While I haven’t been a member of SAVE Projects for a vast amount of time, the changes and developments I’ve witnessed in the short time since my acceptance have left me in awe.
From the occasional donation to the now fully immersive experience involved in the planning of recent fundraisers, I’ve come to recognise the dedication and ambition that each member possesses for the work they (I should say ‘we’) undertake. While I wasn’t initially familiar with the internal processes of a charity organisation, my appreciation for our expanding repertoire of projects and the support of existing members now allows me to be a part of the preparations for the year’s upcoming events.
I can say with complete honesty that the event I am most eager for, is the upcoming trip to Africa in June and July.
Growing up in Australia, with the support of family and an arguably financially comfortable lifestyle, inherently alienates me from the experiences of children living in a 3rd world country such as South Africa. While I won’t pretend to have any kind of empathy for the misfortunes of the children our projects support, I know that my sympathy and place in society does allow me to help. Each small act of charity and support can make a huge amount of difference, which is why I have decided to become a part of this opportunity.
I have no illusions of grandeur in regards to the location and purpose of our trip, but I can also recognise that despite all cultural and language barriers, children deserve the right to enjoy life. While the trip will involve extensive work involving the infrastructure of Uthando House, it will also be our mission to ensure one simple thing: fun. Somewhat taken for granted within first world communities, the children we work with (and in some cases, even the adults) will be able to experience an improvement to their quality of life. However fleeting this opportunity is, it is our hope that these plans and activities will influence positivity and optimism in those who, thus far, haven’t been presented with ample opportunities to experience them.
Olivia, a member of save, who embarked on 2017’s trip to Africa, had a few things to say about this:
“My experience was basically the same as my initial perception… however I was surprised by just how loving and happy these children [who have been through horrific things] are to new people. [I was also surprised by] how attached you get and how strong the bond you create with [the children] can be.”
So while I’m not fully sure what to expect, I am sure that there is potential for me to play a huge role in the lives of others.
“A man makes no noise over a good deed, but passes on to another as a vine to bear grapes again in season.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book V