A group of students from the University of Georgia in the US are working together with Vision AfriKa learners in Stellenbosch’s Kayamandi township in order to improve their mutual cultural understanding.
The 26 students are undertaking a short course in community development at the University of Stellenbosch and so have been assigned to Vision AfriKa as part of the experiential learning component of their studies. The idea is for them to gain a practical understanding of community initiatives during their four weeks of performing voluntary work, which will end in early June.
But this is not the first time that students from the University of Georgia have helped out at Vision AfriKa. An initial group first volunteered to help learners with their homework and various school assignments for a couple of weeks in 2014.
This new intake is undertaking similar activities with the Grade 8 class for 2.5 hours on a Monday and Wednesday afternoon and with the Grade 9s for the same amount of time on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.
The experience has benefitted the Vision AfriKa learners not only in an academic sense, but also in a cultural one. They have taught the students local Xhosa words, played South African games together, and have shared experiences about their different cultural backgrounds to give each other insights into their lives.
As a result, the US students will return home with their horizons broadened and their experience extended following the interaction.