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MikeG

Help needed: volunteer trips from USA to SA

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Hi Everyone,

 

I'm brand new to this website - pretty cool I must say. I'm a South African living in Cape Town and run a volunteer and community service business called 2 Way Travel. (www.2waytravel.com)

 

We specialise in bringing groups (Universities, High Schools and church groups) to South Africa to volunteer in some of our impoverished communities that are still living under the effects of our past. We arrange all of the group’s travel logistics (transport, accommodation, meals & tourist activities) as well as the volunteer programme. Through the tours, I want to make an impact upon SA society as well as leave a life changing experience on the international volunteers themselves.

 

My experience shows that Americans are generally interested in short term trips to SA hence I am going to be in the USA from Monday 26h Nov till Wednesday 12th Dec 2007 meeting with interested parties. I'd really appreciate it if any of you have contacts that you could refer me to. Ideally I'm looking for key people in volunteer/community service programmes at Universities, high schools and churches but I'm open to anything really:)

 

I will be in Boston, Indianapolis, DC, Philadelphia and New York. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Many many thanks. Further info can be found on www.2waytravel.com.

 

Cheers,

Mike

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Can you guarantee everyone/anyone's safety to begin with?

 

K

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some of our impoverished communities that are still living under the effects of our past

 

 

:o

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:D Some time ago, I was on a plane to Amsterdam from Johannesburg....and there were a group of South African people, a singing group on this plane also. Some people in Amsterdam were giving them a change to go and perform in the Nedelands. Everthing was given to them and paid for. What a trip!!!!! Next to me, was the american, sometime in this flight, in the middle of the night, he had enough, so he asked them please to behave, they were so ill-behaved. I hung my head in shame. I mean really badly ,,,,,, All the other people on the plane (almost all of them) Boood the american. How could he?, they are so innocent, the have nothing in life, they gave him looks that could kill. Needless to say he told them all :thumbdown: That's my guy!!! So these days I am gun shy and don't encourage anybody to go to SA.

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Ideally I'm looking for key people in volunteer/community service programmes at Universities, high schools and churches but I'm open to anything really

 

You need to call: 1-800-dow-hat?

 

And as for "some of our impoverished communities that are still living under the effects of our past"

I wish I could have put that bridge and highway together with the school and hospital in my suitcase when I left.

Unfortunately I had to leave some European markings behind and now live with the guilt of having changed the African way forever.

 

You crack me up. :D Too funny this suggestion of yours. :lol:

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:blink: Has it not been, ag lets say.........14 YEARS since the so to speak 'past' is over? :wacko: Poverty does not disappeer through charity, you make it disappear through honest hard work. But then that is just my humble opinion. :whome:

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Hard work is not a very familiar term in Africa. 12 hours a day, 6 days a week would sound like slavery in Africa, here it is called success!!

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Hi Everyone,

 

I obviously struck a nerve as most of the responses seem quite negative. Maybe I was misunderstood in what I'm trying to do. It's not about me making a judgement but rather chosing to make a difference in how I live my life in SA faced with the reality of life here and the opportunities that exist.

 

To the one person who asked about safety, I can't not guarantee anyone's safety (and neither could you do the same if I was to travel to America). I take safety very seriously as I'd never want anyone to be injured or hurt on one of my trips. I have never had a serious incident to date on any of my trips.

 

Anyone with useful information please feel free to respond to my initial request for contacts. Thank you for your time.

 

Cheers,

Mike

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I obviously struck a nerve as most of the responses seem quite negative. Maybe I was misunderstood in what I'm trying to do.

We specialise in bringing groups (Universities, High Schools and church groups) to South Africa to volunteer in some of our impoverished communities that are still living under the effects of our past.

 

Hi Mate,

I can't imagine why you get this negative responses??

 

Yes It is a good thing the ANC brought the RSA up to the high living standards of the rest of Africa, I mean really the whites did a number on RSA. The suffering was so great that in the 70's and 80's people were streaming INTO the RSA because things in the rest of Africa was so good and they were living on milk and honey but it was too much for those blokes... they wanted too rather go and suffer in the hated RSA.

 

The rest of Africa should also plan these kind's of trips to the RSA to go and help.

 

Maybe you can work on Congo or Nigeria or Rwanda peoples to go down and volunteer? Their Medical infrastructures alone should be vastly superior to the one the useless whites left in RSA!

 

I mean they all have running water and beautiful houses with no hunger, sickness and famines. With fantastic and modern infrastructure they can utilize to help RSA. Compared to the rest of Africa, the hated whites completely demolished what was once a proud and developed RSA. No roads, infrastructure, electricall grid, modern airports or city's was left after they destroyed it! The Rest of Africa have a responsibility to go and share those riches with the poor suffering people of RSA. It is all one PAN African right?

 

Don't get me wrong, apartheid was a wrong on so many levels, I and my generation worked and voted to get rid of it. But even if we could roll back the time and undo apartheid, NOTHING would have changed in RSA or in Africa. There would still have been poor, sick hungry people living in shacks without electricity.

 

Blaming Apartheid for that is missing the point. And you insult the exact people you try to get to help you.

 

Best of luck. I do donate money but not one cent goes to RSA. I make a point of ensuring that! Because of people like you that insist on ignoring the real problem and instead keeps on blaming Apartheid.

 

You don't work to fix the problem, you are working to point fingers and catch some glory.

Edited by Ian

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Hi Mike,

 

Welcome to SAUSA. I'm sorry that your introduction to the forum caused so many negative responses. Don't let that discourage you. I think what you're trying to do is laudable. Politics aside - let's focus on your request. Unfortunately, I don't have any contacts I can refer you to, but have you tried connecting with existing organizations focused on international volunteer efforts?

 

Here are just a few:

www.idealist.org

www.crossculturalsolutions.org

www.ifrevolunteers.org

www.unitedplanet.org

www.projecthope.org

 

Good luck with your endeavor and I hope you have a great trip to the USA at the end of the month.

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I know there are people that think I'm full of :thumbdown: for saying what I did but really, statements like "some of our impoverished communities that are still living under the effects of our past." should start moving along and look at the now!

 

They are not helping a single soul but themselves by this short sighted views.

 

Look at the statistics, look at the NOW!

 

Poor S Africans double in decade

 

There are more losers in post-apartheid South Africa

The number of South Africans living on less than $1 a day has more than doubled in a decade since shortly after the end of apartheid.

 

You can read the BBC article for the full story HERE

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I don't care whose "fault" the widespread poverty, AIDS pandemic and other South African issues are. The bottom line is: the country needs all the help it can get and here is someone who is trying to connect resources to make a difference. NOW.

 

Instead of respectfully welcoming Mike to the forum and helping him with his request, the thread descended into a futile political debate.

 

Americans have an amazing spirit of volunteerism that South Africa would be fortunate to tap into.

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Amaricans also have the amazing ability to "help themselves" and not wait for the welfare bus to arrive...unlike the shameless begging by African Nations that overwhelmes every UN conference.

 

K

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No I agree Jerseygirl. SA needs help.

But If the people helping are misguided and are trying to fix the wrong problem, my money will be wasted.

And, with respect, this person showed me in his/her opening statement that he/she is misguided and is still stuck in the past addressing a problem that was fixed with the democratic elections in 1994.

 

Unfortunately all the charities working in RSA have the same catch phrase.

Edited by Ian

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Mike,

Good for you for trying to make a differance. The world would be a better place if we all had this attitude. There is an issue in South Africa, but who are we to judge. We all got out and now we all look back and point fingers. Its unfortuneate that us as expats all have a "bad" attitude toward South Africa, but we all do. We all have our reasons.

 

Again, good for you to try and make a differance.

I wish all of the people that have a poor attitude would do the same.

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