Testimonial from

When I first applied for the volunteer teaching program in South Africa, I had no expectations. All I knew was that I wanted to experience a different culture and that I wanted to work with children. I am a qualified primary teacher in England and thought this would be good experience. ‘Good’ was a complete understatement. My two weeks in Gordons Bay, despite being such a short time, was truly life changing. If any teacher thinks they are confident or have even mastered behaviour management, this would test the best of you! I gave it a good go and left some techniques for the staff over there to develop. The funny thing is, the behaviour I experienced was just different to what I was used to. The children are just so eager to learn and to simply be with you that it can be so overwhelming. They have people in their lives changing every two weeks so consistency is difficult to maintain, plus the language barrier is a challenge. However, the rewards were indescribably amazing, from watching the children learn to them hugging you and shouting with excitement ‘teacher teacher’ on our arrival. The children truly touch your heart in such a short time. GVI have made such an impact already, supporting the community and the school. It was hard for me to understand at first why we couldn’t just make conditions better for them, but the idea is to help develop and support rather than take over. The children benefit from GVI volunteers simply being there. The lesson planning and assessments that are being developed are just a couple of things that are the result of committed volunteers determined to make a difference and it was such an honour to be a part of that. The people there become your family. The weekends ‘our family’ ventured into Cape Town ticked off a few things on my bucket list; safaris, hiking mountains, paragliding. Things I never planned to do when I was there, but when you’re in such an amazing country you just have to say ‘yes!’

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