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Testimonial from

In my final semester in teacher’s college, one of our requirements was to complete a 4-5 week internship either internationally or domestically. The purpose of the internship was to integrate, extend and deepen the learning experiences of each Teacher Candidate as we make the transition from a Teacher Candidate to a qualified Ontario teacher. Since it was a self-directed project, they encouraged all candidates to take into account our passions and interests. One of my greatest passions has been playing and teaching soccer, so I wanted to ensure that my internship allowed me to utilize the teaching strategies that I learned in my physical education classes while at the same time infused the skills I have learned in my years of teaching and playing soccer. I came across the GVI page on Facebook one day and was intrigued by the Sports program in South Africa. My dream has always been to teach anywhere in Africa and this program would allow me to work with teachers, local communities and GVI staff to run sports programs at the schools within a South African township. This program would allow me to give children an opportunity to learn a variety of sports activities and skills. Most importantly, this type of opportunity would give me a completely new perspective on life and know what it is like to teach submerged in an entirely different culture from my own. What also drove my decision to apply to volunteer was how organized the GVI team was to provide step-by-step instructions and checklist to successfully and safely apply to the program despite being all the way from North America. Kudos to the GVI team! Despite all the assumptions about how teaching in South Africa would be, this experience has truly been a dream come true! No one can even begin to imagine how beautiful this country really is. Driving in to Nomzamo each day was always an eye opening experience. Passing hundreds of tin storage containers piled on top of one another, homes the size of a typical North American bedroom expected to house 4 families, broken glass for windows, sheets for doors, wild dogs and goats roaming the streets alongrtside the children either too young to be in school or too poor to attend… This was the reality of where I taught each day and despite its appearance and/or utter poverty, I will NEVER FORGET the students I have had the privilege to teach and meet whom which have dreams to be astronauts and social workers and talents one must see to believe. My four weeks in South Africa allowed me to do more things than many people have done in an entire lifetime. Climbing Table Mountain, experiencing history at Robben Island, seeing the breath taking landscape at Cape Point, wildlife safari and wine tasting and the many other life changing things I have experienced while being there. My hopes for the future are to one day return to Cape Town and teach (even if it’s for a week) ACJ because of how much I miss the students and the impression they have left on my life. I believe that everyone should make the effort to experience a journey like South Africa!