Broadening my perspective – Visiting the Projects

Most of the volunteers at Khaya work at Izizwe Projects, they leave home at 8:30 am and finish at 3:30 pm. I accompanied them several times to understand their involvement in the community as well as how the project operates. Celia is the manager and works closely with Lloyd, Leesah and Zweli. Everyone has a speciality, for Lloyd it is sport, Leesa deals with the education of children and Zweli is the dance master. This project offers many activities for the children of Walmer Township. These activities include basketball, tooth brushing, adult literacy, English lessons and dancing.

For me, this Project is very special because it takes place in the heart of Walmer Township and I was eager to see what it was exactly. Everyone says that townships are dangerous, but the organisation is well known for what they do and therefore the people know that we are there to uplift the community. We are always surrounded by people who know their way around the township and this gives us a sense of security.

You would never see another place like this, you must see it to believe it. 

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Protea:

Today I will be accompanying Elien and Michelle to their projects. They leave home at 9:30 and finish at 4:00. Protea Child Care Centre is a government organization located in Port Elizabeth. It provides temporary accommodation for children aged 4 to 14 who have been removed from their parents' custody by court order.

Protea's mission is to meet the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of each child. Children in their care are most often placed in a centre because of physical and mental neglect and/or sexual abuse.

As a result, the children live for a while in this centre, they go to school and participate in many activities. Elien and Michelle help the staff who supervise these children. They create different activities for them, such as outdoor games, soccer or rugby games, pool sessions to teach them how to swim, or fun games.

I accompanied them all day long, the first thing I saw when I arrived was a donkey walking around the entrance of the building. They explained to me that there were two donkeys in Protea to entertain the children. Strange, isn't it?

There is a school in the Protea area, this school welcomes protea children and children from outside. This helps to give children a certain balance and not to cut them off from the outside world. We played with them at morning recess. For the lunch break Protea received children from another school to play an inter-school soccer match. In the afternoon we accompanied the girls to the pool.

I love this project and I think it deserves more volunteers! It is difficult to imagine that these children have been through hell with their families. They are very engaging, and I had a hard time leaving them.

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Love story:

I left with Pascal for the day to accompany him at his project. We leave at 8:15 am and finish around 2:30 pm. Love story is an organisation that has been in existance since 2012.

They have established a soup kitchen in the city centre that provides hot meals 5 days a week.

They also work with children, hospitals and on biblical awareness groups. My role was to assist with the preparation of the soup kitchen and I really enjoyed it. We cooked all day.

It was really nice and very different. It's a pretty small place and there are not many people. As a result, you quickly get to know people and make connections. The mama who cooks is absolutely adorable!

I then participated in The Goodnight Market, a handmade food market that is held every last Thursday of the month. Thanks to this intervention, the love story association collects donations. It is possible to taste wine and beer. The deserts and burgers are absolutely delicious. I would recommend it any day. We spent the whole evening in this place with all the volunteers of the house.

I then accompanied Pascal to the City Feed which takes place every evening of the week from 6pm. City feed is the soup kitchen organized by Love Story in the public square of Port Elizabeth. We prepared 150 plates that day.

We arrive around 5:40 pm with large food pots. We have 20 minutes to prepare the site, set up the tables and fill the food portions. Then at 6pm we start with a prayer to thank God for this meal. Then we deliver the food to the people present. It is relatively always the same people who are present and between 100 and 200 meals are delivered from Monday to Friday included.

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Trips to the these projects have been amazing and something that i will carry with me for the rest of my life.  

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