My iKhaya, by Barbara Kasparek, September 2017

 

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Volunteering has always been something close to my heart and a mission was my long lasting dream and desire. Volunteering at iKhaya has been a true privilege and honour.

During my month stay at iKhaya I ran stimulating classes for 2-3 year old kids. Through interactive games these little kids learned about colours and daily routines. Memorising moves helped them learn about directions, daily routines and remember new English words. Educating with the use of their 5 senses will help with developing crucial skills like cooperation, communication, social behaviours.

Interactive education helped the pre-schoolers to consolidate their knowledge about numbers, shapes, colours and directions. A treasure hunt was a creative way to teach the kids social skills like cooperation and a sense of group. My final mission was based on teamwork, patience and common vision. The boys needed to build a tent using random items like sheets and brushes.

One very important task was learning how to use tools like a hummer and screwdriver in a woodwork lesson with Thabiso. A man's presence is essential in kids’ development, so I am very happy that this was possible. A man imparting his knowledge gives quite a different point of view and this will hopefully be a good start and a big encouragement for other men to join the iKhaya volunteering group. 

It was also important for me to give them some sense of a home atmosphere. I organised a God's Princess Party and a Plate of Culture Event so that we could meet up and spend time together as a family. For the girls I have prepared picnic with the special verse - 1Peter 2:9. Simple baking in toy crowns with a pinch of a fairy-tale gave the girls lots of fun and a sense of being special and worthy. Plate of Culture was an event where I shared a taste of my culture and involved the kids in domestic tasks. Together we made Pierogi - polish traditional meal. Learning about other cultures through hearing different languages and tasting an unusual meal opens the mind for diversity. 

Volunteering in my opinion isn't time consuming. There are different types and I truly believe that each person can find something suitable. It can be reading a book, teaching how to use tools or playing games, once a month, twice a month…it's all about presence.

Kind Regards

Barbara Kasparek