“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”
Long Walk to Freedom
Why Port Elizabeth?
Despite democratization and the dismantling of apartheid in 1994, the legacy of its brutal political oppression continues to afflict South Africans, and millions still suffer the ramifications. These include, but are not limited to, desperate poverty, little or no access to basic services such as water and sewage systems, lack of access to basic health services, and inadequate educational opportunities. The intent of the South Africa Project is to provide a dynamic opportunity for Vanderbilt students to engage in meaningful service in some of the most marginalized areas of Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The South Africa Project is designed to prepare and equip students to make a positive impact through study and action. Beginning in the spring, students participate in a series of seminars that help develop a culturally sensitive and impact-oriented mindset that will be put to use during four weeks of service. Non-profit organizations currently in need of volunteers in Port Elizabeth include:
1) Missionvale Care Centre — A holistic center committed to providing consultation, self-development, and love to people of the land township of Missionvale. Volunteers may choose from the following areas:
Child Support and Developmen
2) Izizwe Projects — An organization devoted to the support and uplifting of children from the Walmer Township, many of whom directly or indirectly experience the effects of HIV/AIDS. Programs offered include:
African Renaissance Dance Group
Walmer High School
Homework Guidance Group and Matriculation Support Group
Human Dignity Centre
3) Coega Door of Hope — An orphanage and refuge for 38 children founded by Mama Gladys whose mission is to provide neglected children with a safe shelter, a good education, and plenty of love and care.
Beginning in the spring, students participate in a series of seminars designed to equip them with the tools to view global service through an informed and impact-oriented lens. Seminars typically cover such topics as:
An overview of politics, economics, and culture in South Africa
Practical training and cultural sensitivity
An introduction to principles of sustainable community development, social justice and global citizenship
Consideration of the ethical issues involved in volunteerism in the developing world
Reflection techniques and team-building skills
Founded in 2005 by Martijn van der Put, Khaya focuses on building relationships with organizations in Port Elizabeth in order to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for both locals and international volunteers.
Khaya pursues a long-term commitment towards the local community, works according to sustainable principles and involves local residents in its organization. Projects offered tackle relevant problems, offer rational solutions and achieve well formulated long-term results.
Conceptualize a service experience in the context of the South African socio-political and cultural environment
Serve the needs of others through intentional observation and active listening to a community’s self-identified needs
Understand the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of those offering and receiving service
Expand critical thinking through examination of deeper issues related to equity and justice
Realize your potential to affect community change while maintaining a humble appreciation of the challenges of impact
Apply learning to future projects and broader issues such as social responsibility, public policy, and citizenship
Inspire reflection, which extends to a depth that could not be predicted or required and challenges preconceptions and assumptions
Develop interpersonal skills in conflict resolution and group decision making
Dates & Costs
October 29, 2013 | OACS Lounge, Rand 305 | 5:30pm
2014 Port Elizabeth Program Dates:
June 1st – June 30th, 2014
2014 Program Fee:
$2,800 + Flight
* Please note dates and costs are subject to change