Every CHOSA After-School Program volunteer knows that “goodbyes” are inevitable, but that doesn’t make them any easier. With another semester recently concluded, our dedicated volunteers have had to say “sala kukuhle” (stay well, or goodbye for now) to the young students they came to love during their semester abroad. But the semester was not to end without a bang!
Each of the volunteers chose a special outing for their students to enjoy. Many of the volunteers at Baphumelele Children’s Home, Abaphumeleli, and S.A. Beware took their children to Cape Town’s popular Two Oceans Aquarium on the Waterfront. Another Baph group chose what would certainly be a first-time experience: ice skating at the Grand West Family Entertainment Center’s Olympic-sized ice rink. The older children from Emasithandane Children’s Home went to ArtJamming, where “paint-ertainment for all ages” is provided – the kids had a blast! Other groups from Emasithandane attended traditional Xhosa dance demonstrations at University of Cape Town and participated in outdoor games and activities.
At the close of a new semester, many lessons have been learned. In moving forward, CHOSA staff hope to incorporate the caregivers at each project more intimately with the programming. Caregivers at each home would be able to participate in developing the curriculum, which would make them feel like a more hands-on, integral part of the after-school program. This would also give the American volunteers the chance to work as a team and learn from the experiences of the caregivers with the children. CHOSA staff are currently hosting new volunteers who just arrived for the arts-oriented winter program. The new program is sure to bring new lessons and experiences for the volunteers and children alike!