You2Africa’s program is truly a South African cultural exchange experience. A lot will be expected from you, but you will be able to gain an enormous amount as well. Firstly become as well briefed as possible about South Africa, its people, the cultures, the (often turbulent) political history. A visit to the District 6 Museum and Robben Island is highly recommended to bring to life just how recent the changes in this country are. Everyone in South Africa over the age of 20 will have experienced racism – some people’s lives were irreparably devastated by Apartheid. You may need to be a little more careful than you would normally be to make sure that nothing you say is misunderstood as racist or imperialist. Although our past was rocky, there is now a growing spirit of reconciliation, or “Ubuntu”, amongst our people.
Your role in South Africa as a volunteer is to be open minded, to show us who you are and to take in who we are, and to approach your volunteering with a humble attitude and a willingness to learn. Your skills and enthusiasm will change lives while you are here, but as with everything in life – your experience will be what you make of it. Volunteers who arrive with a critical outlook or a “customer mentality” (i.e. I’ve paid and now I’m entitled to be handed an experience on a platter) often get unhappy – we all find what we look for and those who look for faults will find it. We do not claim to be perfect, but we aim to facilitate a warm happy experience for you.
You2Africa is one of the very few volunteer companies that is transparent in our pricing – we tell you exactly where your money goes. We are committed in supporting the projects we work with and guarantee that a portion of the fee you pay goes directly to the projects. This aids them not only in fundraising, but creates financial security & empowerment for these projects. If you are thinking about choosing another organisation we beg you to challenge them to be transparent in their pricing – as ultimately it is the projects that deserve the security of the money you are paying.
You2Africa is unswerving in our belief in ‘ubuntu’, ‘I am what I am because of who we all are‘ . Archbishop Desmond Tutu explains the concept so well: ‘One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.’ We aim to connect you with projects based on this philosophy, we aim to run our business in this way and we aim to change the way you view the world through you coming to understand and live this philosophy in your own life.