My name is Fiona, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Germany. I have been volunteering at JAM South Africa (JAM SA) for four months now. I recently finished school in Germany, and I wanted to do some social work before I start studying. After I informed myself about different organizations I decided to approach JAM SA and ask about volunteering options. I believe that focusing on children who are the future is very important; as this supports the development of the country which is JAMs highest priority.
During my stay at JAM (Honeydew) I had the chance to be part of four makeovers in different areas around Johannesburg. All of them have been organized by JAM Switzerland. The groups welcomed me heartily in their groups and they were happy about me helping them because there’s always a lot of work to do in the field. During the week we started early in the morning and came back late in the afternoon, but it wasn’t too bad because the work at the crèche was always fun and I enjoyed it. We had to do a lot of painting in and outside the new building as well as building a new playground, a vegetable garden, painting the fence and so on. So you see a big variety of work. We helped each other, made plans the evenings before a new day started and enjoyed working for a great change in the children’s lives.
We also had help from local people and sometimes the mamas worked as hard as we did. It was great to meet them and work with them, following the same target; improving the education of the children. At the end of each makeover a hand over party was organised which was also amazing. Then we could see the deep feelings of the mamas because it has always been so overwhelming for them getting the keys for their beautiful building but the best thing was to see the children playing on the playground with big excitement and a wide smile on their faces. I think that these moments have been amazing especially to the makeover team members who spend a lot of time getting money from donors, planning events and the like.
I really have respect for what all of them do for the children of South Africa.
Even if the children don’t understand what impact we had to their lives now, we do. Each makeover was a great experience for me and I believe that this experience changed everyone who took part of it. I’m very happy that I had the chance to share in these experiences and I’m sure I’ll never forget the time at JAM and the makeovers. THANK YOU!