Once a year Project 90 assesses their School Clubs to evaluate the progress they have made. The clubs which have made the most effort and progress will be awarded. This year Project 90 is receiving support by two erman students: Sara and myself. We are part of 250 other young volunteers who go abroad to participate in a social project in many different countries all over the world. The ASA-program (http://www.asa-programm.de/en) is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Cooperation (BMZ).
Like most of the other participants we did not know very much about the country we were going to. So in preparation for the internship we met others who were in SA previously and even got the chance to meet South Africans. Still the country was more like a shadow in the dust than shining in its bright colorful beauty we saw it after arriving. Many people in Germany have unwarranted prejudices about SA, thinking that the law of the street is ruling and you cannot move without bodyguards surrounding you. Quickly we recognised, that this is not the case. Actually we experienced the opposite: In contrast to many Germans, the people on the streets are greeting us, trying to help where they can and are inviting us to dinners and parties. Staying in touch with the locals we have a good understanding of what to be aware of and have felt almost as safe (or unsafe) as in big european cities like Berlin, Paris or Barcelona.
When we arrived in Project 90 office in Cape Town, we only had vague assumptions of what the clubs are doing and how they are working. Though we needed to start working out a concept, organizing travel and accommodations and set up appointments with every school-club. What sounded like it would be easy turned out to be much more difficult. The thing that every pupil and teacher is glad of, is a challenge for us: holidays. In this period we cannot reach anyone in the schools, so we have had to fix all the appointments in just three weeks. I’m thankful to all the clubs in Cape Town, despite their busy time with curricular stuff, that their assessment-dates are now booked. Still there are two other regions in SA where pupils have decided to join forces in creating Project 90 clubs: Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal. So the next thing we need to do is book trains to Johannesburg and Durban and find accommodation there. We’ve kindly received support from the local club-coordinators Nqobile and Happy.
As far as we noticed already the clubs are doing great things here. Now it’s up to us to learn as much as possible about South Africa, its environmental challenges and the people living here. Thanks to everyone who has made our stay unforgettable so far. Onwards and Upwards.