January 23, 2018


Thami Zono - RUCE volunteer 2017

I walked up to the AwareNet table at the Rhodes University Community Engagement day with a single purpose in mind: I wanted to engage. Little did I know that it would the beginning of yet another awesome working relationship. You see, I’ve worked with AwareNet before, as a learner at Mary Waters High School back in 2010/2011. Now joining them as a volunteer, I had come full circle.

Granted, it wasn’t always smooth sailing, what with sometimes not having sessions due to no attendance, but part of the excitement is in knowing that even if only one person comes, at least they’re showing interest. I remember during the last few days of my term, I’d simply go to the office to help out wherever I could, sometimes supervising open lab.

In hindsight, I could have done some things better e.g. trying to make the sessions even more exciting but because of this realisation, I’m all the better for it. The life lessons I’ve learnt while volunteering at AwareNet such as patience, understanding and working with people from different backgrounds to mine, will always stay with me.

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Lukas, Chiara, Max, Xenia and Nonduduzo, of course under the watchful eye of Kjetil. I was most fulfilled in working with the young ones and trying to make a difference in their lives in some small way. Would I do it again? Heck yeah!

Nondoduzo Ncala - RUCE volunteer 2017

My time at Awarenet was one with great triumphs and several difficulties. Through the program; I gained the ability to create lesson plans for the learners using computer literacy as a basis. This was incredibly fulfilling as children who initially had to be taught how to simply turn on the computer were engaging in tasks such as researching and writing about particular topics. This advanced progress in the children was not only a feat for them but I also took pride in it. 

However it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Close to the end of the year; communication and the schools’ commitment to the program started to falter. This led to lower attendance by the learners and several cancelled classes. This made it difficult to continue with the progress made for most of the year. 

Although there were difficulties; I was able to gain a lot from the program as a volunteer. I was able to work with a dedicated team and engage with learners from various backgrounds and schools. For this; I shall forever be grateful and shan’t  forget this experience.