Thursday, 31 July 2014

Oporto British School Students Volunteer in South Africa

Last month VA32 and Buccaneers Backpackers hosted a team of students from Oporto British School in Portugal. The group of 16 students, supported by teachers from the school, were to spend a week in South Africa enriching their experience of our beautiful country, exploring some of South Africa's highlights and volunteering their time on a meaningful community development initiative. 

The students put together an awesome movie about their experience in South Africa:

Over to project leader Tobs for a little more about the project:

My team from Oporto worked at the African Angels Independent School near Chintsa. We had a huge task to complete in only 6 days - refurbishing two old and unused classrooms for grades 4 and 5 to move into in the new school year! This included a lot of work: clearing the classrooms of junk, sanding the walls and panting them (inside and out), fixing the windows and painting the frames, walls, ceilings & doors and cleaning the floors! 

The Project 

The Oporto team worked so well! We managed to complete all of the tasks laid out - in only 5 days! Their team working skills were really excellent, they did a really good quality job and here at VA32 we're so impressed how quickly the work was done.  I also found the teachers really supportive - they made my job easy - ensuring that the students were all on time, working hard and finishing their daily task and goals. A brilliant team all round. 

More of South Africa

As well as the project we managed to fit in an afternoon with Mama Tofu - a 93 year old tour guide who speaks to her guests in traditional mud rondavels with thatched roofs - a totally authentic Xhosa experience! The girls danced there and Mama T expained a bit about Xhosa tradition and taught some basic Xhosa words. It's always fun the hear the students clicking and tutting after their trip to Ngxingxolo. We also did an afternoons hike along the gorgeous coastline - from soaring cliffs to serene beach, some of the students took part in beach horse trails in Chintsa, and we all visited a local game reserve to catch as much African wildlife as we could.

Generous Donations

Another highlight for me and the group was a trip to Wellingtons village Mzwini to donate some much appreciated cricket equipment to the team there. After the meeting with Mike on the penultimate day in Chintsa, some of the students and teachers were really excited about sharing their enthusiasm for cricket with the local sports teams. They bought cricket and soccer equipment to donate to some of the local teams and it was great to see the students meeting the teams that they were supporting.

I want to say a huge thanks to Oporto, to the fab teaching team who accommpanied the students, and to the students themselves who all worked really hard, came to South Africa with open minds and really took a lot back with them I think :)

Look forward to seeing a new team in 2015!

Tobs " 

You can read the Oporto students blog about their experience here.

VA32 tailor-make and design volunteer travel experiences for school and university groups. Check out more about our group volunteer projects. 

No comments:

Post a Comment