Katie Craig - Combined Law & Human Rights in South Africa
I chose to do this volunteering project because I wanted to learn about a very different culture from my own. I also wanted the chance to appreciate the lives of people from a part of the world that I’ve never visited. I got all this and more on my project! South Africa may have many struggles and different customs that were new to me, but it also holds some of the most vibrant, friendly and inspiring people I could have ever imagined.
Arrival in South Africa
As soon as I arrived in Cape Town, I was immediately greeted with the friendly faces of the Projects Abroad staff. From then on, they never failed to always be there for me, to answer my questions and make sure I felt welcome. The house I was staying in was owned by the sweetest woman called Pam, who was so maternal and kind to me and the three other volunteers who were also staying there. What is so great about staying with a host family is that you get to make new friends quickly and I have certainly made some I will keep in touch with for many years.
My Law & Human Rights placement
On my project, I gave presentations and worked in small groups of children in many different places. Each place held new challenges, but all the people I met had fascinating life stories, which they were eager to share with me. I wish I could have stayed longer, as two weeks was not long enough to establish real connections with the places I went to or see and do all the amazing things that were on offer in Cape Town. The project itself was my favourite part. Although I was unable to do any of the legal work as I was only 18, the social justice outings we had twice a day were perfectly suited for me and my abilities.
My overall experience
I miss all the amazing friends I made out there, as well as the enthusiastic and welcoming staff and especially my host mother Pam. I only wish I could have stayed longer and would certainly recommend this project to anyone who wants to get outside of their comfort zone and meet the amazing people of South Africa.