The purpose of the November trip was to give some Australian high school students the chance to give back to a very needy part of the world. The term, “It is in giving that we receive,” soon become a reality for these Australian kids, who all paid their own way and then worked exceptionally hard for the duration of the trip.
We commend these young people for not only giving of their time and hard earned money, but more importantly, to opening themselves up to (at times) quite emotionally confronting experiences.
Our “Schoolie” kids were fully immersed in what it means to live life in a remote African village. They were confronted with situations of overwhelming numbers of children in need, minimal availability of support and dire hopes for these childrens’ futures due to the complicated and impoverished issues which are uniquely South African.
During the visit the Schoolies group were able to relate to the village kids through the common language of soccer balls, dance and songs, and in this time developed meaningful relationships.
The region has an unemployment rate which is estimated at 70% +. At least half of the youth have a positive HIV status. It is unusual to even have one parent alive, and aging grandmothers are more often the only adult relative to support and shelter these village kids, who live in a remote mountain region which battles drought and extremely cold winters.
We should be happy to know how far our donated money stretches when all money donated goes into the program, with no overheads for management in Australia, plus the generosity of locals like these farmers and Monika, our CEO, and John, our Chairman, who generously give of their time with no pay.