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10 weeks on the Cape Town projects

By 5 years ago
Categories Cape Town

My name is Elizabeth Moran, I’m eighteen years old and I’m from Essex, England. I originally planned to spend six weeks at the orphanage and four weeks teaching at ACJ School but instead I was lucky enough to experience every project in Gordon’s Bay that GVI had to offer. I spent two weeks at the orphanage, four weeks at Grade R and the Nursery and four weeks teaching at ACJ School and taking part in the sports and surfing program.

My first two weeks at the orphanage flew by. I settled in quickly; I learnt all of the children’s names and experienced their individual personalities. I taught the three eldest boys (aged 5-7) along with volunteer Sabrina Luche. This was a wonderful opportunity to get to know the older boys better. I helped out with two fun Friday events: Fairy bread, crowns and a tea party and making bracelets. Fun Friday is a great way to involve all the children at the orphanage despite their age or ability and bring them all together to enjoy an event. I will miss their constant excitement and nonstop energy every day of the week.

After settling in to South Africa I moved to Grade R and the Nursery for four weeks to teach five to seven year olds. Volunteer Shannon Makepeace and I prepared activities involving the alphabet, numbers, shapes and creative, centerd around a theme chosen by Teacher Grace each week. We worked independently with groups of between four and six children per day to enhance their understanding of the English Language. Whilst we were there, there were three themes: Space – we made a solar system, in day and night we made mobiles and for beach we made a rainbow fish. The children were eager to learn and enthusiastic which made working at Grade R such a pleasure. Shannon and I filled the afternoons with English games such as musical chairs and statues and balloon stomp which they enjoyed immensely as they don’t usually have the chance to play games. Some days were spent at the Nursery as Teacher Grace is part of both the Nursery and Grade R. I will miss how welcoming and kind the children were to me from the first day.

Then I transferred to ACJ School to take over the group of Grade 4 literacy students. The normal routine is working with the same four children each day for thirty minutes and then working with a reading group and running an after school workshop. However, as I arrived after exams most of my children never turned up for school so I ended up spending much of my time working with Grade 3. Thus demonstrating that in South Africa you must be flexible and be able to improvise as anything can happen. Whilst I was there I improved their knowledge of the alphabet, opposites and taught them how to rhyme. I was also part of the sports program; taking classes for simple relays such as ball throwing, Frisbee and wheelbarrow races. In the afternoons we also took ten grade 6 children surfing on different days to a local beach, an amazing opportunity for children living in the township and a break from the ordinary grind of life. I will miss the children’s enthusiasm to be at school and learn.

GVI has a massive influence on the townships of Zola and Nomzamo in Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town. Without the structure and knowledge that they provide the educare centers and school would not function as effectively. I have learnt so much in South Africa about other cultures and myself, no matter how long you spend here, without your help these projects would not be able to run.

Elizabeth Moran