From September 2013 until September 2014 I did a voluntary service in South Africa and worked, played, cuddled, laughed and loved and for 12 months in the kindergarten "Kideo Kids" in one of the townships near Cape Town.
In 2013 the building consisted of corrugated iron and wooden sheds. Both the walls and the ceiling were leaking and couldn’t provide shelter from rain and wind. In addition, the lack of space was an enormous problem for the daily life of the kindergarten and family - neither in the house nor in front of the house there is enough space to meet the need for movement of the children or the privacy of the family. My boss Veronica Gosa lives together with her family in the same building - Both the kitchen and the toilet are shared by the kindergarten and the family and you can imagine what a toilet looks like when it is used by 40 children every day.
In November 2013, my fellow volunteer and I started a charity campaign to build a two-storey stone house in which the kindergarten could find their place on the ground floor and the family on the upper floor. The wish was that the charity campaign would continue with the new volunteers after our departure, but due to various complications and lack of money the construction is still not completed.
So this is the here and now:
I visited from March to April 2017 once again and it has not changed much since my last visit in April 2016. The ground floor is done, however, only two rooms are finished plastered. These two rooms are used for the two kindergarten groups while the family is sleeping in the corrugated huts next to the house. For over three years the nursery has been in this state of construction and even though my boss is one of the strongest, most powerful and impressive women I have ever met in my life, I can see in her eyes how much the situation burdens and exhausts her.
As sad as the unchanged situation made me at first, the more fortunate are the possibilities and supportive and motivating people on my side that I have through our NGO Erdbewegung now. I said good-bye to the family with the promise to give all my energy for the house to be finished as soon as possible.
I am firmly convinced that we can create this together and that there are enough people out there who feel involved by this "we".