For the first time in a few years, a young lady from Germany is volunteering at St. Joseph.
Katharina, a 19-year-old girl from Germany, has been volunteering in St. Joseph CYCC for several months now. She is of great help to the normal staff in Mbongolwane – and the children love spending time with her. “They can’t wait to work and play with me when they come home from school or kindergarden”, says Katharina. Her assignment is supported by the Catholic Youth organization BDKJ and the German volunteer service Weltwärts.
Katharina’s workdays in the childrens’ home start at 7:30 am during the week; sometimes she helps out on weekends as well. In the morning, she is with toddlers up to 4 years. She plays with them, changes nappies, feeds and bathes them. In the afternoons, she helps looking after the older children up to 12 years. At the moment she works with 19 kids, nearly two soccer teams in total! “I love working with these children”, Katharina says. “They have become my African family now.”
With the older children, she plans outdoor games, goes for walks, helps with homework and works with them to improve their concentration. In the upcoming months, she plans to start her own little project: Once a week she’ll tutor two groups of children in mathematics, as she has discovered a great need for math skills in her time in Mbongolwane. Katharina will be in St. Joseph CYCC for one year in total. Soon a second volunteer from Germany will join her. Sisters and staff are grateful for these young women, who come to South Africa to support our Child and Youth Care Centre without compensation. Their work and effort are highly appreciated.
Text: Daniel Scharnagl
Photos: Katharina Trautenbach