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Testimonial from

Hello, my name is Sophie Craig and I’m 16 and from Scotland. I was given the opportunity to volunteer with GVI with my local youth group in July 2018 in Cape Town and I had a truly amazing and humbling time. During the two weeks I volunteered, I worked with children in a summer sports program at ACJ primary school and did some construction work transforming some rooms into a sick bay and story room for the kids in a crèche. The idea to volunteer with GVI originally started in early 2017, after a youth group I attended was given a generous donation to go on a volunteering experience which we decided to use to come to Cape Town with GVI. We planned and carried out loads of fundraisers such as a quiz night, a race night and a 70’s night (which went down a treat with the Mamma Mia fans in our community, myself included!) in order to raise the money to come to South Africa and although it was exhausting it was totally worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing. There were so many reasons I wanted to come to South Africa and volunteer with GVI. Firstly, I just wanted to experience something new and to see a completely different way of life, something I definitely was able to do during my visit. I’m also quite passionate about global issues and felt as though GVI offered me the best opportunities to help make a difference – something which looking back I definitely think I have achieved. But I also wanted to come to South Africa because I thought it would be a fantastic experience and could help me suss out if I did in fact want to pursue a career in international development and by going on this trip it really set this career choice into stone for me and opened up countless opportunities and ideas for my future that I hadn’t even thought of! Throughout this trip I have had a truly fantastic time teaching and feel I have gained confidence not only in my ability to teach and to lead - but in myself and what my future holds. Before coming on this trip, I struggled with working in groups as sometimes I find it difficult to get myself involved, yet by working in teams so closely with my peers and GVI, I have learned skills which have helped me to improve my team working abilities. There were so many highlights during my Cape Town trip, but the best part of this trip was definitely teaching the children sports. Seeing their faces light up when we sang and taught them new things such as hand games was amazing. A highlight of this trip for me definitely was while teaching, a small girl ran up to me who had painted one of her nails silver to match mine, as it showed I had had an impact on her and she remembered me even after the day was over. It is something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I also loved seeing the sights in South Africa and visiting the penguins in Betty’s Bay. I don’t think I would change anything about this trip, but I was definitely love to come again and do more volunteering. I am now looking at taking a gap year and volunteering with different projects with GVI in the near future and love the look of some of the international projects. This trip has definitely altered my perspective on things such as wealth and waste and made me way more grateful for what I do have, it really has been sensational. I truly am so grateful that I got the opportunity to go on it.