Message from Rebecca Bransdon in Moshi – Tanzania!!!
I can highly recommend the Tanzania Program with Volunteering Africa. I had absolutely the BEST time working with the street children in Moshi, who are SO beautiful, charming and smart! The guides were so helpful and attentive, driving me to my project every day and taking me out and about to see the sights and experience proper Africa. This is a beautiful country and the people in it even more so, with opportunities to climb Mt Kilimanjaro and go on Safari. I advise you NOT to miss out on this experience! 🙂
Laura from the UK in Cape Town, South Africa
Volunteering in South Africa with Volunteering Africa in Masipumelele was the greatest experience of my life. Deon and Mishke met me at the airport and at the volunteer house, they introduced me to all of the lovely staff and project coordinators, I knew that this trip was going to be amazing.
Everyone, including all of the volunteers, greeted me with smiles and a lot of amazing helpful tips and comments. I arrived on a Friday, so I was able to settle in for a weekend before volunteer work began.
That first weekend was incredible. Deon took us on a tour of Cape Town, we spent a lot of time at the beach, which were some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, shopped at Hout Bay market, and explored the amazing city. My first Monday of volunteering was filled with nothing, but excitement. I couldn’t wait to meet the children and families I would be helping. Driving to Masipumelele, the township where I volunteered made me very emotional because I never imagined the poverty and horrible living conditions.
The most memorable moment of my whole time was seeing the children for the first time. They were waiting at the fence of the school, HUGE smiles on their faces, cheering and screaming for all of us. I could feel their love just by looking at their faces. Getting out of the van, we were swarmed by children hugging and grabbing at us, smiling, laughing, and dying to play.
My first day was incredible and made me realize that I had made the best decision by volunteering in South Africa. The next 12 weeks were truly the greatest weeks of my life. I got extremely close with Deon and Mishke, the staff and other volunteers, and of course the children. I was able to learn about each of the children’s lives and their unique personalities. When I started volunteering, I thought I was there to make a difference for them, but I can honestly say, they made a difference for me. I came out of this experience a new person. There is not enough time or words to fully explain my incredible experience in Cape Town. I am extremely grateful I was able to volunteer and am already looking forward to returning to the wonderful city of Cape Town, South Africa.Thank you Volunteering Africa!!!!
Robin West, UK
My experience out in Cape Town was entertaining and enthralling. It evoked emotions and feelings which, even as an avid traveller, I had never experienced! The children were phenomenal, and I feel that I learnt a whole lot about myself and life from them, much more than I could have ever given them in the short time I was there. In particular images of Zintle and Thina ( my two little princesses) remain dominant in my memories of Masiphumelele
No matter how many times I have recited the stories to friends and family out here, and shown them the videos and pictures I still feel it does not quite portray everything I experienced! On another note, climbing Table mountain and looking out to sea was tranquil and insightful, it gave me the alone space people are always talking about but never actively seek to find! Robin island was depressing but great in that again it allowed me to gather my thoughts and feelings and understanding on political history on an individual basis.
And what can I say? The last week of skydiving and paragliding and relaxation (which included the casino, numerous dining at the waterfront and beach volleyball) provided me with the adrenaline rush of a lifetime! Enough to last till I return and shark dive (which unfortunately I missed out on this time!)
In a weird way, after reading my diary I do think my 4 weeks have ‘matured’ me, but I guess I’m not the one to judge that! For everything however, I do think I owe you, Deon and Mishke (who had to put up with a house full of girls!!! and silly requests) a heartfelt THANK YOU. I know you must get a million and one people tell you, but honestly the opportunities Volunteering Africa is providing for volunteers is phenomenal!
Thank you for everything, I honestly can’t wait till I’m back there, and to quote something I said to Deon last night ‘ I don’t think I’ll feel fully content till I return.’ And I mean that in every way. I don’t think I realised and took in all the surroundings, the townships and hardships and scenery while I was there, but I tell you on the whole entire flight back it was all I thought about! And even now, I do look wishfully out my window hoping to see the surf! So Thank you Again and again and again! As I head back to university in October, I do intend on serious fund raising, and promoting Volunteering Africa so please forgive me if you get a huge influx of imperial scientists coming to you!
Thanks again for absolutely everything you guys did, and on behalf of my parents for getting me back in one piece!
Ruth Hamilton, UK
For me this was the perfect end to my sabbatical year from work. I can highly recommend the whole experience – the project itself, the sightseeing activities, the Volunteering Africa staff and the other volunteers. I felt completely looked after and at home without being mollycoddled. Masiphumelele is a wonderful place. Be prepared to get dirty and get stuck in. Respect what is already in place and that improvement are constantly in hand even if not obvious at first. The children and workers are warm and welcoming and grateful for the time you spend, especially if you show due consideration for the fact that you are a visitor in their lives and remember Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Kerry Austin, UK
I loved every minute of my 12 weeks in South Africa! It was an experience that I would definitely recommend to anyone and everyone. The children at Masiphumelele are fantastic, and I will miss them all very much!
All the trips that were included are well worth doing! We particularly enjoyed the Peninsula tour, and were lucky that it was such a beautiful day. The other volunteers and Volunteering Africa staff that I met were all great and really helped make my trip a success. I also did Shark Cage Diving and Sky Diving while I was there, which was so amazing! Still can’t believe I did it!!! Thank you Volunteering Africa!