Long-term volunteering with SAVWA

Long term volunteering

Written by Chiara and Federico from Italy

August 2023

Hello everyone, here from Soshanguve, Pretoria (South Africa) are Chiara Ortenzi and Federico Milan from Italy writing to you.

We would like to share our experience and feelings about our time here at South Africa Volunteer Work Camp Association (SAVWA). We are both from Italy coming through SCI Italy, so our journey began with a 13-hour flight and, as it’s our first time in Africa, the first thing that excited us was to see the different colours of the landscape when the plane was about to land. Really amazing and exciting sensation!

About SAVWA, the experience with them has been marvellous and full of learning. It’s really good to go somewhere, out of your comfort zone, to meet new people and new cultures. It’s so interesting how the time spent in SAVWA made us know ourselves better and let our hearts open to everything and everyone.

The place where we were staying, Soshanguve, was so lovely. People there were nice and kind with us. Thanks to our long stay here, we have had the possibility to know not just the kids who came to the program, but also to meet most of the other people of the community and the neighbourhood.

They are very patient to teach us their local language, their culture and all the different situations where we could have been through as foreigners in that amazing place.

So our advice to young people all over the world is to open up your heart to new experiences and to believe in yourself about being able to face them! If you want to try something new and different, volunteering is definitely something that you should take into consideration.

Choose a place for which you feel your heart beat strong and go! You will discover new passions, you will pay attention and appreciate new things and situations that you never thought about. You will share lot of different knowledge with different people.

We had an opportunity to visit Lesotho, and were hosted by Lesotho Workcamp Association in Maseru this past weekend. This was an exciting experience to visit the Mountain Kingdom and scenario.

In the end what we can say is that it doesn’t matter how far it seems or how scary it feels, you just have to believe in yourself and in your beliefs, and you’re going to make it!

You can still join!

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