30 Day Youth Volunteering Challenge at Durbanvillle Children's Home

                           My Month Of June

My first day at the children’s home was on the 1st of June, when I arrived there were so many faces and names to remember and the children were of different ages (0-18 years). The staff is also very nice and friendly. My first day shift was in the Boys house (+/- 10- 18 years); I enjoyed myself so much I couldn’t wait to be back in that house again. The children come from broken homes, so it’s a little more challenging because their moods change anytime of the day and we have to be prepared for that.

 We have meetings everyday to tell us what the day or week holds for us. I worked day shift for two weeks and only one of the two weeks I worked in the Girls house. In my second week of working in the Durbanville Children’s home I was threatened by a child of 17 years, it was hard on all of us (my group and I), but we stayed as a group and supported each other and now we doing better than ok, and I want to stay for three more weeks cause I have found many new friends now, that I go out with or play games with. 

My first night shift was on the 17th of June when someone broke in, and we managed to get her and called the police but every thing went well that night. The children love me and I love them even more because they come running to me and want to hug me all the time, that’s what makes me believe that what I am doing is worth it. We have a long and short week, long week is every night and weekends from 21:00pm till 07:00am and I have to wake up and take a child to the bathroom at certain time in the night, and on a short week I have the weekend off and I work two days. My day shift starts at 12:00 noon after our meeting till 21:00pm and Saturday the times are from 12:00 noon till 14:00pm. 

To be in the Durbanville Children’s home you have to be ready for hard work, but its good to have a good sense of humor and remember to have FUN and be a peoples person at all times. 

By: Carla Gonsalves  


                   At The Children’s Home 

 My name is Xolisa Mapundu; I stay in Mfuleni in the Western Cape, originally from the Eastern Cape. I am under Volunteer Centre and now volunteering at the Durbanville Children’s home. When I was selected to work at the home with the children I was so happy because I love children with my whole heart, when I was growing up I used to take my relative’s children and stay with them at my home and now I am a Sunday school teacher. 

At the children’s home I started work with a night shift and it was nice and good, there was nothing that was difficult for me because the things I do I already know, for example how to change a child’s nappy. The young children are all very nice, but some of the older children are not because they come from different backgrounds and situations. When I was on my off day I heard that one of the older children had threatened one of the volunteers. The supervisor called us and asked how we all felt about what had happened, to me I felt nothing cause that just how I am in those kind of situations that I am not involved in or directly affected by. One thing that made me not to leave the children’s home was because I believe in God’s protection and never give up; I trust in Him that He is a faithful God. There are not many challenges as I have stayed with children before and that has helped me a lot since I arrived at the children’s home.

Sometimes the children love me and sometimes they don’t, that is just how their emotions and attitudes change, as a young person there is no need for me to change negatively, they just need me to guide them, after all they are only just children, and when they do wrong you must tell them and show them the right way too so they will remember for next time. I have learnt something new in the children’s home; the children are given a chance to things on their own without an older person, like grouping themselves, singing and doing some activities and when they finish they close with a prayer. So I have learnt that it is good to teach a child and also not to put a lot of control over them, allow them to do their own things so that their talents are revealed.

 The international volunteers mix with are very nice and we like sharing things like our cultures and traditions, when I told them about mine they were very surprised and interested, what I see is we are only different by the teachings from our homes and through our differences we still respect each other. I learnt that one of the differences they have in their country (especially Germans) is the temperature, for them it’s not too cold than for us South Africans were its freezing cold. 

To be at Durbanville Children’s Home has had a great change in my life, I have gained confidence, the way I see things is changing for the better and to be with other young people feels good. 

By: Xolisa Mapundu