Hello, my name is Friederike. I am a German student and I came to South Africa for an exchange semester to study Humanities at the UKZN in Pietermaritzburg. After I finished my semester I wanted to stay and I wished to experience something else than the campus life.
A friend recommended WhizzKids United to me and so it happened that I stood in front of Stefan introducing myself and asking for the chance to volunteer for a couple of weeks. I got involved with the programme called “Game Changers”. I was helping out with teaching as well as with preparing and evaluating the lessons.
I enjoyed the work a lot because it was fun to think of different exercises to develop skills like presenting, summarising, discussing or mediating. It was an awesome feeling to see how the Game Changers grew during the classes and how they could improve their skills when we repeated the exercises again and again. In the classes I could be very creative to find different ways to support the interaction between the Game Changers but also to support the individuals themselves at the same time. Game Changers is a great project because individual care of the learners is taken. It was always possible to stay flexible in the classroom and to enhance the basic lessons with exercises the learners wished for. I could come up with specific trainings if I saw a need for them when the learners lacked a certain skill in a former exercise.
I learnt a lot myself, too. I have now a deeper understanding of the Edendale community, its needs and the education system here. It was not always easy to explain facts, motivate the class and push the learners to finish the tasks in time. Nevertheless I am very thankful that the Game Changers respected my way of teaching and were patient to understand my accent. I am very proud of their work so far and hope they will all have very good experiences in their internships. I will miss them and the work with them a lot as well as all the great staff members of the Health Academy who welcomed me in this typical African warm-hearted way. I will also miss to watch children having fun on the football pitch after school. But I will keep the positive energy of WhizzKids United and bring it back with me to Germany.