Volunteering in Diepsloot

20 02 2012

Since we’ve been here we’ve gotten some opportunities to volunteer in Diepsloot, a local township of Johannesburg and one that’s very nearby our school.  Here’s a little bit about both of them.

Afrika Tikkun is an after care program in Diepsloot.  The eighth graders have taken on helping out at this after school program at their service learning activity and I’ve gotten a chance to come with the group twice, and we’ll be visiting again tomorrow. The first week we helped to decorate cookies with the kids, and then last week the 8th graders read Valentine’s stories and we made cards.

The students in this afterschool program range in age and don’t speak a lot of English. I noticed this especially last week when I came to two boys and asked one a question, and the other translated what I said.  Most of the children do not have shoes but do wear school uniforms since a lot of the township schools have the students wear uniforms.  Above all else, the children are super sweet. The first week we went they did some chants and dances altogether which was so great. They have also learned how to say “thank you very much, you are so special” which they say in unison.  There are just a few adults that help run this afterschool program, and their control over the kids is extremely impressive.  The kids are well behaved and happy, and love pictures.  I can’t wait to go back tomorrow for our last time. Here’s some photos:

Week 1 - decorating cookies


One of the 8th grade students with his group and their Valentine's cards


Kids and their Valentine's cards!

Rise and Shine Preschool is a preschool in Diepsloot that is run by a woman who works out with one of the cooperating teachers, Heather.  Heather has been volunteering with the school and asked if we would come along, which of course we said yes to.  This past Saturday we went to Diepsloot and met some of the people who work at the school. Heather outlined people on the outside as well as the name of the preschool and then we painted everyone in. On the inside, we sponge painted little bodies holding hands around the walls and Heather’s daughter did a beautiful butterfly decoration on a wall. We also worked on a rainbow and cloud inside.

The coolest thing about painting the outside was all the people that were walking by.  Obviously we stood out, but no one seemed to mind and everyone wanted to say hi. We had so many people walking by us while we were painting outside and everyone who passed was extremely friendly and told us we were doing a great job.  As Heather kept assuring us, we really got to leave our mark.  I can’t wait to hear how the kids reacted when they saw their preschool revamped.

Here are some before and after pictures!

Front - before


Front - after


Inside wall - before

Inside wall - after


Beautiful butterfly wall!


Inside - with people holding hands and little suns around the white board


Painters in action!

Until next time!





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