At Bamboo-Online we like to mention people, organizations and companies that are proactive in giving back to our local South African communities in need. It seems wherever you go these days the topic of conversation is generally negative about the future of this glorious country with live in. Corruption, crime, politics and the economy are the favorites of the day and nobody seems to have anything good to say. It’s hard sometimes not to buy into it either because it is a reality and it affects all of us. I think for those of us with children, the uncertainty of our country’s future is even more worrying. But the truth of it, worrying never really helped anybody. Worrying causes stress and anxiety and serves no constructive purpose in the larger scheme of things. Sure, our country is faced with several dilemmas, including corruption at the highest levels, crime and unemployment levels that are very concerning as well as a recession that his affecting the entire country. How does a person steer clear of all the negativity that pervades our daily newspapers and conversation ?
Like most things in life, it boils down to choice. You either choose to buy in to the doom and gloom or you choose to look for the more positive optimistic stories in life. I’m not saying you have to stick your head in the sand like an ostrich and ignore certain realities, but just to keep an open mind and look out for the more positive things that do occur on a daily basis. Our minds are like magnets and once they start to focus on negative things they just attract more and more of it to support these beliefs. I recently read a very interesting article about a Cape Town based agency that assists foreign students to become a volunteer in South Africa. The concept of “volunteering” is not that popular or familiar with our local youth and is far more popular in established first world countries in Europe and America. I suppose this is not entirely correct. There are plenty of warm hearted, charitable folks in our country that do volunteer locally. Offering to work in soup feeding kitchens, animal shelters and so forth. I was referring more to the international system of volunteering, where you leave you home country and travel to a foreign country, giving up your own time and effort to make a real difference in the lives of those less fortunate than yourself. Most likely the reason so many international and European students are able to do this, is because of the relatively low financial costs to them due to their stronger currency than ours. Regardless, it still costs money to become a volunteer in Africa or India or any country other than your own.
African Sunrise Volunteers in Cape Town is a local volunteer placement agency that is actively involved in a number of schemes and initiatives that are committed to helping the less fortunate. The company has been in existence for several years, founded by a South African, Carina Roper with the help of her Swedish friend. Over the past few years, African Sunrise has helped hundreds of students from all over the world come to South Africa and participate in rebuilding communities, feeding the homeless and providing counseling and support for victims of abuse. African Sunrise offers volunteers as well as students wanting to complete an internship in South Africa with everything they need to have the most rewarding experience they could imagine. Their website and blog is filled with testimonials from past volunteers that have nothing but praise for their experiences in Cape Town and the immense gratification they have reaped from participating in the projects that they were placed in.
I say, “Hat’s off” to Carina and her partner for being so committed to making positive changes in our country instead of joining in the conversation about how bad things are, or have become. Well done guys !!