A rewarding experience for volunteers
May 28 2014

Gweru’s Drop-in Centre is a place of safety, kindness and education, where the city’s street children are able to go and spend time with people who care about their welfare.  Every weekday, staff at the Centre provide the children with a hot meal.  They are joined twice a week by Antelope Park volunteers, who shop for ingredients and help to prepare the lunch.  The visitors also have the opportunity to spend time with the children; playing games and helping to teach English.  During a recent visit, Denis from the United Kingdom joined other volunteers to help make bracelets which the Drop-in Centre sells to raise vital funds.  This is what Denis had to say:

‘Another rewarding day at the Drop-in Centre; today saw a marked increase in street kids stemming from a well-organised and consistent outreach programme, rising from 19 to 27.  New faces, names, new lives we could help in a meaningful way.  Today we lead ‘bracelet day’, working with kids hands-on, aligning an activity with one of their interests.  We (including myself as a man!) made approximately 8 – 10 bracelets.  Arts and crafts dominated the day, as the soccer field was closed due to school recommencing.  The afternoon saw a marked increase in energy of all with sporting activities of Frisbee, skipping rope and musical chairs fueled by a lovely lunch we prepared.  I basted and prepared chicken, and so forth.  It was great to put my hands to good use across all facets of the day.  Looking forward to another day at the Drop-In soon.’

There is still a little time to support the Drop-in Centre’s Miss a Meal in May campaign.  Find out how here.

Antelope Park medical volunteers observe and assist at different clinics in Gweru and are sometimes even lucky enough to witness the birth of a baby.  At Mkoba Polyclinic, the maternity ward sees an average of 158 births per month, yet has only two delivery beds.  Johanna Gillner, a volunteer from Sweden, recently visited the Clinic where she was present at a birth.  Here is what she felt about the experience:

‘I spent the morning at Mkoba Polyclinic with the coordinators from Antelope Park.  First thing that happened after they had shown me around was that a lady was about to give birth.  We got to witness it.  The mother was so strong and she was on her feet barely five minutes later.  The baby was a healthy beautiful boy.  After his weight and height was taken, I got to help dress him.  They covered him up in three blankets on top of his clothes. I got to hand him over to his mother.  It was an experience out of the ordinary!  I spent the rest of the morning helping out in maternity with taking weights and heights of mothers coming for their pregnancy checks.’

Mkoba Polyclinic, like many other healthcare facilities in Gweru, is understaffed and poorly resourced.  By sponsoring a clinic, you can help to make a real difference by enabling the continued provision of free healthcare for the benefit of this community in need.

Mudavanhu School in Gweru caters for children with relatively severe disabilities.  The aim of the School is to teach these children life skills, such as being able to feed themselves without assistance.  For Antelope Park community volunteers, having the time to interact with the students is a very rewarding experience. Amanda, from Germany, had this to say about her day at the School:

‘Just a half day today, but still a good day.  We got there and the manager showed us around the school.  We were separated in to different classes and helped in the class we were placed in.  After that, we had break time and all of us went outside and played with the children.  They loved the skipping rope and football.  Then, we had gymnastics.  We walked to a big field and had some running competitions and jumping in the sand.  It was an amazing day and the children are so happy and friendly.’

You could visit Africa as a volunteer in the community, like Denis, Johanna and Amanda.  See our website for details.


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