From the beginning, we decided we wanted to volunteer in South Africa and give this beautiful country something back. Many projects asked for a lot of money, which we couldn’t afford. During our trip we had the chance to meet, Riff Micho, who is the project manager of Willen en Doen South Africa. In 2009, this project was founded by the association Stigting Willen & Doen based in the Netherlands. The project is situated a few kilometers from Coffee Bay, on the top of a hill in Mawotsheni. The goals of this project are Early Childhood Development, Sustainable Living, Nutrition through permaculture gardening and teaching of life skills. They are currently revamping the project to host volunteers, who will do outreach work in the communities. The Mawotsheni Team consist of Riff (Project Manager), Ann (Administration), Nomaphuzi (Teacher), Thozama (Assistant Teacher), Dillon (General Assistant) and Kenny (Gardening), who are daily involved with theirs hearts and souls to make this project come true. They are assisted by the awesome team of volunteers in the Netherlands who raise funds to sustain the team at the project. With the upcoming Volunteer program, volunteers will be able to get involved with all theprinciples this project is working on, including a Project Portfolio, which with the help of the volunteers, will set up gardens at schools, orphanages and communities in and around the Mqanduli District.
Back to the roots
Arriving our first day at the project, we realized very fast that all our luxuries would be over, back to the roots for the nexts couple of weeks! At the time we were there, the Mawotsheni community was cut off from running water. This happens sometimes when Coffee Bay is really busy and needs to be approvisatiated with more water than usual. For that kind of problem, the project has installed big tons to stock raining water. This is also a way the project tries to show the community how to be self-sustainable. Unfortunately, this is not something they already do or understand as they live day by day. In that week, many people from the community came to us for water. The water was used to cook, make our tea/coffee with and do our dishes. You can imagine that no running water, also means no shower… So for a week, we had to go down to Coffee Bay to take a shower at the backpackers. This is a moment were you hope for rain and realize the important role water plays in your daily life and how much we take it for granted… To read more…