If I’ve learnt anything about people’s desire to help and do good it’s this : So often our hearts are in the right place, we want to help and be part of the change, but in the chaos of our own busy lives, we either don’t know where to start or we feel we couldn’t ever do enough. The problem with that way of thinking is that we can often feel that the little we can offer is of no significant value and so we give up before we have ever really begun.
Of course what makes it hard to volunteer our services and time to needy communities is that there’s generally a lot of “red tape” when it comes to signing up. There are big formalities that need to be signed off and people are commonly required to commit to no less than 6 months at a time. This can be a somewhat impossible requirement for many who are only able to commit to one or two Saturdays a month or who are only able to lend a helping hand for one big project at a time. As important as commitment and loyalty are to programmes like this, it’s not a realistic expectation and one that will more than likely limit people’s ability to do any degree of good.
As the saying “Every little makes a lot” goes, it could not be more true than when it comes to volunteering our services to causes that aim to uplift the communities right on our doorsteps.
With Better SA now facilitating upliftment projects like this in our underprivileged communities we don’t need to continue with that way of thinking! Why? Because they have done all the hard work for us and launched their hop on hop off bus for anyone to be able to lend a helping hand whenever they want! Better SA are what most are now referring to as “The Uber of Volunteering”. Their slogan “Volunteering made easy!” fittingly describes their vision and invites others to make a difference by joining the movement.
Non-profit organisation, Better SA specialises in organising and fully facilitating volunteerism in disadvantaged communities through weekly excursions that set off from designated bus hubs. Over the past four years, they have been mobilising volunteers in Johannesburg, and exposing them to life-changing and enriching experiences of giving back.
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, South Africa’s largest fundraising programme, already sponsors a Johannesburg mini-bus and will now help Better SA scale up its services by also sponsoring its inaugural Cape Town mini-bus, which will operate from the Better SA hubs in Pinelands every Wednesday and Saturday. The volunteer opportunities offered are specifically at organisations that are also MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet beneficiaries nominated by supporters. These include The Lucky Lucy Foundation, Soil for Life, ABC for Life, The Anna Foundation, SOS Children’s Village and many more
It was amazing to be able to experience this service first-hand last week where I was invited to join a team of 13 people who went into Gugulethu to help fix up Siyazingisa Primary School’s library. All I had to do was pitch up in Pinelands, board a bus wth 12 awesome people, arrive and get to work.
Because Better SA had already recognised a need and done all the preparation work, it was really as simple as arriving ready to get my hands dirty. We had so much fun painting their library which was transformed from a dull tired room into something vibrant, beautiful and something that these precious children could be proud of. It has been revamped into a space that is inviting, one that will hopefully inspire these kids to spent many hours learning and researching in it. Imagine that because of this very facility facelift, these children began to develop a stronger love for reading and planted in them a deep love for Science or History or Geography. Imagine because of one small action like this, it gave children the dignity they deserve to excel in life. Imagine.
⇑ The Before and After speaks for itself! ♥
⇑ Seeing the look on the Head Mistress’s face was just too priceless! ♥
This was is one example of the kind of projects My Better Sa Facilitate every week, every month of the year! From playing educational games with children to literacy programmes to cleaning up the streets to teaching computer skills to helping young adults put together professional CV’s. These are just some of the fundamental ways we can make an impact in our underprivileged communities.
It’s because of My Better Sa’s hop on hop off bus that we are able to really be effective with the time we offer because they make it that easy for volunteers to sign up at the drop of a hat. This service is free and signing up is super easy. Go check out their website! Or follow their journey on Facebook and Instagram or head over to Twitter to carry on the conversation!
Walking away form this experience was so eye-opening, but the thing that really struck me the most was this: Did you know that most community work like this is offered by foreigners? Yup. People who don’t even live here, are the ones primarily responsible for making a difference. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sit well with me! We can’t keep living with our heads in the sand when it comes to social issues that are so prevalent in our country. We really have no excuse now to do our bit and help make a difference.
This post is sponsored and written in collaboration with Better SA, a non-profit organisation in South Africa.