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Experiencing Africa for the first time

By | Stories

Before coming to South Africa I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought that everything is going to be different to what I know but I couldn’t really imagine it.

Of course I googled “Kruger National Park” like a thousand times but the pictures I saw were always the same ones. Stunning five-star lodges with pools and incredible panorama views. Hordes of impressive animals such as elephants, zebras or lions in front of the most beautiful sundowns I have ever seen. It seemed to be the most fascinating place in the world and definitely the place I wanted to be.

I was very excited to go to South Africa and even more disappointed when I arrived. The great Safari Tours that I imagined myself to be on turned out to be long hours on an open vehicle, seeing only a few animals from the distance. The soils were dried out and all the plants and trees seemed to be more dead than alive. There was no green at all, only some thorny bushes and dry, sandy grounds. When going to the community projects, we passed very poor regions with trash lying around everywhere, as if trash cans don’t exist in this place. I somehow didn’t expect a country which is known for its beautiful and untouched nature and wildlife to be so dirty and careless about the environment. I somehow felt like I came to the wrong place and that all these amazing landscapes I had in my mind are far from reality.

The only thing that exceeded my expectations in a positive way was the accommodation. It is a very beautiful and clean lodge, surrounded by nature and wildlife reserves. Also the food is very delicious and the cleaning ladies make sure that the animals don’t feel too cosy in our rooms!

It took me about three weeks to realize how beautiful this place really is. I even started to love the previously described dirty small towns situated next to the streets and have to smile whenever we are in the car driving through the area. I am falling in love with this place every day a little bit more. It is not only about the animals you see, but also about the amazing people you meet and the experiences you make. Some other volunteers fell in love with this place the minute they arrived, but for me personally it took a little bit longer. When finally the first raindrops fell at the end of September, it seemed as if the area came back to life again. Everything has changed its colour from brownish into a bright saturated green, making this place even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Also the animals seemed to love the rain and we had the chance to be very close to them, creating incredible experiences and memories.

These animal encounters made me realize why it is so important to protect the wildlife here and why conservation education is crucial to the impact we can make. I also started to understand my role here as an intern a little bit better and know, at least somehow, what I am supposed to do within the next few months. The most important thing here that I had to learn the tough way is that it is important to ask whenever you have a question or are unsure about what you should do. They won’t come to you, but if you ask them they will try to help you as much as they can.

If there is an advice that I could give to anyone who is about to come to the Greater Kruger Area it would be this one: enjoy the time you have and don’t isolate yourself from the loving people that live here. Also take your time and step outside for a moment, go for a walk and breathe into the amazing surrounding whenever you feel like wanting to go home!

Let this place fill your heart with the joy and happiness that is around and I am sure you will fall in love sooner than you would imagine!

~ Melanie Frauenlob ~

Happy Africa Foundation Intern – read more about our internships. 

 

Book, Books and more books!

By | News

One of the United Nations Global Goals for sustainable development is to provide a Quality Education.

In Zululand we do this in a number of ways, with the main one being Reading Club.  Every week we have up to 100 children who come straight after school to have grammar lessons and to read to our volunteers.

The courage and determination of the children knows no bounds.

Helping our children to read and understand English will go a long way in ensuring they can complete their education and secure a good job, thus moving them towards the global goals of Quality Education, No Poverty and Building Sustainable Communities.

We are raising funds to allow us to purchase 40 dictionaries for these amazing children.  Learning how to use a dictionary and to expand their vocabulary will provide a great foundation for their future life.

We would also like to reward the children for their dedication, determination and confidence building by presenting them with their very own book at the end of the year.

The goal would be raise £1000.00 (ZAR 17,000/ USD 1300.00)

Get involved and Donate here – choose St Lucia and Educational Projects

 

My Best Summer

By | News

I worked for the Happy Africa Foundation and its partner African Impact in Moshi, Tanzania, and it was the best summer I’ve ever had. It was not only such fun and enjoyable experience, but also a great opportunity to learn about development and NGO management.

During my placement I lived in the volunteer house with others. Because we lived and spent so much time together, we got very close and became like a big family. Unlike government funded programmes like ICS, volunteers come from all over the world, which makes it so interesting to get to know other volunteers as they all have different cultures and stories. This is one of many things I miss about my time in Moshi. I had such a great time in just talking to other volunteers, sometimes sitting around a bonfire, watching the sky full of stars!

The weekend trips are also one of my highlights. They had a variety of trips and tours with reasonable price you can do over the weekends. I’ve done most of the tours, and they were all incredible. Watching a family of lions, crossing the border betweenTanzania and Kenya with a kayak, snorkelling in the turquoise blue ocean of Zanzibar, climbing Kilimanjaro, swimming in a hidden hotspring… and the list goes on.

The internship also offered me a great opportunity to deepen the understanding of development and NGO management. Working on the grass route level allowed me to observe how the community is changing, and how NGOs have been contributing towards its development. It was very interesting to learn how the team manages the projects, and being able to see how the projects are making impacts on the community even in a short term was amazing.

Being a part of the Happy Africa Foundation team was probably one of the most fruitful experiences I’ve had during the internship. With them, I was able to learn fundraising strategies. As fundraising is perhaps the most important element in the development and charity sector, having an opportunity to learn about it was incredible.

None of these experiences would have been great if it weren’t for the staff members of African Impact and the Happy Africa Foundation. They were always very friendly and supportive, which made it so much easier for me to adapt to the new environment and to understand my tasks. I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with.

Written by Shu, our Moshi intern for 3 months 

Life as an intern

By | News

I’ve officially been interning in Zanzibar for about 6 weeks now and still love it! The communities of Jambiani and Kizimkazi are incredibly welcoming and open, and continue to give me so much more than I could have imagined.

My first four weeks were spent working on the two main African Impact projects on the island. I taught geography and conservation classes at the Jambiani Educational Community Centre, as well as adult English classes in the afternoon. My students constantly surprised me with their work ethic and desire to learn. Some of them have been able to get jobs in the service industry this peak season because of the English skills they have learned with African Impact. This project you dive deep into the Jambiani community through daily connections with students and the local women’s group, the Kanga Ladies.

My second two weeks were spent on the Marine Conservation Project in Kizimkazi. This project focuses on creating a sustainable balance between the ocean and the local community through dolphin monitoring, Conservation Club, and ethical boat driver training workshops. The dolphin population in this area of the island along with increased tourism has created a dolphin tour industry that is damaging to marine life. Our workshops train drivers on how to ethically run a dolphin tour that lets them make a living while protecting and respecting the dolphins. Our Conservation Club is teaching younger students about the environment, conservation, and sustainability in Kizimkazi and Zanzibar with semester lessons like “Save our Seas” and “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” I absolutely love this project and the long-term impact it is going to have in the community. Plus, there aren’t many jobs that allows you to be on a boat every morning interacting with dolphins and coral reefs.

One of my goals for this internship is to improve in sharing my passion for conservation, the environment, and helping people with others. Experiencing both projects has allowed me to do this and therefore, helped me to perform my intern roles better. I can appropriately talk about both projects to volunteers with confidence and explain why they are so important using my own stories. Being a THAF intern has also opened my eyes to the non-profit sector and how important fundraising is to create a lasting impact. I am constantly learning about the business side of THAF and African Impact while interacting with the communities on the ground. I think this combination of environments is what makes this internship special.

Icing on top of the cake is that this island in general has been an amazing place to live. I have gone snorkeling, seen Zanzibar’s Red Colobus Monkey in Jozani Forest, swam with sea turtles in Nungwi, and plan to try kite surfing. I also get to walk outside onto a beach every day, learn Swahili with our security guard, and learn to cook local dishes with our chefs. These are memories that I know will last more than 12 weeks.

If you are interested in interning with an NGO, check out our page here. 

Written by our Happy Africa Zanzibar Intern Sarah 

Shiners Nursery School Says Thank you!

By | News

Shiner's Nursery Thank You

Our Moshi Shiner's Nursery School project is saying a big thank you to all the donors who generously gave towards building the emergency wall. #makingadifference #donateforgood #ecd African Impact – Moshi, Kilimanjaro

Posted by The Happy Africa Foundation on Thursday, July 6, 2017

Women’s Day High Tea Fundraiser for Girl Impact

By | News

In aid of our Girl Impact Initiatives 

Wednesday 9th August

2pm – 4pm

Casa Labia, Muizenberg

Featuring local artist Jennifer Eaves

 

Book your tickets here with your credit/debit card or directly into our bank account via EFT:

Bank: Standard Bank

Bank address: 77 Main Road, Fish Hoek, 7975

Bank account: The Happy Africa Foundation

Branch code: 036009

Account number: 072079584

Reference: Your Surname/ Womens Day

 

High Tea Fundraiser Tickets

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Meet Khanyisile

By | Stories

Khanyisile is 37 years old and suffers from Motor-Neurone Disease and hyper-tension. Her disease is far advanced and she is now wheelchair bound and relies on her youngest son to care for her. She is unable to eat, drink or move without assistance. Her son does what he can but he doesn’t live at home and is not always around.
She survives on a grant of only ZAR1300 per month (c.GBP76)

The Happy Africa Foundation support Khanyisile but providing Home Based Care and Nutrition to her through our St Lucia Medical & Home Based Care ProjectWe also help her attend the new Homeopathy Clinic where she receives a remedy which helps her appetite, sleep better and relaxes her muscles.

The challenge she faces is that she lives alone in her own home but local residents have been using her property was a ‘walk-through’ as she has no perimeter fence.
This makes her feel very vulnerable especially in the evenings.

Our aim is to provide her with a simple wooden pole and wire fence around her property to prevent people using her land as a thru-way. This would allow her to rest peacefully in the evening and make her feel safe.

To help us achieve this goal please get involved via our Global Giving Page here 

 

Leopard Research Project, Greater Kruger

By | Conservation
Focused research on leopards through data collection assists with conservation solutions that protect species and individuals, and contributes to the health of the entire ecosystem.
Population of large carnivores are threatened and experiencing declines in numbers globally. Over a third of South Africa’s leopard habitat is found in just Limpopo province, yet 95% of that is outside of formally protected areas. Despite these issues, the majority of population and conservation-based research has occurred in protected areas. This has led to a lack of data or unreliable results to inform conservation practice.

It is vital that data collection be conducted on private land and that populations are studied in these areas to work towards evidence-based conservation practice. Ultimately, it is only through focused research in these areas that we can develop conservation solutions that will protect these species and individuals livelihoods, thus contributing to the health of entire ecosystems.

Through the camera traps bought and in use we are hoping to:
– Leopard captures (photos collected on camera traps)
– Corridors monitored
– Density Studies completed
– Territorial/movement maps created for various predator species
– Snare sweeps completed

We have just launched this project as a microproject to fundraise for camera traps, and have raised enough for 8 camera traps so far.

Community Sports Development

By | Stories

South Africa is a huge sport playing nation. Whether at the local level or international, South Africa’s love of sport and competitive nature is world class. Despite this, many children lack the resources necessary to have the chance to play an organized, umpired game.

Physical Education is not part of the school curriculum and after school sports is virtually non-existent in township communities. Throughout the world it is known that taking part in sporting activities can greatly improve both physical and mental health but sadly this is missing for many children in Khayelitsha and Langa. In addition, children are often unsupervised during the hours after school, leading to exposure to gangs, drugs, alcohol and abuse.

The Happy Africa Foundation partners with Sporting Chance coaches and with the help of volunteers from African Impact, students in schools in Khayelitsha and Langa are able to have access to physical education during scheduled lessons. When speaking to the sports coach in Khayelitsha, he revealed that he had started running soccer and cricket training after school to allow children to really embrace all that there is to offer from sports. However, the children had no other teams to play against and so could not practice their skills or develop good sportsmanship.

The Happy Africa Foundation believes that sports programmes offer a positive outlet for children’s energy, providing excellent opportunities for physical, social and emotional development. Therefore, each year, The Happy Africa Foundation in partnership with Sporting Chance, host a 10-week long cricket and soccer tournament on the streets of Khayelitsha, Langa and now in Mitchell’s Plain. This year, quarterly interschool competitions in soccer and netball are also being held between Khayelitsha and Langa schools.

By providing quarterly interschool competitions, a sense of team/school pride is developed as well as goal-setting and achievements. The students can train with a goal in mind; motivation is an incredible tool for development. The first quarterly Interschool Competition was held in April between Khayelitsha United and the Langa Warriors; soccer and netball teams from the two Sports Development Schools. The participants learnt about commitment to training, sportsmanship and school pride. The day was a huge success with children now looking to even the scores next term. If you’d like to know more about this incredible day, check out this short video https://youtu.be/QIqOpB5SZZM

The annual street tournament for soccer and cricket also allows for a sense of community spirit, local employment for coaches and umpires and a chance for children to show their talent. Up to 15 community members are employed in each of the three locations to act as coaches and to ensure fair play and competitive spirit is maintained. The streets are closed, the goal posts are converted barrels-come-stumps are deployed and the community turns out in force to support their respective teams. The tournament culminates in a final game in December for both cricket and soccer, with the winner awarded all-important bragging rights as well as trophies and medals. All participants are also given a shirt to continue the show of pride in participating. Over the 10 weeks, around 360 children will have taken part in the street tournament across Khayelitsha, Langa and Mitchell’s Plain.

The inclusion of quarterly interschool competitions as well as expanding the annual street tournament to include Mitchell’s Plain has increased our fundraising target for our Community Sports Development project. So far, we have fundraised R24,920, needing R135,080 more in order to deliver all four interschool competitions and the street tournament. If you would like to help us achieve this goal, please visit www.happyafricafoundation.org/donate.

My first week in Cape Town

By | News

Written by Taylor Jones

The week leading up to my arrival in Cape Town was filled with anxiety. The normal stresses of travel such as what to pack and last minute plannings were present but most of the anxiety came from the unknown of the work I was about to begin. All the previous times that I had traveled out of the country had been for the cultural immersion and the fun of traveling. While those components were also main parts of my upcoming trip to Cape Town, my primary reason for going was to start interning with The Happy Africa Foundation. I was moving to another country for work not just for play and the idea caused a great deal of anxiety.

Now that my first week in Cape Town is behind me, the stress and anxiety has subsided to excitement for my next three months. My first week was filled gaining the “volunteer experience”. I spent most of the week going with the volunteers to the various projects that we have around Cape Town and learning how each of them functioned. The projects ranged from teaching at a preschool to helping young girls in a dance group gain self confidence by seeing their own self portrait for the first time. The projects filled myself and my fellow volunteers with hope for the future of these kids even though they faced what can seem like insurmountable obstacles.

When not on projects, most of my time was spent getting to know the incredible group of volunteers that are all staying in the Lion House. Bonds have grown so quickly even though we have only known each other for a short period of time. It is easy to grow close when everyone is sharing such an incredible experience with one another and exploring the amazing city which is Cape Town.

Now there is only excitement as I look ahead to the next three months in this amazing city. I feel confident that I will not only enjoy the work I am doing but also the place that I get to live and the people I will be meeting along the way. I am sure there will be challenges but the support from staff, family, and friends will enable me to stay positive and push through the obstacles.