Hi everyone, I'm Max I'm from Germany and I volunteered since last year August 2012 for KTD196. My time here in Tzaneen and with KTD196 is now at an end. So today I would like to share some of the experiences I had during this time and what I learnt.
Before I came I had little idea about what scouting in South Africa could be, but now I can say I literally knew nothing about Scouts, what KTD196 does with Scouts here and what huge impact it can have in the lives of so many, children and adults is amazing. In the beginning I hoped I would be able to fit in and help the organization I’m going to work with.
The youth of South Africa face a lot of challenges today. There is a decay of traditional values; Aids makes many orphan and vulnerable children; there is frustration and prospects, teenage-pregnancy is high at 13%, school drop outs are very high just to name some of the issues. So Louise Batty and Elizabeth Mabuza started KTD196 in 2003, to bring the ideas and ideals of scouts to the children. To change their lives, behaviours and futures.
Based on the Scout Laws and Promise the kid’s lives get changed. Many of our kids finish Matric and attend a college or university. The teenage-pregnancy rate in the program is less than 0.07% per year. The children learn to be useful to themselves and others, to their troop, their family or their community. They learn to respect others and themselves and live moral lives. I met many Scouts in my days here, they all were kind, polite and helpful.
Shortly they will be useful and responsible members of the society of South Africa of tomorrow. In my eyes, Keep The Dream196 lets them dream about something bigger for their own life. Its shows them new ways and opportunities the can take. I’m not just talking about the kids, even my own life changed here. My ideas of life and what I want for it has change.
I made many friendships with many scouts, young and old. When I asked them what the best thing about scouting is for you I got a lot of different answers. The loudest answer is it brings fun to our lives. The leadership training is something many are proud of, that it keeps them away from alcohol and drugs, that it connects people and ideas get shared and and and.
I had the privilege that I could travel quiet a lot. So, I visited the Indian and Atlantic oceans, also Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The Krüger National Park I visited a few times.
Furthermore I have been blessed by staying right next to Louise and Zabe which was a good working atmosphere and they always had a piece of advice for me when I needed one. Also I got taught by Zabe how to cook one of my favourite food in South Africa, the Chakalaka.
A year is a long time. Now it feels like just a cilia beating. There were a lot of ups and downs in this year. A lot I learned about the great work of the KTD196, this great country and also myself. It changed me, my way of thinking and my life’s journey.
So at this point I need to do advertise and promote KTD196, I can recommend it to everybody who is interested in getting involved to join KTD196 and be a part of making a difference. Scouting and KTD196 makes a huge impact on the lives of some many children and adults here. It happens because there are people who care about the lives of others especially those who are vulnerable and need help. I think this should be supported in every way, this project needs to be kept going and that more and more kids lives can be changed.
I want to say I am thankful to have had this chance and how proud I am of it. I will miss my friends down here and I wish all the Scouts and the staff of KTD 196 just the best.