I’m becoming part of the community

Lea – Volunteer from Germany; spend 6 months in the community of Groendal/Franschhoek

Why did you decide to become a volunteer with SCORE?
A voluntary service gives me the opportunity to be part of a family and community abroad. At the same time, I can work with children and try to help them in finding an idea about their future. I like the concept of SCORE and Play-Handball ZA to put this in practice by doing sport with them. Especially handball is a suitable new team sport which can be played by both genders. I try to transfer my passion for the sport to the kids and give them a regular activity.

What are your impressions after being in South Africa for some time now?
Since I'm here, I met a lot of friendly and open-minded people. It is easy to get in touch with the locals because most of them are very hospitable.
In the beginning, the kids were curious but also a bit shy. They didn't know me and had no idea why and for how long I'll be here. After some weeks, I noticed that they began to trust me and became receptive to me. It is nice to feel that I’m becoming part of the community and that I'm no longer a stranger to the locals.

Can you share one story that touched your heart?
I was playing some games with the smaller kids in the center. There was one boy always looking for my attention and when I allowed him to sit on my lap, he was very happy. After some minutes he asked if I can be his mother. I thought it was just a childlike question so I explained to him that his mum is waiting for him at home. He bowed and shook his head. The girl next to me explained that he doesn't live with his mum anymore because she didn't take care of him. He’s living with another guy in a shack. 

Now I understood what our manager explained to me at the beginning of my stay: some of the kids come to the center looking for the attention and love that they don’t get at home. Such experiences always remind me how my voluntary service with SCORE and Play-Handball ZA makes sense.