I was very fortunate to spend almost two months as a volunteer in South Africa. I was able to take
many exciting and formative experiences with me from this time. I would like to go into that a little
bit here. I owe the opportunity to take part in this great project to the Golden Sunbeams e.V., in
particular to Britta and Bernd. Two people who fulfill a really important and necessary task. I flew
with the intention of filling my time there with meaningful tasks and was not disappointed in this
regard. It was a good mix of interpersonal and manual work.

The first kindergarten I was allowed to help out had the name “Sikuthale” and was located in the
township Asanda-Village. Here I was welcomed with open arms and after a short period of
acclimatization I had already developed a sense of belonging. The children here communicated
primarily in their native language, Xhosa, which sometimes made it a difficult task to communicate
intelligibly. But after a few days that was no longer a problem and you could see how happy the
children and teachers were with the additional support. Due to the harsh weather conditions in
Cape Town, the kindergarten, like many other buildings in the townships, is in great need of
restoration. The roof leaked at one point due to storms and was completely destroyed by heavy
rain showers. Since I also wanted to provide technical support, among other things, I exchanged
teaching for roofing after a short time. Together with two local workers from the township we
quickly removed the old, leaking roof panels and freed the affected interior from the water damage.
After replacing and sealing the roof section, I renovated the interior. When I was finished, despite
the rather small amount of work, I was shown an incredible level of gratitude, which I had never
experienced before.

The second station was a much smaller kindergarten. Another volunteer had already spent several
weeks here. She had the idea of a new coat of paint for the outside area. Since I was able to have
a say in my activities in consultation with Britta and Bernd, we came up with the idea of
implementing this idea. After a short time we gave the kindergarten a new coat of paint. The
children actively supported us and helped with painting with great joy. This was again a very
rewarding experience.

In between, Britta and Bernd took us to other kindergartens and preschools from time to time. This
allowed us to get a more comprehensive insight into actual life in and outside of the townships. The
most lasting impression is that the people there lead their lives under completely different
conditions than I am used to. Here I quickly noticed how happy people can be without
accumulating material possessions. Experiencing this up close has put many of the circumstances
that surround us into a new perspective.

The last kindergarten I was in was called Bright Future and it was a very happy and busy place.
The children and teachers spoke good English, which made it easy to get to know each other
quickly. Here I was to paint different walls. First we applied the base color. Then the drawing and
coloring began. After almost 2 weeks our little project was finished. Although it made painting a
little more difficult on hot or windy days, the whole process was great fun. The children gave us
great support here too and made the whole painting process something really special.

But even in addition to the well-filled mornings in South Africa, we didn’t lack for leisure activities.
For me, the beach was a great pastime, despite the South African winter weather. A few minutes
walk from the apartment there was an expansive sandy beach where great waves broke. A highly
recommended place for anyone who likes to surf or spend time by the sea. I spent many hours
here, even if the water was only a crisp 15 degrees. A problem that a thick wetsuit and the right
attitude fixed. The accommodating organizer Patricia provided us with plenty of exciting and
affordable activities to do alongside work. From numerous hikes in the most impressive mountains,
to great restaurants, to parachute jumps, there was a lot to experience. Much more new
impressions than I have ever gained in just 2 months. I was also able to enjoy a three-day tour
along the “Garden Route”. This included a safari and the officially highest bungee jump in the
world, which were two of the most exciting things. I think South Africa and especially Cape Town
has something for every taste. None of the volunteers had to get bored after work.

All in all, I had a wonderful time that I definitely wouldn’t want to miss. I highly recommend this
project to anyone looking for meaningful work in an incredibly beautiful place. I am very grateful
and happy to have had this experience.

Thank you for the wonderful time