Why did you decide to become a volunteer with SCORE?
This is actually my second stay as a volunteer abroad. The first time my motives where a bit more focused on getting out, seeing the world and being away from home. However, the experience still taught me the value of donating time and effort into something and witness positive change happen as a result. So, when I got the chance to volunteer in South Africa I didn’t have to think twice. It’s a great opportunity to work in a country so socially diverse and becoming part of a community here. I’ve been involved with sport my whole life, which is why I believe in SCORE’s philosophy too of changing lives through sport. Getting to do all that in probably one of the most beautiful countries in the world then is just the cherry on the top.
What are your impressions after being in South Africa for some time now?
Our small community Groendal feels like a microcosm. On the streets you listen to conversations in two different languages and going around you sense two related cultures. But more than that there’s also a huge disparity in how people live ranging from fairly well off to desperately poor. It’s fascinating to watch and at the same time puzzling when you try to understand the details of it.
Beyond that everyone here is extremely hospitable. Wherever I am people are greeting heartily and whomever I’ve visited has done their utmost to be a great host. And then there are the children of course, which always manage to put a smile on your face – never mind their background.
Can you share one story that touched your heart?
To me it’s not just one story but all the small things which move me. As for instance when a child turns around after my first lesson of 30 min at school in order to tell me: „Thank you Mr. Sebastian for a beautiful day!“ Or when a child at the Franschhoek Sport Centre stops playing because of tooth pain and I find out that there’s nothing the family can do to afford a doctor to fix it. Sometimes it makes me smile and other times it really makes me think.