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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Zulu From Khula Village – South Africa Community Service

Sanibona (Zulu for hello) !

We are currently living in the beautiful and quaint fishing town of St. Lucia, volunteering with a company called African Impact. For the duration of our stay, we are focusing on two major projects established by African Impact; volunteering at a Holiday Club in Khula Village in the mornings and helping with a building project at Inkanyezi crèche in Khula Village in the afternoons.

Since it’s the winter holidays in South Africa, volunteering every morning at the holiday club provides children with opportunities to play in a safe environment and supplement their school learning with social interactions. Our afternoon construction project is to complete a a classroom used by the crèche (daycare) for children aged 5 and under. Up until now, lessons have been in a small stick hut or outside under the trees (the former stick hut classroom would often fall down with heavy rains).

Today was our first full day of service and everyone has reflected on a meaningful and powerful experience. Joanna was thrilled to have had the opportunity to celebrate her sweet sixteen today with the plethora of children at the holiday club (especially when all the children sang happy birthday to her in their best English). Amelia, Sydney, Amy, Jen and Ben where all involved in painting the children’s faces. Most children requested to have their face dawn the South African flag, with snakes and butterflies also being top choices for the morning. Ben got right into it, allowing the children to paint his face. Let’s just say that after about 10 minutes, Ben had a Picasso of sorts on his face.

Lauren, Danielle, Spencer, Olivia and Joanna got the kids working on paper maché projects. The kids at the holiday club were so excited by the balloons that getting them to use them for papier maché turned into a separate task all of its own. Our 360 Student Travel Student Travel trip members did an awesome job of role modeling and assisting that enough papier mache was produced, so on Thursday we can cut out and make animal masks.

The older boys at the holiday club love to play soccer. Lola, Emily, Jessie, Lizzy and Jake spent the first hour or so teaching the kids ball skills and drills from back home. Carly, Daniel, Brandon and Tara joined in and before long a soccer match was under way. At one point in the morning, the sports group moved on to play a make-shift game of cricket. It was a neat opportunity for our trip to learn from the locals.

At noon Amy and Emily handed out biscuits, juice and bananas. Our group said our goodbyes for the day signing off from the morning with hugs, waves and even air-blown kisses.  We are excited to see our friends again tomorrow for another 2 mornings.

After lunch we departed for our construction project at Inkanyezi Crèche. We got straight to work upon arrival. Danielle, Amelia and Jen were given a crash course lesson on plastering and painting. Lola and Jessie helped with plastering the inside of the classroom. Tara, Carly, Brandon and Spencer learned the challenging and systematic task of making mortar and building bricks. 15 Bricks were made this afternoon and the group anticipates that the quota is only going to go up over the next two days.

Emily, Lizzy and Ben got to the drawing board and devised a plan for a tire course to go beside the school’s already existing playground. They came up with the idea of creating a spider obstacle course and broke ground shortly after.

Our first day has been action packed. We all have our small group goals for our projects on our minds which we will be focusing on over the next couple of days. We’ll post photos of our hard work in a few days!

 The Westcoast Blogger

Check out our 13-day and 25-day trips for a unique student travel to South Africa with wildlife, scenic landscapes, and cultural experience.