New Friends are Everywhere!

Erin Bruce and Carmen Piedad, two students from Wheelock College in the USA, were chosen from a pool of applicants to begin an internship partnership between Good Work Foundation (GWF) and Wheelock College earlier this year. They were both flown to Nelspruit, South Africa, and housed in Hazyview for the duration of their work. Their stay involved a wide variety of work and fun, much of which has been captured in the photos and captions below. Enjoy the beautiful photos; each telling its own story.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 9.01.21 AM

At the School, they spoke about their journey into university life. They each shared stories about their successes, obstacles, and inspirations. Ultimately, their goal was to motivate the 200+ grade 11 students to follow their dreams.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 9.03.18 AM

“It was so much fun when we acted as guests during Witness’ hospitality class, allowing the students to practice their restaurant service training on us. The make-shift couple sat through multiple “meals” which included drinks, starters, dinner, and dessert– all with a side of world class service, and it was an awesome session,” said Carmen.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 9.03.10 AM

The girls led a very successful workshop for the Open Learning Facilitators from HDLC and JDLC, which focused on teaching techniques and team building. One of the facilitators commented that the workshop was very “eye-opening”; a lot of new ideas were shared.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 9.03.24 AM

Erin and Carmen delivered a presentation about their home, the city of Boston, to multiple groups of adult and middle school students. Their presentation included stories from the girls’ lives, common foods in the city, wild animals, public transportation, and Boston’s seasons. Everyone’s favourite part of the presentation was the slide about Dunkin Donuts, which Erin jokingly described as her religion.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 9.03.28 AM

The two volunteers had an opportunity to work with GWF’s Open Learning Academy students both in the Justicia Campus and Hazyview. During their lunch break, a class of grade 11s from Madlala High School, who are part of Open Learning, spent some time speaking with Carmen and Erin about their goals for the future and asking for advice in applying to university and other higher learning institutions.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 9.03.37 AM

“I enjoyed the group of grade 12 students from Mabarhule High School to whom I told stories about life in America. I even felt so comfortable and confident to share my story with them, something I never.” It was so excited to be welcomed into South Africa (and into their classroom) the way both Carmen and me were. 

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 9.03.47 AM

When the girls arrived at JDLC in May, the circular amphitheater outside of the centre was just plain cement. With the help of Linky, Zandile, and Finland volunteer Roosa, the girls painted the GWF logo on the amphitheater and decorated it with Ntshuxekani Preschoolers kids’ handprints.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 9.03.52 AM

Five weeks later, Erin and Carmen made incredible friendships and bonds with so many amazing people in South Africa (and with each other). Leaving all of these great people behind was not easy, but hopefully the girls have made a difference somewhere along their journey.

Written by Erin Bruce and Carmen Piedad.