The Kenton Cares Volunteer Programme prides itself on facilitating volunteer services in the poorer communities around Kenton-on-Sea. But that represents only part of what is great about the programme. Significantly, the volunteers themselves learn a tremendous amount during their volunteer time and get an opportunity to immerse themselves in an experience unlike anything they experience back home. 

The exert below is Paige Orness’ reflections on assisting a social worker from Child Welfare during her ‘home visit’ schedule on Wednesday. 

Sad, interesting and eye-opening are the words that first pop up in my mind when I think of yesterday morning. Together with a social worker I went to a primary school in the township Marselle to meet three siblings. Those three siblings moved to Marselle from Port Elizabeth to live with their dad. When we arrived at the school we could only find the older brother. He told us his two younger sisters do go to the school in Marselle but that they aren’t in the school system yet. This was the interesting part because in the U.S.A. this could never happen. You just can’t show up at a school one day and go there without any transfer record or anything like that.

Anyway, the fifteen year-old boy told us his story about his mom and dad and about that they haven’t been together for 5 years but that they aren’t divorced. The sad part is that his parents really are not getting along and that he wanted to live with his father in Marselle. So he took a cab together with his sisters and they went by themselves.

Altogether this really was an eye-opener for me and I’ve learned so much about the crazy differences between South-Africa and the U.S.A. through the story of this little boy. I mean, you always hear the stories but you never realize how bad it actually is. I’m very glad I can be a part by helping these children.

Kariega Project is so proud to host people like Paige!