Rizia, Busani and Beauty
News & articles
Newsletter & Membership
2009 – 2016
Anne-Cathrine Loehr, 17/12/2016
Hi, my name is Anne-Cathrine, I'm from Germany and I've finished school this year in June. Before studying I decided to travel and do something special, to do a practical work and get experience for my life. The person who inspired me to come to South Africa was my aunt, who used to live in Cape Town. As I got in contact with Nicola, a friend of my aunt and the founder of 'Work For Love', I could arrange to volunteer in this project in Masiphumelele. I started volunteering in October and I'm going to stay until April 2017.
Now, after 6 weeks I can already say that it was the best decision to come here. Not only the project Work For love is great, also the people I met so far and the place I stay.
It is very interesting to meet people of the Xhosa or any other African culture, talking to them and getting to know their way of life. One of the first persons of Masiphumelele I met was Beauty. She is a sewing student at Work For Love. She is also the person that I walk with every morning to my project. The first time she called me 'Sweety' I was a little bit confused because in Germany you would never call a stranger like this. But that is also one of the things I learned so far: People are usually very friendly and especially the Mamas of Masi do a lot to care about their 'Babies' (volunteers included). On our weekly walk through the Township, talking to people about Work For Love, I can also experience the hospitality of African people-a lot of them invite us to go into their houses while they are registering for one of the courses.
Normally, during the week I assist the sewing teacher Kundai, work in the office, take part in an ECD course and help to set up the classrooms for Preschool and Grade 1 class, which will start in January. That is the thing I'm most excited about. Two weeks ago we painted the walls of the classrooms and cleaned a lot of furniture and toys to finally put them inside. It was very different from the tasks I have done before and I'm looking forward to January to see the kids playing in this beautiful place.
Beside all the experience I am making in my project, I enjoy living together with volunteers from all over the world. Living in a volunteer house, I am easily getting in contact with young people. Although they are working in another project, we spend a lot of time together. During the week our evenings are mostly quiet: We go to the mall after work to buy some food at Pick'n'Pay, enjoy the rest of the day at the beach or just relax in the beautiful house and garden. On top of that you are never alone, there is always somebody to talk to- either somebody from Swizerland, Brazil, Denmark, Sweden, Australia or even a German person. In general our weekends are very busy. We go out to explore the city, climb Table Mountain or Lions Head, or explore markets all over the peninsula and Cape Town. It is always fun, even the transport.
We are using Uber Taxis. Uber drivers who come from Masi already know Candis (the volunteer house). But sometimes, like last Saturday, when we caught an Uber home after dinner at 'African Cafe', people have never heard about this place before. This man thought we were kidding when we told him that it is about 40 min to drive and we have to go over the mountain, where all the baboons live. He had never been there before and we had a very funny ride. Even those experiences are different from Germany. I never take taxis at home.
Next week will be my last week in the project for this year, holidays are starting now. For three weeks I'm going to travel along the Garden Route up to Port Elizabeth with my boyfriend. I'm really looking forward to see places like Oudshoorn and Addo Elephant Park with all the wild animals (and hopefully the big five!) and the wild coast of the Eastern Cape.
Luckily, I will meet a lot of the people from Masi and friends again next year, so it is not a goodbye, it is just like 'see you next year'!
Mr. Rose, 7/12/2016
In January 2017, Work For Love is opening a primary school with a Grade 1 class. Each year we will add another class until we have a full primary school. The classes will stay relatively small so that the children get the individual attention they need while at the same time enjoying the opportunity of being part of a class of friends that they will come to know very well. The school will cater primarily to children from Masiphumelele and surrounding communities.
Living in Masi is not an easy life. There is a lot to deal with, including gangsterism, extreme poverty, fires and unsanitary living conditions. And yet, right next door to Masi is our school with its big lawn on which to play and do classroom-related activities, as well as a spectacular view of the mountains just beyond the wetlands. It is a children's paradise and a respite from the bustle and busyness of Masi.
More than one parent who have brought their children to us for their interviews have cried when they told us how hard it was for them and we are so glad to be able to tell them that we can give their children a place in our school. Almost invariably parents tell us that they just want a better life for their children than they had. It is a great responsibility to carry but we do it gladly, knowing that, working together with their parents and working for love, we are helping to empower children to live a better life.
Introducing Teacher Kurt Rose: Hello, I am Kurt Rose and I have been a teacher for 18 years now. Teaching runs in my family. My mother is a teacher, my brother is a teacher, my sister is a teacher and my aunt and my uncle are professors. My first teaching experience was as one of the founder teachers of the Village Waldorf School in Irene, Pretoria. I am happy to say that the school is still thriving.
After that I taught English as a foreign language in Korea, which gave me a lot of experience in helping children with language difficulties. Since returning to South Africa I have taught a grade 7, worked as a tutor for foreigners in the country and am now tutoring in a foster home in Masiphumele, where I help children who are struggling at school because of the language barrier.
While in Masi I saw firsthand the difficulties the children from Masi have to face when attempting to adapt to schools outside Masi. The language barrier was the most pronounced of these issues but cultural differences were also a problem. In order to do something that would go a little way towards addressing these problems I decided to look for a way to start a Waldorf school because, from my experience, it was clear that a Waldorf school was the perfect type of education for the situation in Masi. When I contacted Nicola Cox and Francois Weideman, I was extremely glad to hear that they were thinking about the same thing! Since that moment we have not looked back and I feel very privileged to be working with people so committed to working for love.