Wednesday, March 17, 2010
A big part of our experience in Cape Town has been volunteering. I volunteer with CHOSA (Children of South Africa) at Baphumelele, which is a children’s home in the township of Khayelitsha. CHOSA was started by American study-abroad students five years ago who were volunteering with these same kids, and now provides support to over 10 community-based children's projects in South Africa. Baphumelele is home to about 150 kids who have been placed there due to neglect, abuse, or a whole other slew of heartbreaking reasons. The kids who live there are the most amazing group of children I have ever encountered. All they want to do is climb all over you, touch you with their sticky hands, and steal your sunglasses and jewelry…I am not really making them sound incredible…but they are. It is amazing to see how happy and resilient these children are, and just how willing they are to welcome you into their lives.
Ariel and I have an after school class of 8 kids who are six and seven years old. They are the youngest group of kids who are in the after school program, or “study” as they like to call it. Most of our kids barely know the English alphabet, but they are so eager to learn anything. We have slowly begun to do all the letters, currently on “C”, and we are teaching them all kinds of songs. Sometimes the kids are perfect angels and you just want to cuddle them forever, and other times it as if they have been possessed by the devil and we leave covered in dirt, tears, blood and snot. But all the good always outweighs the crazy.Yesterday was a very good day. We sang mother doodle bird, colored some letters, and even had time for a little baby shark.
Mother doodle bird was quite a big hit. They really loved when they had to shake their tushes and waggle their tongues. These kids have more rhythm than I ever knew possible.
I am pretty convinced that they pop out of the womb dancing. I am actually falling in love with these monster children and will most definitely be taking two or three back to New York in my suitcase. I feel so privileged that I am having the opportunity to develop relationships with them and am getting to know each of their personalities so well…even if some involve hitting and biting.
CHOSA is currently taking part in an online fundraising competition to win a $4,000 dollar grant. The online competition is not about seeing how much money we can raise, but trying to get the greatest amount of people to donate $10. The competition lasts from now until March 30th, so please please please donate so that we can win this grant. Donate $10 to CHOSA and help us win $4,000. It is really easy to do, and you will be helping these kids out so much. So please please please donate to an amazing cause. Thanksss.
Ps. I blogged! Now Emma can’t threaten to cut off my lady parts.