Based in Cape Town, the ACE in South Africa team will engage in sustainable development projects in local communities and support educational workshops and educational awareness programs around Cape Town over three weeks. The team will be working with three different organizations, including the VUSA Rugby and Learning Academy where they will be teaching after school sports activities for local youth, assisting Bluemoon with maintaining and improving libraries and schools for local youth and Ladles of Love that works with issues around food security.
During the first week in South Africa, the students began their orientation day with a welcome presentation, gym tour, self-reflection, and a dinner with a cultural performance. Due to weather conditions, the planned visit to Robben Island was replaced with a scenic promenade walk and a visit to the Oranjezicht City Farm Market. TEFL training and fun-filled activities were enjoyed throughout the week. The students immersed themselves in the vibrant culture of Bo Kaap, where they explored spice and art shops and learned to cook Cape Malay dishes. They also had language classes to learn Afrikaans, Zulu, and Xhosa.
The highlight of their week was the partnership with Vusa, where they visited Early Childhood Development centers in Langa, conducted sports workshops with U13 rugby teams, and gained insights into township life. Lunches at a community cafe supported a non-profit organization, and all lessons were filled with energy and growth. The students concluded the week by volunteering with Ladles of Love, making 1000 PBJ sandwiches. Overall, the students formed a close-knit family, showed passion and commitment, and embraced the rich experiences and positive impact they had on the local community.