The latest from our first ever ICS South Africa team…
Two weeks have gone by filled with training, team building, giggles, sun, rain and lots and lots of yummy food.
Who are we?
26 volunteers; 15 UK, 11 South Africans living together in the Valley of 1000 Hills.
What are we doing?
We’re working with Tearfund’s partner, Zoe-Life and through them we’re partnering with four NGO’s working to decrease the vulnerability of children in the Valley area.
The 1st week was packed full of cultural lessons (particularly in greeting different people in Zulu culture); many of us are now fully prepared to eat our weight in food from visiting such hospitable families in the communities.
Our minds have been tested in isiZulu language learning, physical skills in human ladder team building activities and experiencing blessings to our ears in sharing in the singing skills of our South African counterparts.
In the words of my fellow volunteers Fiona and Preeti, “Incredible tones, harmonizing beautifully to the max!”
Our compassionate, enthusiastic and lively bunch of volunteers have been stuck into a comprehensive training programme with community facilitators from each NGO we’ve been assigned to.
Our aim is to work collaboratively together to deliver The Child Status Index to assess 0-18 year olds in local communities around the Valley area and identifying key domains of need to further follow-up with interventions in addressing identified issues.
Relationships among the volunteers have been developing really well; teasing one another has become a casual and regular occurrence among all members of the team.
Relationships are developing daily as the placement continues, we are now even 2 weeks in being able to share with one another on a deeper level”- Musa (South African ICS Volunteer).
And more recently…
This past week all volunteers have begun their placements in the four different NGO’s. The week has been an interesting one filled with laughter and tears.
Volunteers have been immersed into the culture, spending time with community members in their homes to assess children, experiencing the heartache of so many lives suffering with disease, legal problems and homes literally falling apart.
We have also all been touched by the integrity and strength of people living in this kind of poverty.
An elderly lady bound to her home, unable to walk even to get her medication out of the cupboard; her only desire is to have the ability to get to church to tell others and praise her heavenly father for the blessings from God in the NGO visiting her, situated down a lane no one would ever go”- Georgie (UK ICS volunteer)
I can definitely say 100% on behalf of all of the ICS volunteers that we have been unbelievably blessed and wish to thank so many people in their devoted and committed prayers for us as individuals and as a team, in the work we are starting in South Africa and in one another as we develop into global citizens.
As the first group we consider it our first priority to create a solid foundation for this programme as it develops in the local communities and the projects we are starting, which range from drug & alcohol workshops to painting inspirational wall murals in schools.
If you would like to continue or begin to pray for our amazing team and the incredible work, the following points cover areas we feel as a team we would appreciate prayer about.
- The partnership between volunteers and community facilitators
- Implementation & sustainability of volunteer’s projects in community
- Illness and injuries
- Fully immersed in NGO work
- We as individuals would increase all the more in compassion