Volunteer Leadership Programme: South Africa

November 14, 2019

In July, volunteers from Islamic Relief UK visited Talfalah Primary School in Cape Town, South Africa. This excursion was part of the Volunteer Leadership Programme carried out by Islamic Relief UK, in partnership with HAD.

The Journey

So, there I was – standing at the arrival belt, watching bags being collected one by one, desperately hoping for my suitcase to be the next one that the menacing hole would spit out. But as the baggage hall becomes deserted, I had to accept the painful truth – my suitcase had gone missing.

Yes, I chose those exact colourful words that you are thinking!

The Experience

Regardless of my missing luggage, the experience was incredible. It was a truly marvellous sight; a sea of blue clad volunteers enthusiastically making their way through the streets of Manenberg to meet the young pupils of Talfalah Primary School.

In celebration of Mandela Day, the volunteers made a truly wonderful contribution by giving the school a fresh new look. No matter how small your action, Mandela Day is about changing the world for the better, just as Nelson Mandela did every day.

Wrapped and ready, the blue army spent an entire day in Manenberg, scraping, filling, repairing and painting classrooms.

The following day, the team of 35 strong braved the heat to climb Lions Head, a mountain which peaks at 669 metres above sea level. Lions Head overlooks Cape Town, which on that particular day was coated in the glow of a beautiful rainbow, a truly magical sight. The 6 hour feat was a brisk walk for many, whilst for others, no challenge was greater.

Having previously raised in excess of £20,000 for a community centre in Johannesburg, this first-hand experience with those of similar age but potentially even less privileged, touched each and every one of the volunteers.

Change Matters

As this experience brought the 12 month Volunteer Leadership programme to a close for the young hopefuls, it was extremely rewarding to see HAD’s contribution in action.

With training in various topics including leadership and project management, it is apparent that these once shy and reserved individuals have truly come out of their shells and are now competing for leadership opportunities across the world.

Want to be part of it?

Enrol on one of Islamic Relief’s volunteer Programmes to secure your place in 2020.

Written by Mohammed Randera

Learning & Development Partner