Volunteering abroad in Cape Town, South Africa is a wonderful, eye-opening opportunity. You get to experience a new country and its cultures, while helping those in need. You gain a new appreciation of the life you have back home, because you realise the value of things that you may have taken for granted. You also pick up new skills, which will reward you on a professional level.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you’ve done something to help someone in need. Seeing the appreciation in someone’s eyes instills a feeling within, that can’t be expressed by mere words – it’s something that can only be felt. Volunteering is a great way to do this, but when you volunteer in Africa, you actually get to immerse yourself in the lives of those you’re helping. Those that you help understand the fact that you’ve left the comfort of your home and travelled to help them and appreciate these efforts.
Volunteering Abroad Cape Town programs are the best route to choose when volunteering in Africa. They usually accommodate groups of people at a time, so you’ll meet and live with a group of people. This is ideal, because you’ll never feel alone and you’ll get to forge friendships with people that have the same goal as you.
Many volunteers go overseas to teach people English as a second language, but if you spend enough time with locals, it’s a given that you’ll pick up a few key words from their language and they’ll be more than willing to teach you.
In the western culture, we are accustomed to our “usual” food types. When you volunteer in Cape Town, you’ll have an opportunity to taste food that you’ve never heard of before. You’ll experience the tastes of unfamiliar fruits, vegetables and meats and learn new ways of preparing the food that you are familiar with. You might even find that you prefer these methods of preparing your food and use them when you get back home. One thing is for sure, you volunteer in a new country, your taste buds will be taking their very own “cuisine holiday”.
The volunteering abroad guide will teach you things you may not have been aware of previously. Body language and gestures mean different things in different countries. Back home, you may have been taught to look someone in the eye when talking to them, but in certain African cultures, looking them in their eyes is a sign of disrespect. One needs to look down as a sign of respect. Knowing which gestures to use and which conversations to avoid will go a long way when it comes to winning over the hearts of the people you work with, so ask your volunteer coordinators in Cape Town about this.
Volunteering abroad in Cape Town will teach you skills, like teamwork, working under pressure, operating outside of your comfort zone, while teaching you how to tolerate and respect people that are different than you and taking away the fear of travelling alone to a new country. This will benefit you on a professional level, because it’s something you can add to your resume. Employers appreciate knowing that candidates are willing to travel and have the skills learned through volunteering in a foreign country.
Of course you won’t be volunteering for 24 hours every day, so there will be time for sight-seeing and exploring Cape Town. Go on hikes, visit monumental sites like Table Mountain or Robben Island, experience the nightlife, coffee shops and restaurants. Here’s a video of Cape Town, so you’ll have a basic idea of what to expect.