We are happy to welcome volunteers on site. We have many professionals who have volunteered their precious time and skills as trustees. Our website has been designed and set up by a volunteer. We have had students from Morehouse College in the States who helped make blocks, plant trees and made inventories of our stores. We look forward to a partnership with Williams College in the States for one student a year to help us with whatever needs to be done. Each year, we also have volunteers from Stanford University working with our Fit For Life programme. Volunteers should have their own transport as public transport in Nyanga is not that reliable – and moving around on foot in the township might not be safe. Once you are on site, you are fine.
Volunteering at Etafeni has been an amazing learning experience. It was incredible to see the resilience and strength of the community, something I definitely could not have learned in the classroom.
Volunteer from Stanford University
Our children love to have people come and play with them but they do not speak English and so reading stories and communication is difficult with visitors who do not speak Xhosa. However, it is good to break down barriers and teach the children some English, so we welcome volunteers who are reliable and love children (from birth to six). How about coming one afternoon a week to look after the children so that the child care and preschool staff can have time off for ongoing training and support? We need always to consider the children’s daily routine: breakfast, work, play, lunch, sleep, work, play, etc.
Spirit of Africa, a Cape Town tour guide company, took our children to Kirstenbosch for an outing at the end of 2005 and both the children and the educarers loved that. It is good for the children to see that there is a world (especially a natural world) outside Nyanga. Gardening volunteers who can help with cleaning up the site and surrounds, weeding, composting, planting and watering are always welcome. Volunteers who arrive with their own gardening tools and compost are even more welcome! Ditto volunteers who arrive with tall shade trees to plant! We would like to bring a bit of wilderness or greenness to the township, for healing and as a model to Nyanga’s residents of what can be done with very little.
Our housekeeper is never able to wash all the windows and clean all the rooms we use, so cleaners are given a hearty welcome. Any young people with energy can help our community builders make blocks for building. We had a team from the Deutsche Schule Interact Club paint the interiors of the Mothers and Infants Centre over a weekend. They brought paint and brushes with them and made the rooms shine with cleanliness and good will.
Our admin staff need assistance with their office chores. Our income generators are open to learning new skills, to making new products. Our Marketing Consultant is open to assistance with finding new markets and new buyers of our products.
And, as always, volunteers can collect foodstuffs, cleaning materials, fabric for the income generation programme, plants and compost for the food garden and grounds.
All ideas are welcome
Cross Cultural Solutions makes an enormous contribution to Etafeni by bringing us volunteers from all over the world. If you are thinking of volunteering in Cape Town, contact them.