Written by Ongeza Vuka, WC SiS intern
22 year old Scouting in Schools Intern Ongeza Vuka lives in Langa, a township in Cape Town. On the 18th of May 2019 Ongeza stood in front of an audience at the Western Cape Scouts Awards ceremony and shared her Scouting journey. She reminded us that Scouting not only benefits the youth we serve, but also profoundly changes the lives of our adult volunteers and opens doors to unimagined opportunities. This is Ongeza’s Scouting journey:
“I joined the Scouts family last year, February 2018. At first I had no idea what Scouting was all about. To me it was all about adventure, going on hikes and nature, until I went for training and I got a clear and better understanding.
The idea of going to schools and running the programme wasn’t really sinking in with me. At first it was very hard. I had to try and fit in with the kids and school staff. After a month in the programme I was really feeling myself. I knew I was going to make the most of it, and I knew I could change these children’s lives. I was going to be their role model, the role model that I never had. I had to be there for them every day, they just kept me going, gave me a reason to wake up every day. I faced a lot of challenges, like being the only intern at that time and having to run the programme with +- 70 kids per day. But through it all I thank my facilitator/mentor Ahmad Solomon for always pushing us to our limits. Always reminding us that when you give up now, you must know you’re giving up on children’s hope, the only hope they have … which is you.
I had to toughen up. Keep an open mind, look on the brighter side and always work hard. Now I can proudly say all my hard work has paid off! I knew that on the day CIEE representatives walked into our Friday intern meeting last year. They presented us with an opportunity to be a Camp Counsellor for a USA Summer Camp.
I applied the same time, and through God’s grace I was accepted and everything went well. I managed to keep up with all the things they needed from us- too much paperwork and too much emails! I must say though it is a great opportunity … an awesome one for that matter! I mean to go overseas will give me great exposure and it will increase my skills and I will also be doing what I enjoy the most -working with children of different races, cultures and different ages from 5 – 12 years old.
I would like to thank everyone who has walked with me along this path from becoming the intern leader, to becoming a mentor to other interns and through my USA Summer Camp application. A great appreciation and special thanks to Siyabulela Primary School for welcoming me with open hands and warm hearts and also for allowing me to use their resources for my Scouts programme and my application. Last but not least Ahmad Solomon you’ve been nothing but the best mentor I could ever ask for and thank you very much. Also thank you to SCOUTS South Africa, Scouting in Schools, the Western Cape Government and the After School Game Changers. Without your intervention none of these opportunities would have been possible.
And finally, as they say “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives”. I thank you all!!”
#scoutssouthafrica #scoutinginschools #afterschoolgamechangers #WesternCapeGovernment #globalgoals #Scouts4SDGs #MessengersOfPeace #Skills4Life