OUR APPROACH & VALUES
Our vision at You 2 africa to make a difference in the lives of children and animals in South Africa, and to facilitate a truly rewarding experience for our volunteers. We believe in the incredibly transformative role of volunteering and are committed to the projects we work with. We work with existing projects, communities and talents to empower them, both with financial and physical resources, and unlike many other volunteer organisations, are transparent with the volunteer to show them where their funds are going. The work of the volunteer in the time that they can commit to the project can be described as them being a piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle with each piece adding to build a brighter future for the communities.
We also believe that one of the greatest learning experiences for any young person is to experience life in a foreign country, to get to understand different cultures, languages and life skills, and this is why we have a dedicated team to facilitate our high school exchange program. Students live with a host family for a term or a year and attend a local school, getting to know what life in South Africa is truly like.
We have over 20 years of experience in volunteer and high school exchange programs in South Africa. Over 5000 volunteers and 2000 high school students have passed through our doors in this time, and with each year our involvement and progress grows in the communities we are involved in. We are a small organisation that gives back to the projects we are involved in because we are firmly driven by our desire to make a difference in the projects & schools. We want to connect you to Africa, the projects and the communities you will be involved in and facilitate an experience that may well change your life forever. Volunteering provides a sustainable platform, in the absence of funding to make a meaningful difference and to show people, less fortunate than ourselves – that we care. We build humility and gratitude, rather than arrogance and demands, and we welcome anyone with open arms to come help us build a healthy, happy, peaceful South Africa.
Volunteers are hosted in a safe, happy and established environment, a home from home – where they can discover the beauty and challenges of living in South Africa and walk away with a rich experience, which they will carry through life. We work with a team of people around the city and the country, coordinators and facilitators, below is short descriptions of the ‘core’ You2Africa team…
TOBY DIXON – FOUNDER
Toby has been passionately involved in youth travel for over 20 years (but he says that makes him feel old!). Born and raised in Scotland, he has travelled extensively and worked in youth travel ever since the travel bug bit around the age 18, after he completed studies in Travel & Tourism. Firmly in love with South Africa and living permanently here for the last 12 years Toby is daily inspired by the lessons that Africa can teach and the difference that one person CAN make.
Toby is a doer, an organiser, a facilitator. He has served as chairman of the Volunteer South Africa Association and represents the industry globally at conferences through WYSE Work abroad partnerships with other like minded volunteer motivators.. Toby believes passionately in what we do, he loves what we do, he lives it and breathes it. Toby personally meets with each and every Cape Town volunteer on our Friday orientation days – its his favourite day of the week (he likes to think this is keeping him young! Toby looks forward to welcoming you to this wonderful country and facilitating your volunteer experience to be one of the best journeys of your life.
BERNIE JASON – HIGH SCHOOL COORDINATOR
Bernie’s role as a support worker is a perfect outlet for her incredibly caring and nurturing nature, where her main priority is looking after and providing support of the students enrolled in the high school exchange programs. Bernie thrives on the experience as she gets to care and watch the students grow as they come into our country to experience a new culture and family. Her home is always busy with exchange students popping in to spend some time with her family. Bernie always gives the biggest hugs when the exchange time comes to an end, but very often meets the students again when they come back for a holiday with their families and keeps in contact with them as they grow into young adults.