Bay volunteers jet off on German exchange scheme

Manelisi Billy,20, and Sarah Fina, 18, are packed and ready for their flight to Germany on Monday to assist in the Weltwarts reverse volunteer programme
Manelisi Billy,20, and Sarah Fina, 18, are packed and ready for their flight to Germany on Monday to assist in the Weltwarts reverse volunteer programme

TWO Walmer Township residents will be jetting off to Germany on Monday to participate in the year-long Weltwärts reverse volunteer programme.

Manelisi Billy, 20, and Sarah Fina, 18, were selected from 50 national entries to join the programme which will see Billy assisting the daily activities of disable residents at the Lebenshilfe e.V. home for disabled people in Bonn. Fina will be placed at Oldenburg, where she will work at the Jugendkulturarbeit Oldenburg e.V. youth development organisation, facilitating the school’s drama and music programmes.

Billy, who matriculated from Walmer High School last year, said he was grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to experiencing foreign customs and traditions.

“The experience is very exciting and nerve-wracking. Right now I am probably most excited about the actual flight as I have never been on a plane.

“And I can’t wait to arrive in Bonn to help out and learn from the German volunteers who so regularly give up their time for our Masifunde programmes.

“I will support the organisation with their day-to-day activities, such as grocery shopping, outdoor activities, cooking and general assistance.

“I really wanted to be a part of this programme because volunteering has helped me develop myself and I now want to develop others,” Billy said.

Fina, who matriculated at Victoria Park High School last year, said the performing arts had always been her passion and she was looking forward to sharing her knowledge abroad.

“I am sure I will learn a lot from the way they do things overseas, but I am certain they will also learn from experiencing performances the way we do it here.

“I have never been a shy person so I am not intimidated by the prospect of addressing my new classes.

“We are both very grateful for this life-changing opportunity,” Fina said.

Masifunde’s head of fundraising and communications, Edem Foli, said: “Cultural exchange programmes have the invaluable gift of exposing our youth to people from different religious, geographic and socio-economic backgrounds.

“The world is a global village and it is vital for our youth to be able to participate successfully in that environment and within a multicultural society.”

-Tremaine van Aardt

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