Cape Town, South Africa!!! I will start with my favorite part of visiting Cape Town, Imizamo Yethu.
The Townships was by far the most humbling experience ever. When I visit again, I will spend more time with these beautiful people volunteering my time and money. They were so welcoming and loving. No amount of words or pictures can or will ever describe the impact they had on my life or the gratitude I have for them opening up their homes and hearts to me.
We were greeted by our beautiful guide, Thobeka. I really have to sing praises to her because she was absolutely amazing. Although employed by the company we booked the visit with, she lives in the township and lives in the same poverty.
When we arrived at Imizamo Yethu we noticed the people going through trash searching for things that can be used for the people in their community. Cape Town is experiencing a water shortage right now and Thobeka stated that the people in the townships can go several days without running water.
While there I was informed that although Nelson Mandela in his great work made segregation illegal the city is still very much segregated. They are separated by the Rich South Africans (predominately white), poor South Africans (black), and the colored (I am considered colored there, lol) The rich and poor are literally separated by a street.
We were allowed to tour their houses and the above picture is the inside of one of the houses that would be considered the “best” of all. Most houses do not have running water or windows. This home above had both, huge luxury there. Below is what the typical homes in the townships look like.
Most kids live with their grandmothers, as the their outrageous number of teenage pregnancy, HIV, and rape.
Above is the pre-school and the daycare center for babies/toddlers. There can be as many as 60 kids per class. During the summer months there is a group of teachers that volunteer and helps the children in areas they struggle.
Most of these people make as little as $11.68 per day. Although there are government assistance programs in place, they can only receive $400 ($30USD) rand a month. Needless to say, this isn’t enough to live on for any family. Meals consist of foods that are cheap, filling, and can feed a large amount of people.
Cape Town has a water shortage right now so these people can go up to several days without water. As previously mentioned, most homes do not have running water so they share a water spout.
The kids are so talented and some of the most genuine souls I ever met. They asked if we were their cousins because most black foreigners don’t visit. This community has received help from some different countries and Thobeka made it known that they do not receive any money or help from the money donated to these large corporations. It is best to give directly or connect with one of the local churches/schools.
I even managed to get a few smiles by handing out some treats.
If you plan to visit South Africa, the biggest tip I can give you is spend the majority of your time here.
“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes. “