Review of Edge of Africa Volunteer Experience

Ratings
Overall
9
Impact: 9
Support: 7
Fun: 9
Value: 8
Safety: 6
Review

My experience was organized by my university, but I fundraised money to go myself. This process raised awareness about Edge of Africa within my local community and social groups.
My experience was unique because I knew no one going, although I was travelling with fellow UoC students, we had never met before and were all from different departments within the uni. I now have friends for life from my trip. The bond we made was so strong, mainly due to the tough nature of the programme. Many of us got ill and had to overcome personal challenges during our 5 week trip which naturally made us closer as a group. I also met other volunteers in the volunteer house. Girls similar ages to myself, from Denmark, Switzerland for example.
During our stay. we were invited to learn about South African culture with our daily sessions about food, traditions and the community. The programme staff were also really welcoming and friendly, making sure we had everything we needed and were comfortable delivering out workshops. Going into pre-schools highlighted to me how different children's lives can be compared to home. The lack of resources (even paper and colouring pencils) was a shock to us, we just expected to have those kind of things. This made me reflect on my own school experience and really opened my eyes to the poverty in some communities in South Africa. One thing we all noticed though, was all the children were happy. They had so much energy, and soul about them, which lifted our mood every day.
My advice to future participants would be: go with an open mind, expect the unexpected, look forward to visiting the most beautiful varied country, be ready for a challenge, and don't worry too much about what you'll be doing or where you'll be staying. Edge of Africa really look after you and make sure you get the most out of your experience, for you and their community.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
2016
Private Note to Provider (optional)
My experience was organised by my university, but I fundraised money to go myself. This process raised awareness about Edge of Africa within my local community and social groups.
My experience was unique because I knew no one going, although I was travelling with fellow UoC students, we had never met before and were all from different departments within the uni. I now have friends for life from my trip. The bond we made was so strong, mainly due to the tough nature of the programme. Many of us got ill and had to overcome personal challenges during our 5 week trip which naturally made us closer as a group. I also met other volunteers in the volunteer house. Girls similar ages to myself, from Denmark, Switzerland for example.
During our stay. we were invited to learn about South African culture with our daily sessions about food, traditions and the community. The programme staff were also really welcoming and friendly, making sure we had everything we needed and were comfortable delivering out workshops. Going into pre-schools highlighted to me how different children's lives can be compared to home. The lack of resources (even paper and colouring pencils) was a shock to us, we just expected to have those kind of things. This made me reflect on my own school experience and really opened my eyes to the poverty in some communities in South Africa. One thing we all noticed though, was all the children were happy. They had so much energy, and soul about them, which lifted our mood every day.
My advice to future participants would be: go with an open mind, expect the unexpected, look forward to visiting the most beautiful varied country, be ready for a challenge, and don't worry too much about what you'll be doing or where you'll be staying. Edge of Africa really look after you and make sure you get the most out of your experience, for you and their community.
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