Love Story is the ongoing inspirational story of a group of local residents in Port Elizabeth who decided to do something positive about the poverty and hunger they see on their streets every day.
The organisation has grown from a fledgling idea birthed out of the hearts of a few compassionate individuals; to a multi-faceted organization that runs a great variety of community upliftment projects, educational programmes and feeding schemes.
Our teams are made up of volunteers, either full-time or part-time, who are all committed to ‘filling in the cracks’ for a hopeless and destitute generation.
Love Story operates every day of the week to provide those in need the care and support they deserve.
This Christian-based organization was founded in October 2012 and focuses on those who are destitute across the city of Port Elizabeth, and who need immediate help and support.
This diverse organization runs several programmes where volunteers can contribute their time and efforts.
For Love Story, there is a cause that inspires and stirs us to action, and that is the cause of the hungry. We´ve seen multitudes of hungry children and adults in our very own communities. They are just like those you read about - the kind that fight for their food, that walk the streets at night begging and the kind that turn to drugs and alcohol as substitutes for food. We are not referring specifically to the homeless but also to those who have homes and families, yet go without food due to unemployment and poverty.
To start with, we have made many meaningful connections with existing crèches and soup kitchens in our neighbouring townships. Many of these places feed up to 100 children and adults every day, but due to lack of funds and support, sometimes only operate on one or two days per week. This means that often people go without food.
These places have kitchens and their own utensils and equipment, all that is needed are ingredients.
Love Story also runs a feeding scheme called ‘CITY FEED’ for over 100 homeless children and adults in the city centre during the week. We started off with one night per week but have now increased it to 3 nights. The hungry crowds increase with every feed. We are desperate for food donations and also for volunteers to help serve these people who have now become our friends.
We collect unused clothing and toys for under-privileged children. Usually we will be informed about a community where there is a need and we will package clothing according to specific ages and genders of the children.
We also collect unused items for new mums in the maternity wards. Each hamper is like a ‘baby shower in a bag’, as many of these mums have absolutely nothing to care for their newborns. We collect all baby products such as nappies, wipes, creams, clothing, blankets and soft toys for these hampers.
We also make up gift bags of toys for children in the Paediatric Wards and cosmetic bags for patients in the Burns Unit and other wards. These bags consist of soap, creams, toothbrushes and toothpastes, deodorant and other luxury items.
Love Story takes on a variety of community upliftment projects that vary in nature. Projects may include rebuilding of shacks / shanties, revamping and cleaning up communities, awareness campaigns or hosting Birthday and Christmas parties for those who are less fortunate.
We also support families in crisis with grocery donations as well as clothing, toys, school uniforms, household items and furniture. Families included in this project are those whose members have undergone some form of abuse, sickness or extreme poverty.
We collect second-hand or new handbags filled with necessities, luxury items, bibles and notepads for women at shelters and crisis centres. Most of these women come from abusive backgrounds or have been living on the streets as prostitutes, and even though they are being rehabilitated and cared for, receiving a gift of their own restores a measure of dignity and hope to their lives.
We believe that every child deserves equal opportunities in life. Through our ECD Project, we aim to make this possible. Nurturing infants, clothing children and feeding the hungry are just the beginning - in order for children to reach their full potential, an education is vital.
We have thus aligned ourselves with various underprivileged crèches in neighbouring townships, to assist in educating the staff, to provide resources and to set up well-equipped ECD centres that will be havens for children to grow and learn in.
The crèches that we partner with are not government-registered, and for the most part are struggling to survive. This means that, amongst other issues, the teachers are not paid, which obviously negatively affects their motivation and commitment. Alongside the teacher training we have introduced a programme called ‘ADOPT A TEACHER’. This project will provide the teachers with a small salary or contribution toward it. The small and irregular income these crèches receive through school fees charged to the parents can then be used solely to feed the children and maintain the crèche.
We run a programme in underprivileged crèches and schools whereby children are given the opportunity to learn through dance, drama, song and movement. This helps them express themselves creatively and helps build their self-confidence. We’ve joined hands with a team of talented ladies who conduct the classes on a weekly/monthly basis. Going forward, this will become part of the daily programme at the crèches.
Check out reviews from other visitors to Love Story here.
We offer our volunteers accommodation in our awesome volunteer house within walking distance from the beach and other facilities, making it easy to relax on the beach after work, or have some fun along the beachfront bars and restaurants.
The volunteer house is exclusively there for our volunteers and not a backpackers where you will end up with 8 people in a room. Although basic, we offer comfortable accommodation where rooms can be shared with a maximum of 3 people with a single bed each in a large room. Other rooms are private or twin, so depending on how busy things are, we allocate rooms according to your needs.
The house has a great sea view of the Indian Ocean from the front balcony and is fully furnished. It has a total of 9 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, a large swimming pool at the back, 2 entertainment areas, and of course our volunteer dog Google to take long beach walks with.
There is plenty of space to find a quiet spot to read or to hang out with the other volunteers and interns that live there. The house accommodates all volunteers from our Port Elizabeth projects so you will never be alone – unless you want to!
There is free WIFI available in most of the house for your convenience.
All your meals are included (we shop and you cook together with other volunteers) and you’ll have free access to WIFI internet, so bring your laptop. Only your personal snacks, beverages and other luxuries will be for your own account.
Your daily transport is provided from the moment you arrive and to and from the projects every day. We have our own vehicles and our qualified drivers will make sure you get everywhere safely.
Our on-site volunteer coordinators will be there to help you with anything related to your volunteer activities, but we also provide a variety of fun social activities to be engaged in. Think about sandboarding down the dunes, visiting Addo Elephant Park, hiking in the incredible Eastern Cape bush and much more (extra costs for activities may apply).
We like to offer our volunteers an all-inclusive programme with no hidden costs!
|1 Week||€ 300.00||$320.00||£265.00|
|2 Weeks||€ 535.00||$570.00||£470.00|
|3 Weeks||€ 760.00||$810.00||£670.00|
|4 Weeks||€ 985.00||$1,050.00||£865.00|
|Extra Weeks||€ 200.00||$215.00||£175.00|
If you would like to stay for longer than 12 weeks, costs change drastically as long term volunteers will benefit the projects more, so please contact us for more information.
You will start your volunteer work on a Monday. We will pick you up on the Monday morning either from the airport or you could come a couple of days earlier, but your programme will start on Monday. After the first introduction of the surroundings and a City Tour you will start your volunteering work on the Tuesday.
Participation is per full week only and the project will be closed for about three weeks over Christmas and the New Year period.