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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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Confessions of a Starfish

By 6 years ago
Categories Cape Town
I arrived from Australia for a four week South African holiday including two weeks at Ikhayalethemba orphanage. Armed with a 15 minute Xhosa lesson, a day of staff training, a very nervous sleep, plastic bags full of lessons, activity equipment and no idea what to expect we were dropped at the center. Greeted by an assortment of students, saliva and what still seems to be their favourite English word – “teacher” we quickly learnt that no lesson, lunch, child weather or behaviour would be the same.
I have had a great time with GVI and I am going to miss the students, staff and the laid back South African lifestyle a great deal (coming from an Australian student who lives at the beach, that says a lot).
The organisation is equally professional as it is dedicated. I have loved meeting people of all walks of life who have committed themselves to the same purpose: offering the most valuable gift anyone can give to another – time.
I would love to return sometime to give this gift again, and highly recommend anyone else, regardless of experience, desire or talents. The rewards for both the volunteers and children are immeasurable.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” – Dr Seuss
Tim Hammond – Ikhayalethemba Volunteer