I have so many amazing memories of the day (that I will cherish)!
- Robyn Watters (volunteer)
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Event details



When:
15 September 2018

Time:
08:00 - 13:30

Where:
Cape Town Science Centre

Beneficiary:

Volunteer:
Bishops Diocesan College


370B Main Rd, Observatory, 7925

Crazy Chemistry!!



18 students from Bishops Diocesan College volunteered their time last month at our Sisanda Youth Connect programme, with 38 children from Etafeni Daycare centre in Nyanga. With over R5,000 raised by students from Kidd House at Bishops, we were able to take the group out for a day of exploration at the Cape Town Science Centre.

We met our young volunteers in Rondebosch for a briefing and explanation of what to expect from the day. It was a great time to also give the group some information about the beneficiary group of children they were about to meet, some information about the community within which they live and the challenges faced by many of the families. As always, this discussion is extremely eye opening for the young volunteers, some of whom have never volunteered before.

By 09h00 our Golden Arrow bus arrived with some extremely excited (and some nervous) children aboard. Our dear friend, Peter drove the group safely through to the Science Centre, where he then joined us for our morning of exploration.
The bus ride is always an important time for our volunteers & children to begin bonding and getting to know one another through conversation and games. Some of the volunteers and children were experiencing a few challenges with the language barrier, which meant they had to start getting creative to find ways to communicate with one another. Some children taught their volunteers some key Xhosa words, whilst others sang and shared songs in their different home languages. We also saw a few games of rock, paper scissors happening with our 17 year old volunteers being very easily beaten by the 8 year olds!!

Upon arrival at the Science Centre, our wonderful facilitators met us at the door and helped us split the group for our morning of workshops. We were so very well looked after by our facilitators, who enthusiastically delivered and supported the workshop activities which included: building a circuit, exploring the science floor, viewing the camera obscura, viewing a video in their inflatable planetarium and finally a whole group workshop in the auditorium for the famous science show!

There was so much to see, do and explore at the science centre, the children were quite overwhelmed and their excitement levels only seemed to increase throughout the course of the day. As always, the science show was a real highlight for the majority of the children and volunteers alike, really highlighting how Science can be fun! We were also lucky enough to have a workshop on building their own electric circuit, which again was a skill that everyone seemed to enjoy and be genuinely interested in.

As always, come 12h30 the group was getting hungry and ready for some delicious food to refuel and enjoy around the table together. Our pizzas arrived from Panarotti’s in Kenilworth, very generously sponsored by Ridwaan and the team. Mealtimes are extremely important to Sisanda and we always want to ensure that the children we work with have been fed, watered and can go home with a full tummy. This would not have been possible without the support from Panarotti's Kenilworth, so thank you.

Our volunteers were such incredible role models for the children, connecting with them through play, laughter and piggybacks! Youth Connect is such a success because of the commitment we get from the young volunteers on the day, arriving with enthusiasm, energy & smiles. Volunteering with younger children can be challenging for some, however once they have overcome their nerves and connected with a shared interest, they learn from one another and grow throughout the course of the day.

What makes us do what we do at Sisanda is from the reaction and response we get from the children, and from their feedback. When asked what would make the day better, 4 children said “going home later and having more playtime”. The smiles on their faces throughout the day were such a joy and a beautiful memory for everyone involved.

We couldn’t have had such a successful day without the support of our sponsors:

Thank you to the HCI Foundation for sponsoring our transport with Golden Arrow, you enable us to access the children and bring them out of their communities to enjoy our Youth Connect event with their volunteers.

Thank you to Bishops Diocesan College for connecting with Sisanda FunDaytion and fundraising for your Bishops Connect Day. Thank you to our 18 extremely enthusiastic and engaging volunteers who connected beautifully with the children and provided them with support and friendship.

Thank you to our Activity Leaders: Bonga & Moeheen for your constant support at our Connect events; we couldn’t do it without your time, energy and enthusiasm.

Finally, thank you to the Cape Town Science Centre for hosting our Connect day and working closely with the team to plan and deliver a wonderful day full of exploration and special memories. Thembi & Justin were fantastic workshop leaders!