Volunteers & Participants Feedback

"There are no real words to adequately describe this event. Being a first time volunteer with SOAPkidz has really opened my eyes and gave me a whole new perspective of how much work and effort actually goes into a SOAPkidz event. It gave me the chance to interact with the children in a way that I have never been able to before. I was mesmerized by how little they needed to put such a big smile on their faces! A simple example of this, were the baskets that we made. If we had more time, I am pretty sure they could have spent the whole day just decorating and showing off their baskets. The highlight of the day was most certainly the dancing and singing with the Water Wise mascot, Manzi. I could not help but smile and dance along with my group, especially once I saw Noeksie join in. The joy on her face was priceless. When I first arrived, I had no idea what to expect but WOW, I am glad I came. The first hand experience and pleasure I got working with the children has definitely inspired me to be more active with events like this. Thank you to everybody who made this event not only possible, but successful. I wish to see plenty more events like this in the future."

Devin Johnson

"There were two representatives from JNF Walter Sisulu Environmental Centre in Mamelodi who attended the workshop. They introduced the SOAPkidz Volunteers to how nature works. Overall, I learnt a lot about how nature gives to us and the importance of looking after our environments. For example, plants help to soak up the rainfall helping to control soil erosion and flooding. Plants play a major role in our environments; they provide us with food and oxygen, filter water as well as shade. Nature also recycles by breaking down dead plants and animal material, compost is created. We can all contribute to reduce the carbon dioxide levels in the air by planting more trees, avoid littering and polluting our environments and we should always recycle! "

MK - SOAPkidz Volunteer

"I now have the skills of letting go of the pain and feel free in my heart"

Boitumelo

"I feel refreshed and relieved"

Tsholo

"Letting go the pain was very hard but at the end the pain went away. I learned the importance of forgiveness. "

Mogomotsi

"I felt a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel relieved and free and positive about my life "

Tshepanong

"Teaching kids about conserving nature, Being able to laugh and joke, Being able to see how everyone is enjoying themselves, Being able to spend time out in the sun in Beautiful Africa "

Anmare Smit, a volunteer

"I enjoy being with my friends, having lots of food, learning about nature and getting to know other people like Anmare."

Mabokhela Tebogo age14

"Tateni, I eenjoy playing with other people and I Like this event I wesi I can jon you are gein"

Thabo Nkosi, age 13

"I enjoy to meet other people, Nice food, By cleaning our environment, By meeting other friends and Playing with other children"

Katlego Golobe age 13

"The work, have done it, it really works for me because I did not know how to plant and during dancing activity, enjoyed every moment I spend in literacy"

Windy Mamokete Kekana

"The presentation was good. I didn’t have a garden but motivated to start it."

Ethel Monareng

"She was very good because she have been accommodate also the grenney to understand with their own language"

Martha Kgatle

"I think what you are doing is good because you teach us important things so that we can teach our kids at home and also neighbours, so thank you for what you are doing"

Pelunia Ngobeni

"I learned a lot and I enjoyed the lesson. I enjoyed the HIV workshop because I attend for the first time in my life, it changed my life. "

Ramasela Emily Momene

"I have learned that our environment must be clean and that plants are very important"

Paulina Hlongwane

"I have learn a lot. And I enjoy the song. Mostly I thank you about the plant (nastituium) because of have pimplels"

Onnicah Nkgapele

"Hallo Karen,
Dit gaan maar leker dol hier, en die kinders maak my mal, so ook die huisouers, want hulle beweer dat elke aand die storie oor en oor herhaal word, die groot vraag op almal se lippe is elke dag: Tannie Sonet sien Tannie nog vir Tannie Karen, ons wil baie graag weer gaan kamp en stap. Weet jy hoe voel so vraag deur 20 seuns elke dag.

Rene en Le-Peter het as beloning van al die ander kinders een van hulle sweets gekry, en jy moet weet dit gebeur nie elke dag nie. Ek kry gereeld smse van Nico af, daai ou is potent hy bid elke dag vir ons, waarvoor ons baie dankbaar is.

Die kinders is eintlik baie in hul skik met julle ouens van SOAPkidz, ander mense sit nie so tussen hulle en gesels en stel bietjie belang in wel en wee soos julle nie, en die groot punt is julle doen alles saam met hulle.

Baie dankie weereens.

Groete "

Sonet, Youth worker, Maria Klopper Kinderhuis

"Thank you so much for a fantastic day. I really had an amazing time and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Some feedback: We had a group of kids from the Maria Kloppers (I think that’s it) children’s home with ages ranging from 8 to 14. There were 8 children in total. They were the most well mannered easy going fun loving kids. And were such a treat to lead and assist with.

What worked:
· The start and finishing events were pretty well organised and eventful.
· The “Regular” SOAPkidz co-ordinators were all good leaders and provided good direction to the newbies.
· The relaxed atmosphere puts new comers, as well as the kids at ease
· The SOAPkidz signage along the route really helped
· The communication and administration of the event was really great
· The bright red T-Shirts were fantastic as I could always find the kids if they ran up ahead.
· Franz was a great help with ferrying volunteers to get cars.

What did not work:
· Staff at Pick N Pay were not informed of our being there and needing to use the loos.
· At the last leg of the hike we were rather confused whether to go through to construction or to take the kids on the road as there was no signage. We eventually took the kids along the road where thank goodness they were well behaved, but if they weren’t it could have been very dangerous as the road was extremely busy.
· One of out little boys had a runny tummy and this proved quite difficult along the route with no toilets and nowhere really to wash hands. I recommend that all volunteers pack some wet wipes into their back packs for future events, i.e add to the list of “what to bring”.
· We were the first group to arrive at the Christian Motorcyclists and we had a rest while we waited for some more bags to arrive. My only minor little gripe was that they co-ordinators here were eating all sorts of chocolates and sweets in front of the kids and I really felt that they had ample time to eat their snacks before our arrival.

All in all though it was really worth every minute. I really am amazed at how well everything was organised and the amount of people that needed to be included, consulted with, etc to make the event a success. Thanks again. "

Pamela

"Thank you for a fantastic day. I think all the ERM volunteers enjoyed themselves although everyone was very tired by the end of the day.

Some general feedback from myself and the other ERM volunteers:

· In general a very well organised and fun day;
· The route could have been better marked in one or two places;
· Might have been a little to far for some of the children;
· Could have provided water for the day at breakfast and more water along the way.

ERM would really like to have an ongoing involvement in your SOAPkidz events so please keep us informed of opportunities. I will also keep checking your website.

Would you like some of the photographs I took during the day? "

Libby Redding

"It was a real experience for us, on behalf of all the Ukukhula members that attended, I would like to say a huge thank you for giving us an opportunity to give back to the community. Attached is a list of all the volunteers that attended that day. "

Sharon

"It is an experience I’m never going to forget, it was very challenging and tiring but fun at the same time. It was lovely getting to know the girls and watching them interact with each other in different activities. I would do it all again in an heartbeat because nothing was more fulfilling than having this experience."

Nicole - Volunteer

"I found organization to be excellent, to have such a big group and still manage to participate in so many well organized activities was brilliant. I have really enjoyed the transformation of the girls from strangers to friends, they all started a bit shy & self conscious and really came out of their shells by the time concert. The consert was a great team building effort by my team and was enjoyed by each of them. I have enjoyed every second and hope there will be many more camps. I feel like I made a tiny bit of difference in one persons life and that means a lot to both of us. Some of the activities were a bit rushed – not quite enough time to complete tasks"

Karen van der Lith - Volunteer

"I found organization to be excellent, to have such a big group and still manage to participate in so many well organized activities was brilliant. I have really enjoyed the transformation of the girls from strangers to friends, they all started a bit shy & self conscious and really came out of their shells by the time concert. The consert was a great team building effort by my team and was enjoyed by each of them. I have enjoyed every second and hope there will be many more camps. I feel like I made a tiny bit of difference in one persons life and that means a lot to both of us. Some of the activities were a bit rushed – not quite enough time to complete tasks"

Karen van der Lith

"This experience was absolutely amazing. I learn more about myself than expected. The kids taught me the value of gratitude and many more
Suggestions for improvement: None, if the volunteers put the kids first which was done by many, we have reached our objective "

Melissa - Volunteer