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Independence is one of the most basic things we need to teach children, particularly when they are blind. Even the parents think the children can’t do anything on their own and so do everything for them but they are capable of almost everything any other child is able to do. Simple life skills; brushing their teeth, washing their clothes, will not only increase their independence but also their confidence and self-esteem. The support we receive from organizations like SERVE makes this possible.
We have young Irish volunteers coming to South Africa to experience the orphans, to experience the poverty, to engage in a dialogue with the people. This is a formative experience giving them an awareness and connection they would not have achieved had they not come here. All the work SERVE volunteers do to upgrade and upkeep our facilities, it greatly improves the quality of service we provide to the patients in our care. With the support of SERVE, poor people are made the agents of their own transformation.
At Young Africa we believe vocational education and training is the key to giving young people the tools to develop themselves to be useful citizens in a society. Development only happens when local people take responsibility for what is happening. Young Africa’s principle mission is the empowerment of young people. It was almost by chance that we came into contact with SERVE but ever since they have been fantastic partners. Through SERVE, Young Africa gets volunteers and funds. The whole hostel programme was thanks to this partnership. SERVE has been a totally awesome partner for Young Africa and are the most generous and respectful partners to work with.
SERVE being here is a great help. These people are very discriminated against so it’s a very good chance for the children, when working with volunteers from Ireland, to feel special. They see that the volunteers love them and value them even when they are mistreated in their own country.