Episode 1 : Mélanie Sanopo / Port Elizabeth

Starting today, a series of testimonials will take you to South Africa and allow you to learn more about the persons working on our projects and their motivations. The first episode of this series is delivered by Melanie Sanapo. Recently graduated from HEP (Swiss Teaching Studies), she craved a new experience and engaged herself in our volunteering program. Here is her testimony “Live from Port Elizabeth”:

“For years, I have been willing to get involved in a project with children. However, it was only once I finished my studies that I made the decision to fly to South Africa in order to teach in a disadvantaged area. Thank to this I opportunity, I was able to discover all the aspects of a country with a rich history.

I have been in Port Elizabeth for two months, and my weeks are full. I work two days a week in a school where I assist students and help them in their schoolwork. The rest of the week, I coach tennis and field hockey. Beside our work as volunteer, we have free time we can use as we wish. That is why I was able, for example, travel to Cape Town and visit this beautiful city.

Working with children whose living conditions are precarious is an indescribable experience filled with joy and incredible emotions. Through this project, I met smiling children full of energy and grateful for the work done by the volunteers. Such an experience must be lived completely. Even if the days are sometimes tough, there is nothing like the satisfaction of having been able to help the children improve their daily life. Nevertheless, I believe that if you want to fully understand what we live and feel through this program you have to do it. Thus I wish everyone to have once the opportunity to live what I am experiencing right now on a human level.

I have less than one month left in South Africa but I am willing to fully enjoy these last moments of sharing with the children and the other volunteers because they bring a lot on the human and social levels. Going back to Switzerland may be difficult.”