Documenting Their Travels: Madeleine Penfold

In early February, we were lucky enough to be joined by respected photographer Madeleine Penfold. We went on a 8-day trip to Port Elizabeth to live the the life of a Camp South Africa volunteer, documenting their travels through a lens.

Maddie’s Story

‘I’d like to share something that I’ve worked on recently that has meant a lot to me.

I love to travel and helping charities so joining Camp South Africa on their promotional trip was a dream. I’ve spent the last week shooting in Port Elizabeth, South Africa for CSA. They are a charity programme that places applicants in schools to coach and teach children.

My mission was to capture what life as an applicant on the programme is like. It would help encourage people to participate in the great programme. They would give children the opportunity to take part in sports they wouldn’t usually have access to.

Camp South Africa recruits applicants from around the world to go to Port Elizabeth and coach. It’s an incredibly important task! Unfortunately, sport isn’t on the national curriculum, which means children rely on these volunteers.

The programme also includes life skills lessons, which teaches children human rights, equality, gender and social issues.

Children who show a high level of talent of dedication can progress further. There is a school of excellence programme which opens up opportunities of sporting scholarships.

I was lucky enough to be accompanied by Camp South Africa Brand Manager Linzi Evans and videographer and CEO of What Marketing Chris Townsend. We shared the combined vision of finding out everything we could during our 8 days to tell the Camp South Africa story through video and photography.


Prior to the trip, we sat down and carefully analysed what would be needed for the website, marketing and social media material. Our combined backgrounds in film, advertising, marketing as well as a few years of industry experience meant we complimented each other incredibly well and made a pretty good team for the job if I do say so myself!

Our itinerary meant we would be experiencing everything an applicant would; from coaching on the field, teaching in the classroom, living in the shared accommodation with other applicants, experiencing the breath-taking landscapes and incredible adrenaline activities South Africa has to offer.

The Experience

We filmed, photographed, and snap-chatted every hour of the day. We stayed up and edited late into the night. This drove all three of us and we quickly picked up conversation across social media.

Having spent an intense 8 days experiencing as much as possible, I feel very strongly about the difference the programme is making and would highly recommend it to anyone with a desire to coach, help and travel.

The response of the children being coached and the difference the applicants made; it was heart warming. The true value added to the kids’ lives by applicants is huge.

Of course, we had to try all the things applicants do around teaching / coaching too! Road trips, shark cage diving, sky diving, the worlds highest bungee jump, coastal routes and backpackers hostels were all filmed and photographed. Not bad for a working week.