The Hopeful Life Pre-school and Children's Centre in Gweru caters for vulnerable children and orphans between the ages of four and six years old. Staff at the Centre provide not only an education and meals, but also the care and attention is vital to the development of young children. Antelope Park volunteers are more than happy to help by spending time playing with the children during regular visits to the Centre.
Here, Elise Fuglum a volunteer from Norway talks about her time at the Centre: ‘We arrived at Hopeful Life around lunch time, so we watched the kids eat their lunch. I sat next to four kids and they were so proud that they managed to eat their spaghetti by themselves. It was so funny and they tried really hard to impress me with their eating skills – and so they did. After lunch was play time and I sat with a small group and read a book and played a memory game with cards. That was so funny, and the kids were very excited and everyone helped in the game. After the game some of the girls started to play with my hair. They thought it was so funny playing with blond hair instead of dark hair which they are used to. We also did a little skipping rope before we had to go home. The best part of the day was playing the memory game because everyone was so happy when they managed to find the right match. We also gave them balloons. It was a really good day!’
Volunteers also help to make a difference at Mkoba Polyclinic in Gweru. Understaffed and poorly resourced, the Clinic struggles to provide health care services for up to 50,000 people. Volunteers help by counting medication, keeping treatment areas tidy and assisting the nursing staff. They also provide much-needed donations of medical supplies for the Clinic.
Hedda Skappel from Norway had an experience she won’t forget while volunteering at the Clinic: ‘Yesterday I went to Mkoba Polyclinic to do a night shift and I got to watch an African birth. It was a rewarding experience and very interesting to be able to compare cultural differences and customs from what I am used to back home. The mother was really tough and barely made any noise. The birth itself was quite quick and the baby was out and about in less than 15 minutes. The result was a beautiful baby girl. I dried her off, dressed her in an insane amount of clothing and presented her to her mother. It was an awesome experience and I am so happy that I get to bring that home with me.’
You can help support ALERT’s work in the community by sponsoring a school, orphanage, or healthcare facility. You can find out more details here. Or you may wish to join us in Africa as an intern, or as part of our volunteer program.