Half-way through the weltwaerts volunteer service – time to reflect, learn more, plan forward and have fun. We hosted a mid-term seminar for our volunteers in South Africa and Kenya from 8th to 12th April, in Kleinmond, Western Cape, South Africa.
The main objective of the seminar was to reflect back on the past half year and find ways to improve for the future. We started off with in-depth introductions to bond together and get to know one another. We then spend a day reflecting about what is working, what is not working and what best ways we can move forward to ensure the organisation is efficient and effective. We had a day of learning about the environmental games and how to implement those back in the communities. The reflections from the volunteers were really open, authentic and realistic as they also offered ways in which we can improve the current system for future volunteers.
The highlight for volunteers and children from Kleinmond was the Beach Awareness Day. This was an initial thought by the volunteers who wondered what it would be like to spend a few hours, one of the days, with the Kleinmond community children. A few meetings and proposal writings took place between the core team and some stakeholders (Overstrand Municipality, WWF SA and Kleinmond Primary School) in Kleinmond, and the event got a green light from the Overstrand Municipality. On Sunday, 10th April, 48 children (between ages 9 and 13) from Kleinmond Primary School took part in the Beach Awareness Day. There were a couple of activities within the 3 hours of learning and playing. The idea was for the volunteers to implement their newly-gained learnings from the previous days’ Environmental Games Workshop facilitated by Nicola. It was a wonderful day of fun, learning, sweating, sunshine, water and bonding. We received positive feedback from some Kleinmond stakeholders, saying that kind of event is what is needed in the community. Play Handball was invited to come back and implement in Kleinmond, which is great news!
As part of the seminar package, the volunteers were treated to many great activities including ball games, beach walks, a climbing experience, and cooking sessions (which included tasting some traditional dishes of Zimbabwe, prepared Eve). Not only were these five days for reflections and looking into the future, they also presented many opportunities for networking and bonding between the volunteers and the core team, and to exchange some cultural experiences.
Three core team members of Play Handball in South Africa (Nicola Scholl – Director, Simphiwe Mahlanyana – Project Coordinator and Eve Handiseni – Volunteer Coordinator) organised an exciting five days for our six South Africa based volunteers, Lars, Lisza-Marie, Lara, Willi, Philipp and Christian, our volunteer in Kenya, Simon, and Jenny who is based with WomenAgainstRape an organisation in Botswana. Unfortunately, Philipp tested positive for Covid-19 a day before the seminar. Hence, we improvised by using a hybrid method to include him via Zoom and life chats in most sessions
The volunteers left the seminar with new excitement, and a clear plan of what is to be done for the remainder of their volunteership in South Africa, Kenya and Botswana.