“The moment you forget you’re volunteering to help change lives because it’s changing yours.”
Volunteers are vital to the success of our programmes, and every year we host international volunteers who join and journey with us to support our Early Childhood Development programmes. Recently, as part of ‘HOPE Singles Corps’, 27 single men and women came from all over the world to serve in Zandspruit, one of the informal settlements in Johannesburg. Lives were changed!
The participants were put into groups for the week and developed an action plan to assist the local crèches and families in the community. Danielle Scurry one of the HSC participants says “it has truly been life-changing working in the crèches with preschool age children, helping the teachers find new, innovative ways of teaching, and providing school supplies to assist in their efforts.”
Another participant, Bella (15) commented that: “Travelling for the first time to Africa, not really knowing what to expect from this programme, thinking I would always just keep to myself because I am not much of a talker, only to find out that God had other plans. I was deeply encouraged by the small children’s love for me, every morning I would look forward to visiting the crèches because I would get so many hugs from the children, we would play games, sing, dance and learn. Although they don’t have much they truly have given me a better view of life and I enjoy spending time with people more now”.
Part of the programme included participants attending a parent support group programme that has been set up by HOPE worldwide SA, designed to help mothers and fathers with awareness and education on nutrition, parenting, and coping with the everyday struggles they face. What was amazing was that every woman in the room had a story to tell, which was comforting to the more disadvantaged women and men to know that everyone faces challenges in some way and that through such programs, they help each other.
“Being one of the few male participants, my highlight was attending the one man can programme, which is similar to the parent support group programme for women. Just seeing all these men strive to be better husbands and fathers to their wives and kids has been encouraging and has renewed my heart”. Benny – participant one of the participants.
The overall expression from each participant was that this experience was “heart-warming” spending time with the children was the highlight of it all, knowing and seeing that they have nothing yet they are always so joyful and full of excitement. Not only did they serve they have made incredible lifelong relationships, with a lot of memories created and being reminded to always have hearts full of gratitude because there are so many people who are less privileged out there.
“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” John Bunyan. We at HWW SA encourage you to invest in giving to children who can never repay you.
Invest in ECD.
By Percy Matshoba & Thato Mosikare – Media and Marketing