The best way of finding out about working in the awarenet program is by asking our (former) volunteers.
Annika Schneider (weltwärts volunteer 2018) about her year with awarenet: My first year away from home and a chance to grow with awarenet. Work is different every day and really diverse. You can learn a lot from the people there and I felt very welcome right from the beginning. I had to deal with some things, but in the end I managed everything also with the great help of the awarenet team!
Chiara Brendel (weltwärts volunteer 2016) about how her English improved:
At the beginning of my time in South Africa I was intimidated because I felt like my English was a lot worse than I thought. But I feel a lot more comfortable with speaking English now. We definitely speak to much German at work, because my supervisor is also able to speak German. That’s why my progress is slow, but I still learned a lot of words and gained a lot of confidence in this first three months. My flatmate also convinced me to write blogposts in English and I realized it’s also a sign of respect to give the people I talk about the chance to read what I wrote.
Lukas Hüneke (weltwärts volunteer 2016) about living in Grahamstown:
Half of my year in South Africa is already over and it still feels like I just arrived. Time really seems to be passing differently here. It has been great so far and I am starting to get worried about all those things I still want to see and do with only six months to go. Grahamstown is a very interesting place to live in. It is a rather small town, but the big University makes it quite lively and the amazing landscapes of the Eastern Cape easily make up for whatever you might think it is missing.
Larissa Willy (weltwärts volunteer 2015) about how her work influences her:
Volunteering for the Village Scribe Association and the awarenet programme is a truly rewarding experience for me. Our catchphrase “play to learn” works both ways. I am not only here to teach, I am here to learn. Working here offers me a lot of freedom to try myself out, be creative and meet amazing people from whom I can learn a lot.
Kim Niemann (weltwärts volunteer 2015) about the day to day working:
Working for the awarenet program is challenging. Every day is different, every task requires different skills and a lot of improvisation. There is probably no other place in the weltwärts program where you can learn about so many things like here.
Lukas Scharnberg (weltwärts volunteer 2014) about his arrival:
On the 22nd of September, I left Hamburg and flew via London and Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth, where I finally arrived on the 23rd. My first impressions of my new home country were not as radical as I thought. The airport itself wasn’t as big as I was used to and the streets within Port Elizabeth weren’t pothole-free but in general at first sight there was no big difference to Germany. In the evening, I went to Grahamstown where Terri had organised a charming welcome braai. I met my new landlords and neighbours as well as the rest of the VSA staff for the first time and felt warmly welcomed.
Rieke Heitmüller (weltwärts volunteer 2013) reflecting after her year working with awarenet:
After one year in South Africa, I experienced a lot and I think there won’t be enough time to tell all the stories. Obviously, there were also a few challenges during my voluntary service, which I had to face but I’m glad I experienced these things too. Moments like the first time our students seemed to trust and be interested in me and my fellow volunteer, the proud feeling to finish a project or my journeys around South Africa made my year memorable and unforgettable.
Antje Hering (weltwärts volunteer 2013) about emotions and talents:
My highlights for the volunteering year ranged from a positive, inspiring, fun, thrilling and mind blowing moments to negative, sad, touching, and eye opening moments. Working on the peace and music project was one of my highlights at work. The talent of our learners aged between 12 and 15 is incredible. I never expected kids that age to write lyrics and make their songs sound so good. I was especially impressed at how they were able to use Nelson Mandela as an inspiration for their lyrics and coming together to work as a team.