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Sifiso  Mazibuko
Let's get stuck in..
Posted August 22nd, 2011 - 12:47 pm by Sifiso Mazibuko from Cape Town, South Africa (Permalink)
Greetings intrepid Couch Surfer volunteers, welcome to the Volunteering Initiatives group. The idea for this group came up when Lisa and I and few other Couch Surfers were talking about what we could do to make a tangible long term difference in this beautiful city. The one thing that we realized was that there are many Couch Surfers that travel through Cape Town and are very interested in volunteering while they're here but inevitably end up either never finding anything or paying extortionate amounts to various organisations to pay to volunteer.

Now the purpose of this group is not to debate the value of these organisations or whether volunteering is a good or bad thing. Our goal is to identify needs around this city that we know we can commit to getting involved with in the long term and then get in touch with either organisations that work in these communities or with community leaders within the community.

Ultimately we'd like to "adopt" or start our own project that will be looked after by a core group of Couch Surfers that live in Cape Town. This will be our project that other Couch Surfers that travel through Cape Town can get involved with during their time in the city. The obvious weaknesses of volunteering are that the people that work with the communities are largely transient and therefore won't be able to form long term bonds and relationships with the communities they work with, which is why we think it's important that we have one project that we commit to as opposed to going from project to project.

The other thing that I think is going to be important for this project is that there be a tangible skills transfer that empowers the communities that we end up working with, so we'd like it to be more than just a feeding scheme or something like that. (No disrespect to such projects because I do believe they play a very crucial role, we just need this to be something that leaves people with real skills that they can use)

So after that long speech, what we would like is ideas that you guys may have for any projects that you know off, or anything that you've seen that is not being done right now.

So let's get those juices flowing and get stuck in..!