Alex and I are working for a non-for-profit entrepreneurship school. We are helping the school create a for-profit wing by writing a business plan for a low cost website design company that the students can run, which will help them learn about starting up their own business as well as sustain the school. The school is literally being set up so we have so far been involved with getting accreditation pushed through and haven’t started on the business plan which is quite frustrating. There are only 7 students, all underprivileged but with a spark that has inspired confidence in the Head of the Institute and the staff. The staff have a real passion for what they are doing which is contagious. The students cook for us every day, which although a little challenging – to be honest is better food than i cooked for myself back in Madrid!
We have been to the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill (jail where Mandela and Ghandi amongst others were during apartheid), both powerful experiences and make you realise just how much people are prepared to sacrifice in order to ensure peace. The general lack of education here is having a huge effect on South Africa, so it feels good to be at the heart of the problem (or rather, solution).
Lots of self reflection and self awareness sessions, which is all part of the program and we have friday off to do this and variety of different things. Drive into work is only 5 mins, but we are advised to not walk anywhere, so we have to share cars with another team. Weather is pretty chilly but generally sunny. People are extremely friendly and just love to hear our stories and why we are here.
Haven’t stopped since we arrived, didn’t even unpack until day 4, but now that we are a week and a half through we are starting to get on top of the routine, (which involves getting ‘massive’ in the gym most days). Glad to be out of Madrid and have a change of scene. This weekend a few of us are going trekking in the Drakensberg mountains.
-Hamish, June 2011 Emzingo Fellow, Zazida project