From Volunteer to Staff
I first came to GVI Cape Town in January 2015 as a volunteer and planned to stay for 6 months. However, after getting to experience all the different projects I knew I wanted to stay longer. I applied for a job as a coordinator and was lucky enough to get the job. I returned home to Scotland for a couple of months to get a new visa and came back to SA in the middle of September in my new role.
As a volunteer I had worked across the childcare programs but when I came back, there was an opening to become the Sports & Surfing coordinator. I have always been a sporty person so it seemed like a perfect fit.
I absolutely love working at the school. We get to work with all the kids from grade 3-7 (ages 9-13) which is quite a wide age range meaning each class is different and posed different challenges. Stepping in as the coordinator was hard at first but after the first couple of weeks the kids start to respect you and you can build relationships with them and the teachers. Seeing how excited the kids are when you walk into their classroom to take them to the field for their lesson is an amazing feeling. It really makes you feel like you are having an impact in their lives. We are giving them the opportunity to try new things and discover hidden talents that the otherwise would not have the chance to do.
As well as stepping up and taking on a lot more responsibility on project, becoming a coordinator carries a lot of responsibilities that are behind the scenes. These responsibilities are hard to see when you’re a volunteer. They make it a bit more intensive, but also much more exciting to get a bit of a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective!