Freiwilligendienst in Südafrika

Hello, I am Celine. I came to South Africa from November 2013 till April 2014 to do a volunteer work. I was volunteering in three different projects, in two children homes and a wildlife project.

My first project was the Amazing Grace Children Home in Malelane. Malelane is a little town next to the Kruger National Park. But you find some shops, supermarkets and ATMs there. The children stay full-time in the center, they have a place to sleep, they get food and most of them can go to school. Most of the children are between 8 and 18 years. The first week I needed time to get used to the life there. But when you start to know the kids, you start to love the place and you don' t want to leave anymore. The property has different buildings, one for the girls, one for the boys, the kitchen, the common room, the volunteer house and the office. There is enough space to play and they have a playing field for basketball. I played with the children, I helped them with their homework and I tried to teach some English words to those children who didn't speak this language. On Friday evenings I borrowed a movie for them or we just sat together to talk. It was difficult for me that some children could not speak English, so it was not easy to communicate with them. I stayed in the volunteer house with another volunteer. There we could cook our own meals and we had a bathroom of our own. I had a great time at Amazing Grace and enjoyed being with the children.

After that, I travelled back to Johannesburg and I did another two months of volunteer work in the Othandweni Children's Home in Soweto. I was excited again and also happy to meet of Othandweni. We had a big kitchen and living room and I had my own bed room. We worked together in the nursery. The children there are 0 to 4 years old. In the morning, we started at 7am, we brushed the teeth and we bathed the children, we changed the nappies and dressed them. After that they had breakfast and then we played with them or we went outside to the playground. At 12am, it was time for lunch and we helped to feed the little ones. After the lunch we went back to our volunteer house to have lunch while most of the children went to sleep. In the afternoon we went again to the nursery, we played with them and feed them again. We also accompanied the sisters to the hospital if a child had to go there or helped with other things where they needed assistance. Once in a week, we went with the bus to the mall to buy our food for the week. Most of the time, we stayed in the home but as Johannesburg is not that far we had the possibility to make some trips there. I also had a very nice time at this home, people were really kind and friendly and I loved the work with the little ones. I gained a lot of experience which will be helpful for my future life!

Celine