Under 18s add to the big picture
Four days on project and the Under 18s have had a great range of experiences. Last night when we asked them what there highlight was so far, everyone struggled to narrow it down to a single thing but the range of responses was interesting; eating samp, walking along the path in Gordon’s Bay at sunset, painting the mural, the soccer game and working with the kids were among the responses.
On the weekend I met each of the volunteers at the airport. There was a mixture of excitement, nervousness and a little trepidation but it didn’t take long for the group to seem like old friends. There’s not many quiet moments as they chat and mingle with each other. The group come from Northern Island, Switzerland, UK, Australia, Italy and the US. All have done some travelling but most, never on their own.
We are always saying that each volunteer contributes to a bigger picture. The bigger picture here is that the under 18s group are continuing to work on the children’s house at Ikhayalethemba. Recently during our “Mad Makeover” volunteers, cleared and painted the house, they also created a welcoming mural on the outside wall. Recent construction volunteers have then repaired the beds and now the under 18s have made their contribution. The children needed couches in their living area and a shelf to store plates, cups etc. With a focus on recycling, the volunteers used pallets and turned them into two couches and a great cupboard. What we needed was child friendly and practical furniture and the volunteers have done a great job of achieving that. We are pleased to have been able to recycle pallets to create the furniture.
Meanwhile, we began work on the Children with Special Needs’ House. The weather has been great so it was a chance to create the mural for their house. Our school group here in April had cleaned up the stained and unattractive outside walls with a fresh coat of paint. Other volunteers had repainted the window frames ad replaced broken windows with plexiglass. Now it is time to add some interest to the outside walls with a mural.
Aside from the busy construction tasks. Our volunteers have also been working with the children they have been working with the pre-schoolers on their lessons; reading, singing and fine motor activities have been the focus.
Another highlight for the volunteers has been a morning at the field. They helped out the nursery children with hoop and ball games and then our sports volunteers came out with the year sevens for their lesson. Everyone joined in. A few drills and then a soccer match. It was great to see under 18s, our regular volunteers and a whole class of year seven students all participating.
We’re not even half way through the trip but our under 18s group have certainly had a busy and rewarding start to their time here in South Africa.
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