Give something back
Having worked in responsible travel, I often get asked if it is safe spending time in the communities. Of course, some of the recent headlines do not help, but you always have to be cautious. Not only when you travel around the world. When you decide to give something back to the country you visit and choose to spend some time in the community, it’s essential to book with trusted operators who know the community well and have good connections here.
One of the organisations is the Dreamcatcher Foundation, which has been operating for over 25 years. If you volunteer with them, you will be staying with a Kamamma ( local matriarch) as being a volunteer it is crucial to be part of the local community so you will be able to understand them better. This will then enhance your experience and optimise volunteering. You will get a real taste of their culture, way of life, taste their food, share their recipes and their stories. I can genuinely say this is a fantastic experience. After a full day induction course, which includes a community tour and learning about their history too, a local mentor will be available 24/7. Mentorship is a full mentorship and not only mentoring to volunteering.
Volunteering is an excellent way to get to know the country and its people, and at the same time, you will be making a difference by giving something back to the local communities. Most organisations offer ‘packages’ in which you only will be involved in 1 project. Volunteering with The Dreamcatcher Foundation is a great way to get A Real Taste of Reality and explore the country as they offer ‘ Work & Play’ programmes. This means that you will be volunteering en route whilst you travel through South Africa.
Local communities are all over in South Africa and not just in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Knysna, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. The Dreamcatcher Foundation has over 25 cities along all the major tourist routes. Some of them you can find in magnificent places such as Stilbaai and Witieshoek.
If you like to give back whilst you are in Cape Town holidaying, knowledge exchange for a day is a great way to leave your footprints. And I can assure you, it will not only change their lives for but yours as well forever!
I’m fortunate having been involved in the Dreamcatcher Foundation for many years. It’s excellent witnessing the change around in the communities and the visitors. One of my friends visited South Africa a few years ago and according to her, it was the best part of her trip!