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Sarah does Soweto Orphanage in South Africa

Sarah does Soweto Orphanage in South Africa

Author -  Sarah Miller

My adventure to South Africa Soweto Orphanage

I needed something to do, it was my first year out of school and I was working full time in retail. I had applied to Camp America as working with children was always something I wanted to do. Because of Camp America I stumbled across International Working Holidays and I begun reading about Africa and the Soweto orphanage project and instantly knew thats where I needed to be. 

It didn’t take me long at all to decide to book after I found out about the project. It was convincing my parents to let me go that took what seemed like a lifetime. 

Understandably my parents had a million questions. I was going to be 18, and traveling alone to South Africa without ever having left New Zealand previously. Once I talked to the team at IWH and was able to give my parents some more solid information and a couple of websites to check out they started to released that it wasn’t that bad and I was going to be in safe hands.

Like I mentioned working with children was always something I wanted to do, I have always been more interested in helping under privileged children. 

Therefore, choosing to volunteer at the orphanage wasn’t a hard decision and I quickly became super duper excited about the opportunity.

Boarding the plane was the most nerve racking thing I have ever done. 

I was by myself at only 19 and about to leave New Zealand for the first time! But I was also the most excited I had ever been in my life for the very same reasons. 

When I first arrived at my project I was taken into the nursery.

Straight away children ages 0-4 were at my ankles wanting to be picked up and calling me mummy. I knew at this point that the next 4 weeks were going to be so hard emotionally as I already felt a little bit attached to the kids. From there it was straight into it and I was already helping the kids eat breakfast with in 15 minutes of arriving. The staff, children and the other volunteers were so helpful and understanding it really made being there feel like home. 

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -1.png

From this experience I realised that the world is far bigger than I ever thought and therefore there are a lot more people that need my/your help. 

Before leaving New Zealand I had planned to attend university in 2019 to work towards becoming a primary school teacher. Since returning from the project I have decided to train towards becoming a social worker. Working alongside others social workers and seeing how amazing the children were, even in the darkest and roughest parts of there lives has literally changed my life. I was told before I left New Zealand that this project was definitely one to pull on your heart strings, but I never in a million years thought it was have as much of an effect on me as it did.

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -2.png

Leaving was definitely the hardest thing I had to do while at the orphanage. 

Although the younger kids didn’t understand what was happening, they had still bonded with you and you with them. The older kids were even harder to say goodbye too. I didn’t think it was possible to cry as much as I did while saying goodbye, but the staff, other volunteers and the friends I had made, made it just that little bit easier, although I had to say goodbye to them as well. I forever have a south African family and everyone associated with OT forever has a special place in my heart, I can not wait to go back and visit them.

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -3.png

As a departure gift myself and the other volunteers made pancakes. A lot of pancakes. We made bite size little ones for the nursery kids, staff and grannies. We also made breakfast pancakes for the older kids in the cottages. We made approximately 200 pancakes, all with strawberry jam, for 90 kids and day staff. Seeing the smiles on the kids faces when we walked into their cottages with pancakes was one of the best moment of my trip. The nursery kids were so excited they even sung happy birthday. 

Watching the kids grow and change over my 4 weeks is something I also feel incredibly proud about. 

The kids were so amazing beyond words, each and everyday I became more and more attached to them. They never let anything get in there way, they were always so happy to see you and thats made the whole experience amazing.

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -4.png

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -5.png

Everyone should consider volunteering at an orphanage. 

It was by far the greatest experience of my life and I don’t think anything will ever come close to it. The children you meet and work along side have so much love to give you, you form friendships with them, you bond with them. Seeing them becomes the highlight of your day. From this experience I have gained so much appreciation for everything and everyone around me. I have made friends for life, not just children from the orphanage but other volunteers. The girls I volunteered with were amazing, I definitely could not have done it with out them, they were always there to help you out and have a good laugh when you felt a bit down.

Read more about Sarah's project here

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -6.png

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -7.png

Fill out my online form.

Sarah does Soweto Orphanage in South Africa

Boarding the plane was the most nerve racking thing I have ever done. I was by myself at only 19 and about to leave New Zealand for the first time! But I was also the most excited I had ever been in my life for the very same reasons.

My adventure to South Africa Soweto Orphanage

I needed something to do, it was my first year out of school and I was working full time in retail. I had applied to Camp America as working with children was always something I wanted to do. Because of Camp America I stumbled across International Working Holidays and I begun reading about Africa and the Soweto orphanage project and instantly knew thats where I needed to be. 

It didn’t take me long at all to decide to book after I found out about the project. It was convincing my parents to let me go that took what seemed like a lifetime. 

Understandably my parents had a million questions. I was going to be 18, and traveling alone to South Africa without ever having left New Zealand previously. Once I talked to the team at IWH and was able to give my parents some more solid information and a couple of websites to check out they started to released that it wasn’t that bad and I was going to be in safe hands.

Like I mentioned working with children was always something I wanted to do, I have always been more interested in helping under privileged children. 

Therefore, choosing to volunteer at the orphanage wasn’t a hard decision and I quickly became super duper excited about the opportunity.

Boarding the plane was the most nerve racking thing I have ever done. 

I was by myself at only 19 and about to leave New Zealand for the first time! But I was also the most excited I had ever been in my life for the very same reasons. 

When I first arrived at my project I was taken into the nursery.

Straight away children ages 0-4 were at my ankles wanting to be picked up and calling me mummy. I knew at this point that the next 4 weeks were going to be so hard emotionally as I already felt a little bit attached to the kids. From there it was straight into it and I was already helping the kids eat breakfast with in 15 minutes of arriving. The staff, children and the other volunteers were so helpful and understanding it really made being there feel like home. 

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -1.png

From this experience I realised that the world is far bigger than I ever thought and therefore there are a lot more people that need my/your help. 

Before leaving New Zealand I had planned to attend university in 2019 to work towards becoming a primary school teacher. Since returning from the project I have decided to train towards becoming a social worker. Working alongside others social workers and seeing how amazing the children were, even in the darkest and roughest parts of there lives has literally changed my life. I was told before I left New Zealand that this project was definitely one to pull on your heart strings, but I never in a million years thought it was have as much of an effect on me as it did.

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -2.png

Leaving was definitely the hardest thing I had to do while at the orphanage. 

Although the younger kids didn’t understand what was happening, they had still bonded with you and you with them. The older kids were even harder to say goodbye too. I didn’t think it was possible to cry as much as I did while saying goodbye, but the staff, other volunteers and the friends I had made, made it just that little bit easier, although I had to say goodbye to them as well. I forever have a south African family and everyone associated with OT forever has a special place in my heart, I can not wait to go back and visit them.

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -3.png

As a departure gift myself and the other volunteers made pancakes. A lot of pancakes. We made bite size little ones for the nursery kids, staff and grannies. We also made breakfast pancakes for the older kids in the cottages. We made approximately 200 pancakes, all with strawberry jam, for 90 kids and day staff. Seeing the smiles on the kids faces when we walked into their cottages with pancakes was one of the best moment of my trip. The nursery kids were so excited they even sung happy birthday. 

Watching the kids grow and change over my 4 weeks is something I also feel incredibly proud about. 

The kids were so amazing beyond words, each and everyday I became more and more attached to them. They never let anything get in there way, they were always so happy to see you and thats made the whole experience amazing.

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -4.png

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -5.png

Everyone should consider volunteering at an orphanage. 

It was by far the greatest experience of my life and I don’t think anything will ever come close to it. The children you meet and work along side have so much love to give you, you form friendships with them, you bond with them. Seeing them becomes the highlight of your day. From this experience I have gained so much appreciation for everything and everyone around me. I have made friends for life, not just children from the orphanage but other volunteers. The girls I volunteered with were amazing, I definitely could not have done it with out them, they were always there to help you out and have a good laugh when you felt a bit down.

Read more about Sarah's project here

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -6.png

Sarah Miller Soweto Orphanage IWH Africa -7.png

Fill out my online form.
Sarah does Soweto Orphanage in South Africa

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