggling so hard to learn the alphabet and write, but she was making an effort!

Maud's Volunteer Journey pt. 7

At the daycare, I helped a boy pull up his pants, and saw that he had a green thread fastened around his hips. I asked the teacher what it was for, and she told me that it was a religious symbol, and meant that God would watch over him. Faith is very important for people in the township, and that was the first time I truly saw this.

Maud's Volunteer Journey pt. 6

I’m writing this blog while sitting on the couch at the volunteer house. There are three new people here, who arrived last weekend – two guys, one from the Netherlands and one from England; and a girl from the US. It’s not that easy to write with them here - one of them is listening to loud music, and another one keeps hiccupping! But they are are lovely people and I like sharing the house with them.

More On The Holiday Program, And A Visit To A Game Reserve - Maud's Journey pt. 5

Another week went by, with the children at the holiday program. This week we had four days where there were a LOT of children. There was no electricity at the school at the beginning of the week, so we had to dance without music. The children really like music and dancing. Finally at the end of the week, the electricity was back up. It was much nicer to dance with music – it’s easier and puts us all in a good mood. The people here are so flexible with their hips - it’s great to watch and I’m jealous!

The Holiday Program And The Volunteer House - Maud's Journey pt. 4

The weeks here as a volunteer in Port Elizabeth go very fast. Last week we had three days holiday program with children from the township at the Jon Masiza primary school. Tuesday was the start and there were around seventy children. We made four groups for the children, green, orange, white and purple. When the children come to the holiday program in the morning between nine and ten o’clock, they get a color on their face with facepainting and have to say her or his name. That makes it structural. We have four groups with children because we had four categories: sport, fun games, art and dance.

Painting The Nursery - Maud's Journey pt. 3

Three of us volunteers painted a township nursery. We worked on it for three mornings, but it was a lot of work, so it isn’t finished. The nursery is a house made of corrugated iron. My volunteering work is in a colorful crèche, which I think makes children happy – so we wanted the nursery to be colourful as well.

A week of various activities! - Maud's Journey pt. 2

In the previous blog, I spoke about the after-school project. This week there was no after-school project due to the learners writing exams. Usually, volunteers from Izizwe coach the children in sports in the morning at the John Masiza primary school, and we have an after-school project with children at the Walmer Primary School. The children don’t train at a sports club, because that is too expensive – but sport is important for their physical and social development.

Introduction - Maud's Journey pt. 1

My name is Maud and I’m a 22 year-old woman from the Netherlands. I would like to share my experience at Ilitha Day Care in Port Elizabeth.

I have been in Port Elizabeth now for two months, at a volunteer programme in Walmer Township. I came to South Africa to help other people in the world, and especially children. Every morning, I wave my hand at the classroom door, to be greeted by all the children shouting “Teacher, teacher!” Then I show my face, and I see all the smiles on the faces of the children. They all run to me and give me a high five. That makes me very happy!

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