Volunteering Experience: Sophie’s Story

What brought you to Camp South Africa?

I was looking for something to do after I left college before I committed myself to a job. I wanted to do something selfless and something that would truly make a difference and then I came across Camp South Africa. This volunteering experience was the perfect fit for me!

What were your expectations?

I went to Africa expecting to meet a lot of people similar to me, I was expecting to see and experience a different culture and to teach some amazing children.

Your favourite photo:

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Description why this photo means so much to you?

This photos means the world to me. These are just a few of the kids that I had the pleasure of teaching, and watching these kids before school or with their teachers, those smiles didn’t exist, but by spending time with them and showing interest in them we’ve managed to create personalities in them, and most importantly of all, a future.

Actuality versus expectations (what are the biggest differences):

The actuality of the trip was very similar to my expectations I think. There were some amazing volunteers who were in a way very like me, but all different in their own way, but everyone still got along so well! I was shocked by the difference in culture but I accepted that the country works in a different way to my own. I got to teach some truly amazing children!

Highlight of your volunteering experience:

The highlight of my teaching and volunteering experience was being able to see what a difference you make to the kid’s lives, it’s a feeling like no other.

What are you going to miss most about Camp South Africa?

Everything! I honestly didn’t want to leave, such an incredible place to be and I just felt at home.

What have you learned from your experience at Camp South Africa?

The main thing that I have learnt is to appreciate what you have because there are people out there who live off a lot less than you and still seem to find that little bit of sunshine in the biggest of storms.

What would be your reason to come back to Camp South Africa in Port Elizabeth and why would you recommend someone else to go?

My reason would be that seeing the children smile really made my day, and I miss that every day! I would definitely recommend people to go to Camp because the experience is life changing for both you and the South African community.

Last message to your Camp South Africa Family:

Ah my Camp South Africa family, words cannot explain how much you guys have changed me as a person! And I miss you all more and more every day! Leaving you killed me and I’ve never cried so much in my life. Thank you all for being there for me when I needed you, and thank you for such an amazing and memorable time!

 

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