Most of us will know that Emily is now back in the UK. Here she writes about her plans to return to South Africa in the New Year. You can find her blog here.
What will I be doing when I return?
I will be working with Musawenkosi, focusing my time at the children’s home. As most of you are aware the standard of education in the local community is very poor and the majority of the children are working below the grade expected for their age. My role will be to spend time helping to develop an educational programme for each child at the site to try and help them make progress in their schooling.
I will also give advice and support to the other volunteers in the work they prepare. At the moment the current volunteers are very good at preparing appropriate work for the children but obviously they come and go and their abilities vary.
There is also a possibility that over time I could offer more focused literacy support in the local primary school too.
Where will I live?
For the last 3 months I have lived with the 6 other volunteers which I’ve enjoyed. However, having spoken with Gavin & Elaine I have decided it would be best to look for my own accommodation. I have been to view a one bedroom granny flat which which I really like, I’m just waiting on finance at the moment.
When do I hope to return?
This is obviously dependent on a VISA and I need to speak to UFM when I return to the UK but my hope is by the end of January to be here in time for the start of the academy school year.
How long do I plan to return for?
I plan to return for at least one year, but I am open to longer, we’ll see what God has in store.
How do I feel about returning, both to the UK and South Africa?
It’s surreal to be back in the UK and the two worlds don’t seem to be able to both co-exist. I feel really mixed; I can’t wait to spend time with my family & friends but if I’m honest I can’t say I’ve missed the UK as a place. I think it will be a culture shock going back into my own culture and a big re-adjustment.
In regards to returning to South Africa I do have trepidations; being so far away from good friends and my family, not knowing what the future holds, taking on new responsibilities at Musa. However, I also feel excited; to be able to continue the work amongst the children and help them educationally and in other ways, to have opportunities to get to know the culture better, to be able to continue to deepen the friendships I’ve made so far and to be involved in the work of Empangeni Baptist church. At times I feel completely overwhelmed, but I also know God’s peace as I believe this where he wants me for now.
What do I need to be able to return?
I need a volunteers VISA. I have most of the paperwork I need, I just need to get police clearance before I can apply for one.
How much money will I need to raise?
I need to raise the necessary finance. I’ve calculated that I will need approximately £550 to live a month to cover cost of living (rent, food etc) I am looking for people who will commit to giving to me on a monthly basis. There will be also times throughout the year that I am sure one off gifts will be appreciated.
If you are able to support on a monthly basis please contact me, I’ve really appreciated those who’ve agreed to do so so far. It would be helpful to know how much you can pledge so I have an idea of what I have raised and what I need to continue to raise.
I’ve calculated if I have nine gifts of £50 a month (with gift aid) then that would cover my costs.
How can you pray?
Pray that the VISA application will be a smooth and quick process. Please pray that all the necessary finance will be raised. Please pray for all the practicalities that need to be sorted whilst I am in the UK. Pray for rest and refreshment to reflect on my time in South Africa so far. Pray for an enjoyable time with my family and friends. Pray for emotional and spiritual strength.
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