Julie Marchand - Volunteer from France

While studying at Rhodes University, Julie joined the UN society and worked on the Millennium Development Goals for a year. She specialized in educational goals and therefore visited schools from previously disadvantaged communities and along with teachers tackled the causes of the issues learners and teachers face. 

“I want to contribute to building a next generation who will have a responsible behaviour, knowing what they do, what they buy and how they vote can have a positive or negative impact on third world populations. I would like to contribute to building better relationships between the first world population and the third world population so that this distinction can be bridged. I do regret that most of my people only know about Africa through the media, which means that they only hear about famine, wars and wild animals! This is why I wanted to experience life in rural as well as urban areas, meet various people from different backgrounds so that I can learn from them.” says Julie. 

For the first three months, Julie was volunteering at the Volunteer Centre Head Office, where she played a pivotal role (in the absence of Ntombi – IT Support/Communications) in launching and updating the website of the office. Her immense computer expertise was extremely beneficial to the need of the Volunteer Centre. Furthermore, Julie started teaching French to all interested staff. These sessions were a great highlight of the week as it was a fun-filled teambuilding session.  “I started to teach French to pre-school learners in November 2007 in Ocean View at Aquilla pre-school, through the “Big things begin little” project, initiated by Chantél. It was quite a challenge for me since I have never taught a language to people who cannot read or write! The purpose of the course was to also empower them and broaden their cultural horizons aiding them in thinking of themselves as

I have been travelling and spending several years abroad before, far away from the people I love, but this time, surprisingly, leaving them all has been even more difficult than any other time before..

Therefore, being welcomed the way we were by Chantél and Deline was really heart warming! I knew that our arrival was really well prepared. The finer touches of receiving presents and the letter waiting for us in the room was something I have never had before, and it’s difficult to find a word strong enough to express how glad I felt.” Volunteer Centre staff is grateful to the contribution of Julie and look forward to Julie’s next visit to Cape Town.