Why South Africa Needs More Volunteers
Just one small action has the power to change many lives and make a real difference. And none know this better than the South African nation.
South Africa is a diverse country of differing demographics, cultures and beliefs, where the poverty line is high, the tolerance line low, and wealth and basic amenities unequally distributed. Thousands of people live day-to-day not knowing where their next meal may come from, nor where they will lay their head at night. But in what many may perceive as a dismal situation, the spark of Ubuntu strikes fast.
We are a nation that believes strongly in the power of the people in coming together to overcome any obstacle. And as volunteers, we play a crucial role in passing this flame from community to community, playing our small part in making a huge difference.
Here’s 5 reasons why South Africa needs more volunteers and how you can get involved.
1. To Support our Social Sector
In the face of Minister Bhatabile Dlamini and the Department of Social Development’s failings, it is more obvious than ever that any real difference in Social Africa’s social sector needs to come from us – the people. We can’t rely on government for sufficient social funding, adequate support for NPOs, the correct distribution of resources – or simply to keep pertinent promises. By volunteering we can help NPOs get the support, coverage and funding they deserve to continue growing their good causes and making a long and lasting impact in our country.
2. To Conserve our Nature and Wildlife
South Africa is a country rich in diversity across both her animal and plant kingdoms, and as her people, we are the protectors of these riches. With poaching on the rise, endangered species of animals and plants on the decline, and overall havoc striking the world’s climate, it’s becoming more and more apparent how desperately our world needs our help. As a volunteer in South Africa you have endless opportunities to join conservation efforts such as animal tagging and tracking, planting trees, beach clean ups or water conservation efforts.
3. To Help with Emergency Relief
With the global climate changing at an alarming rate, natural disasters and unpredictable weather patterns are occurring much more frequently. Those of us who live in the Western Cape are all too familiar with the fires that sweep the hillsides come summertime and the success that comes from combating these catastrophes together. Many people in less-privileged areas are poorly equipped to withstand fires, floods and other natural disasters and find themselves in dire distress when Mother Nature takes her stand. By volunteering in South Africa you can help those who can’t help themselves and join in rescue and relief operations.
4. To Uplift and Connect our Communities
With diversity comes difference and often – division. South Africa is still a fledgling democracy and there’s a lot we can do to help her fully take flight. Beyond our comfort zones lies a world of opportunity where every person we meet and every experience we have is a humble lesson in humanity. Through volunteering we can share our skills and our knowledge; we can bring our people together and break down cultural divides. Being a volunteer in South Africa, you have endless exciting opportunities to connect communities, help with building and housing, find creative ways to create employment and learn a lot about yourself as you go along.
5. To Empower our Children
Our leaders of tomorrow are our children of today, and the future of our country lies in their capable hands. But without our care, they can’t become the leaders they’ve been born to be. Due to high levels of poverty, crime, abuse and neglect, a vast majority of children in South Africa are being denied a sufficient start to life.
“Less than 50% of children who start school in South Africa write their final high school examination” Khaya Volunteer
Without access to education and basic amenities such as sanitation and housing – our children can’t break free from the cycle of inequality, and are destined to the same demise as generations before.
But we can be their hope.
Through volunteering we can inspire them, open their minds and fill them with knowledge. We can educate them and empower them, give them the love and attention they need to build a brighter future for South Africa together.