Talk:Gap year travel
Gap Year information
A lot of travellers are in the position of taking a "gap year" after studies, for a career break, for a life change, etc...... An increasing focus in these gap years seems to be the chance to do volunteer work, try new experiences, visit exotic locales, etc - witness the recent Guardian writeups in their Travel section. Would it be worthwhile, do you think, for Wikitravel to address this phenomenon with a series of articles offering advice, ideas, suggestions, alternatives, etc? Pjamescowie 07:19, 1 Aug 2004 (EDT)
Jamielee7 16:26, 28 July 2010 (EDT) Jamie-Lee Hassett == Volunteering in South Africa ==
I am student going into my 3rd year at the University of Chester, studying Drama and Theatre. As part of my degree last year, I experienced 6 weeks of voluntary Work Based Learning during April, May and June 2010 in Knysna, South Africa. I volunteered for a project called Edge of Africa. Please check out their website http://www.edgeofafrica.com. Within this I was working locally at two community centres: MADaboutART and Sinethemba.
Sinethemba is a community centre for homeless and disadvantaged kids and youth between the ages of 4 and 25. In the safe and picturesque township of Kayalethu in South Africa, this project aims to give these kids another chance in life!
MADaboutART is a charity that exists to unite children around the world in understanding and fighting HIV and AIDS through art and education. They provide a unique mix of innovative arts-based education and narrative therapy, designed to increase children's knowledge of HIV & AIDS and create more open communication as well as reduce risk-taking behaviour by increasing self-esteem and self-advocacy. Ultimately the aim is to reduce new HIV infections in children and young people.
Since leaving Knysna, each and every one of us that volunteerd for Edge of Africa misses it everyday. Entering the building at MADaboutART on the first day, we had a mission in our heads, an idea of how we were to help and work with the people attending the centre. However, the minute we set foot in Mad about Art, we were hit with the realisation that not only would be be teaching them, but they would be teaching us lessons every single day, things we couldn't learn no matter how much education we got back home. I think I can speak for every volunteer, on every project when I say that they taught us the true meaning of happiness, they showed us that the everyday things we worry about just don't matter, and they showed us, through their enthusiasm and trademark African smiles, that the tiniest things can make a huge huge difference.
The work Edge of Africa does is irreplaceable. The experience it gives to both its volunteers and the recipients of their efforts is life changing. We've all come home with the inevitable need to return, and I'm pretty sure I can promise we all will.