Boys Town, Tongaat, South Africa
I have received confirmation of my project in South Africa. I will spend 12 months in The Boys Town Boy Home, Tongaat.
Boys Town is situated north of Durban, near Tongaat, just a stone’s throw from the Indian Ocean. One of four similar centres in South Africa, it
caters solely for boys who have been taken into care, mainly because of behavioural problems, parental neglect or abuse. Boys’ Town aims to turn boys around as often these boys find themselves on the wrong side of the law, the facility provides a secure environment in which boys can be allowed to fully develop and take a different path. is The volunteers work alongside a mainly Asian staff from the area’s high Indian population. My role will be concentrated in the afternoons and evenings when the boys return from school. I will be expected to organise sports and cultural activities, help with homework, lend a listening ear and support the other staff by providing positive male role models for the young residents. The volunteers often become very close with the residents but earning their trust and support is not a given and requires a lot of patience and dedication. Boys’ Town homes are part of a world-wide organisation and philosophy according to which the boys themselves are encouraged to develop their sense of belonging and understanding of community through being significantly involved in decision-making.
Life in South Africa
“Spending a whole year in South Africa is a great way to gain an insight into an extremely diverse country; geographically, culturally and historically. For many volunteers thoughts of Africa conjure up visions of mile after mile of rolling dense savannah, mud huts and dirt roads. South Africa doesn’t easily fit into this preconceived picture, if anything it is most defined by how many different aspects and identities it has and is suitably named ‘The Rainbow Nation.’ Wealth and poverty are often juxtaposed in close proximity and for all the hope and optimism in one of the world’s most beautiful countries, there are also a number of challenges the country is facing. You can expect to see sophisticated and
westernised urban hubs with shopping malls, multi screen cinemas and restaurants but also sprawling townships and rural populations with a very basic standard of living. Through placing volunteers in a variety of settings and surroundings and encouraging them to communicate with and visit their fellow volunteers we aim to provide opportunities to gain a unique insight into the wide spectrum of cultures and social conditions within South Africa”.
- David Entwhistle, Desk Officer to The Republic of South Africa
The area my Project is in truly shows how diverse South Africa is. You can see houses with swimming pools right next to townships where the “houses” are made of corrugated Iron and scavenged bits of wood.
Large Houses With Pools Three Minutes walk right of My Project Township Shacks 3 Minutes walk to the Left
The volunteers have a flat on the Boys’ Town facility, and will eat in the dining room with the boys and the staff.
Preparations for Departure
I need to complete my Visa application for South Africa which includes:
- Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
- Radiological Report (Chest Xray)
- Full Medical Examination
- Visa Fee
- Birth Certificate
I also have to get my Rabies injection which means I will have to endure 3 shots on top of the yellow fever one!
I have finished my core fundraising for Project Trust (£5,400). This covers everything but my visa, injections and person expenses. Unfortunately South Africa is one of the most expensive countries to obtain a visa for, this is not because of the Visa fee but because of the medical checks, xrays and injection certificates (which must be done privately as they are not covered by the NHS). So I will be fundraising to help meet these costs.
As ever I would really appreciate any donations and will be eternally grateful just drop me an email (email@example.com)
Legal Notice: This will cover my visa and injection costs and not my Project Trust core fundraising. My core funding is complete.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far, this is going to be a truly amazing experience and I cannot wait to get started.