Spring Break Culture and Service Trip 2017: South Africa

On March 7, 14 students and three chaperones began a 42-hour journey to Cape Town, which would be our home for the next 12 days. I had heard a lot about our destination and seen a lot of pictures but nothing could have prepared me for the beautiful culture and scenery of Cape Town that I was lucky enough to experience firsthand.

After hearing a lot about the poverty in the townships of Cape Town, we were given the opportunity to make a small, yet significant contribution to the children who attended Home From Home daycare in Khayelitsha. This small school, located in one of the poorest areas, had 200 children aged 4-7 years old. We read stories to a class, played with the children and painted a classroom at this school. We also donated colouring supplies and books for the children.

During our time at the school, the smiles of the boys and girls never left their faces. We later found out that these children were predominantly the children of female rape victims. This was an extremely eye-opening experience for everyone in our group, as it was incredibly delightful to see how children who face such difficulties were able to stay positive and happy.

As we were driving to the Cape of Good Hope one day, we passed a fire in one of the townships. With fierce winds, the fire spread through the Imizamo Yethu Township destroying homes and leaving more than 10,000 residents with nothing. Almost a week after witnessing the damage, Mrs. Davel and Mr. Bates organized for us to help with donations for the victims of the fire. Alongside more than 100 others, we sorted, packaged and transported hundreds of boxes filled with everything that the people of Imizamo Yethu would need. Seeing all these people taking time out of their day to help other members of their community was uplifting and it gave me very good insight into how caring and compassionate the people of Cape Town are.

As well as taking part in these amazing service opportunities, we were able to visit some of Cape Town’s captivating attractions, including Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope, Robben Island and a couple of the city’s most beautiful beaches. This trip was a wonderful cultural experience for us but it was also eye-opening and inspiring to be able to do some service work.

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