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A dream come true: Isabella traveled to South Africa and cared for children in a kindergarten

Isabella Neves - Freiwillige Kindererzieherin in Südafrika

This trip was first and foremost a dream come true, I had long wanted to visit South Africa and this country did not leave anything to wish for, was everything I expected and a little more. The voluntary work option came because I’m passionate about this type of trip, so I went to an NGO where most of the money was spent on the project and found Iko Poran, who also had the advantage of being much more into account that tourism companies that offer this kind of trip, I chose a project with children in a township, and then, with the tickets bought (TAAG airlines) I went to what would be the best and biggest adventure of my life.

My first days in Cape Town

Crianças na Creche de Doreen
A dream come true in South Africa

The first few days were quiet, I was introduced to the other residents of the house (who later became good friends) and then the next day I met the group of children I would be a volunteer teacher, I was received with shouts and celebrations, “teachá” was like they called me every day, it is impossible not to fall in love. The Township where I worked was called Masiphumelele, but called Masi affectionately, it was not the hostile and dangerous place they painted, so the importance of entering a culture before to judge her, as soon as I arrived, the transfer company’s own girl said that it was very dangerous to take the vans leaving from the townships, that was the transport I took every day and I never had any kind of problem, people from the townships are cheerful, friendly and very helpful and the children are very well cared for despite all the poverty that can not be denied that exists there.

Volunteer work at the day care center during the week and weekend trips

I worked about 3 hours a day in the morning and had the afternoon and the free weekends, I usually stayed with the other volunteers at home during the week and during the weekend we would make group tours to explore the region. In contrast with the poverty of Masi, it was the place where the volunteers’ residence was located, Fish Hoek, is a rich region and I did not suffer any kind of harassment or insecurity during the whole stay there, definitely a place I recommend, mainly for those who will stay longer, besides having one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in life. Fish Hoek is an hour by train from Cape Town and is 20 minutes from Muizenberg, one of the most famous beaches there and where are the largest surfing schools, I even took a chance and got waves, I got to stand on the board by 20 seconds, what for me is a win hahaha :D

Dream like Beaches: Penguin Beach near Cape Town

Praia dos Pinguins
Praia dos Pinguins

Because of the distance from the Cape Town sights, I only got to know two (yes, I did not go up to Table Mountain, I did not go to Robben Island or Cape of Good Hope) but I want to go back to do everything, I met the V & A Waterfront and to Boulder’s Beach, the famous Penguin Beach, I really enjoyed Cape Town and despite the reports of harassment and insecurity I was able to walk around quietly without any of it, my tip is: do everything in a group if possible and try to stay close to the tourist areas.

Trip to Jacobs Bay

In my penultimate week we made a trip to Jacobs Bay which was amazing, starting with the hostel called Jacobs Bay Backpackers and had a whole fairy tale, one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed, no doubt. The beaches were indescribable and the Peaceful feeling was something present in any corner, very few tourists and much to be admired. The trip cost 600 rand (about 200 reais) per person, including car rental, gasoline, hostel and food, we were in a group of 9 people .

Dica para futuros voluntários na África do Sul

My tip for anyone who wants to do any kind of volunteer work, especially in South Africa is: ONLY GO! I hope it changes your life, just as it changed mine. – Isabella Neves, Brazil

Read Isabella’s original post on “Mochileiros” (portuguese).

Visit our project for volunteer work with children at Doreen’s Day Care, in Cape Town South Africa. There you also find, how to sign up!

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