Thursday, 29 March 2018

Mission Inspire | 7 days in South Africa

mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers
After an 11-hour plane journey, we watched the sunrise as we touched down in Cape Town. 
We took in the mesmerising scenery as our driver drove us to our humble abode for the next seven days, in beautiful Hout Bay surrounded by cloud-topped mountains and white beaches lapped by the Atlantic Ocean. 
But as beautiful as South Africa is, we weren't here to see the sights. 
This was no holiday. We were here on a mission. 
Five volunteers.
Five beautiful souls. 
Five very different people.
One reason = To give our love and time to the young children of Cape Town, South Africa.
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, airport, Heathrow


Introducing Mission Inspire

Warren Inspire Ryan is an International Speaker & Confidence Coach with a view to providing young children around the World the tools and strategies to become their more confident selves, to give them a voice and show them that are are capable of being whatever they want to be in life, no matter their background.
Project Manager Caz, a Virtual Assistant and self-confessed Crazy Cat Lady, planned our full packed itinerary over the seven days. 
We then had Travel Host & Blogger, Emma. 
Recently crowned 'Entrepreneur of the Year' and CEO of FIVE successful businesses, Dawn. 
And then ME! 
Seven days in Cape Town, South Africa. 
Seven days to make a difference.
I've been looking forward to sharing our journey with you.
Get comfy, it's a long one... ;) 


Day One   
After a surprise greeting at the airport from Kim Worrall, CEO of Amoyo Performing Arts Foundation who played a big part in the planning of our trip, and our security driver Jade, who soon became part of our family, we made our way to our house. The rest of the afternoon was our own, to prepare for the week ahead. So we spent time planning the visits and workshops, visiting the local beach and area before heading out to a local seafood restaurant on the harbour for dinner and back to the house for a good nights sleep.
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers


Day Two 

We were up bright and early to head over to Bush Radio Station, where we met up with the boys from Youth Redemption, for a radio interview with radio presenter and local celebrity / public figure Mr Meyer. We got the chance to shout over the Western Cape airwaves about our mission; why we were here and what Mission Inspire is all about, before jumping back in the car to the first of two secondary school visits. We walked into the first school to a classroom full of heads down, confused looks. After Warren gave a POWERFUL Confidence Workshop, the children didn't want us to leave! The girls taught Caz and I a cheeky little dance, the boys discussed their dream careers with Warren and after a few selfies and promises to return, we left them (albeit with a broken table, but that's a story for another day hey Emma!) and moved on to our next school, where Warren gave an edu-taining (that's educating whilst entertaining, clever huh? ;) ) talk to an assembly hall of 400 students!
 
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Bush Radio
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, children, visiting high schools
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, children, visiting high schools


After lunch, the Youth Redemption boys; Dylan & Charlton took us to their stomping ground to experience just one of the community projects they run; the Kick Game Grind.
Let me tell you a little more about Youth Redemption; these guys are amazing and I feel so blessed to have met them and been a part of their project. It is their mission to create a platform for youth to realize their passion & live their dreams, becoming entrepreneurs and to make positive life choices. Alongside this, they are also set on assisting those less fortunate by organising regular community projects; namely Kick Game Grind, where they collect donated and new shoes to hand out to those in need. We headed to a wasteland area, where homeless families set up home in handmade shelters using whatever they could find and we handed out shoes and trainers, and leftover food from lunch. They were so grateful, and some were happy to chat and take pictures with us. But it was here that hit home, just how different life is for some out here. 


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, homeless, homeless people
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Youth Redemption



Day Three

I could get used to the mountain view from my bed each morning. Cape Town really is a stunningly beautiful place! The sun was out today as we visited a Women's College where Warren held an amazing confidence workshop. He bought a young lady up to the front who was really shy and 'just wanted to hide' yet afterwards felt truly inspired, much more confident and had a whole new perspective. Afterwards, she commented that she'd 'never experienced anything like that before, it was once in a lifetime!' Another girl explained how she was inspired to become a motivational speaker and wanted to use her background to help others. 
This was it! This was exactly what we came for!!


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, beautiful views,
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, women college, confidence workshop

We then headed back to the wasteland area with Dylan & Charlton with a bag full of toiletries for the homeless families. The feeling when seeing those people quietly queue up and one by one take something they needed; a toothbrush, a razor, sanitary wear, cotton buds, soap... will stay with me forever. Why is it acceptable for these people to be living like this? What can we do to help?

The boys had arranged for us to head to a beautiful location for a photoshoot to mark the end of our collaboration... and the beginning of an amazing partnership!! 


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, photo shoot
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, photo shoot

We finished the evening at a local market, where the locals held stalls of beautiful handmade gifts, clothing and jewellery, a live band was playing and there were amazing food and drink stalls. It was a really lovely evening spent with Kim and her family, experiencing some of the local culture.


Day Four 

Today we visited Amoyo Performing Arts Foundation. Amoyo is a non-profit organisation for children, based in the heart of a township in Hout Bay. Providing after-school and weekend classes in dance, drama and life skills, their vision is that each child will continue into further education after school, equipped not only with performing arts skills but also life skills, self-esteem, self-confidence and self-discipline to conquer life successfully. This was our first experience of a township and it's something that will stay with me forever. Imizano Yethu is made up of 92% Black African people living in poor living conditions. The settlement lacks important infrastructure, minimal water supply, few toilets and no sewage system. Families are living in what can only be described as 'tin sheds', some just 3 metres by 3 metres. Just last year a devastating fire blazed through the township, leaving thousands of people homeless. Reconstruction is still underway and many people are still without basic living arrangments. 


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, town ships, poverty


We were welcomed into Amoyo with so much love. There isn't enough room in this blog post to explain to you how passionate I am about this place!! Kim and her team have set up a fantastic organisation; providing love, life skills and a platform to help them grow into successful, employable adults in the professional world of work, outside of their environment of poverty, crime, neglect and gang life. 

The children surprised us with amazing performances and joined in with our confidence workshops and games. The children wanted cuddles, they'd sit in our laps, braided our hair and pulled our arms tighter around them. 

They wanted love. They wanted attention.


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Amoyo, performing arts


I wish I had the words for how my day at Amoyo made me feel. 
The children opened up about things happening in their lives that they hadn't opened up about before. Those stories broke my heart.  
These children were living in circumstances many of us can't even imagine; controlled by gang culture, neglect, criminal activity, poor living conditions... yet they were a group of happy, talented, loving, well-mannered children I was blessed to spend my time with. 

Kim posted this about our visit: 
'Our children felt truly accepted and connected.
For the first time, we heard our children’s true voices.
For the first time, our children heard their own true voices as they spoke their truth.
Heartbreaking and healing all in one go.
My heartfelt gratitude to the Mission Inspire Team who ignited this opportunity.
Life changing for all of us.'

I'm not done with Amoyo. I will be back!! ;) 


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Amoyo, children
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Amoyo, performing arts, children



Day Five 

Today was Sunday, our rest day.
So what better way to spend it than to climb a mountain!
I'll be honest, it wasnt my top choice of ways to spend our day off, but it's not often you get the opportunity to climb Table Mountain, huh? :) 
And this wasn't just your usual hike, we were joining Andrew Patterson for Day 77 of his 365 climbs of the mountain this year. I know, right??
Andrew is climbing Table Mountain every single day this year, to raise money for a number of charities based around housing, education and leukaemia. He is an amazing human being, and I was humbled being in his prescence. Read more about his mission here

Unfortunately, a mix of anxiety, stomach ache, heat (it reached 35 degrees on the way up), altitude and not being used to hiking mountains made me ill, which isnt pretty half way up a mountain. 
BUT, I still did it. I climbed Table Mountain, with my bare hands ;) 


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Table Mountain, hiking
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Table Mountain
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Table Mountain, Ubuntu Climbs 365


Day Six

I wasn't feeling too well this morning so unfortunately, I missed the visit to the Pebbles Project, an organisation whose mission it is to enrich the lives of disadvantaged children and families in the Winelands farming communities in the Western Cape, especially those whose lives are affected by alcohol, through providing support and training to local wine farm and township crèches and establishing after-school provision for older children living in the Winelands.


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, children, Pebbles Project


The afternoon was our own so after spending the morning recovering in bed, Caz and I ventured out for a walk around beautiful Hout Bay; a walk along the beach, lunch on the seafront, stumbling across a quirky shopping village and then shopping for a barbeque back at the house later that evening. 


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Hout Bay
mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Hout Bay


Day Seven 

Our final day of visits started with an organisation called the Salesian Institute Youth Project who for over a century have been committed to providing programmes of education, training and rehabilitation for disadvantaged youth in the Cape Town area. They offer support, life skills, and vocational training. We were fortunate enough to have a meeting with the CEO who took the time out to talk to us about the institute and the work they do. The project is truly inspiring. When 44% of the Western Cape population are under 25's, with a third of them living in poverty and 1 in 5 suffering severe deprivation, projects like these are vital for the futures of these children. They provide children with the skills they need to stay out of danger, find decent jobs and lead happy, successful lives with a custom-tailored mix of education, social skills and accessing fantastic vocational training. 

Giving children a 'hand up, rather than a hand out.'

We were treated to an amazing performance from the school choir, who Warren did a little confidence workshop with before being shown around to see some of the amazing programmes they run, including trade skills such as bricklaying and sewing, classes for children who have dropped out or been expelled from previous schools and their newest project - the Porsche Training & Recruitment Centre where over three academic years, a total of 75 men and women from socially disadvantaged backgrounds will be trained as automotive service mechatronics technicians. How amazing is that? There should be more organisations like these all over!!


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Salesian Youth Instutute


After heading for lunch at Telegraph's voted World's Best Coffee Shop in the World; Truth Coffee Roasting which was the most instagrammable coffee shop I ever did see, we arrived at the Butterfly Art Projecta non-profit School, based in Vrygrond, one of Cape's oldest townships. The project encourages creativity and healing through Art. We joined in with some outdoor parachute games, were shown some of the amazing artwork and then took part in some fun art games with the children. It was a fantastic place to visit. 


FINAL DAY  

Our last day in Cape Town was an emotional one. We invited Kim and the Youth Redemption boys over to the house for a Facebook Live Interview before we left. But it wasn't goodbye, it was definitely a see ya next time!! We're not done with Cape Town. There is still so much we want to do, see and help with. And these people are now family! 

Jade took us on the most beautiful drive across Chapman's Peak, known for its breathtaking views along the rocky coastline before we arrived at Boulder's Beach, somewhere we all wanted to squeeze in a visit before we left. Boulder's Beach is a gorgeous beach covered with huge granite boulders and home to a colony of African penguins. Children were playing in the shallow waters, whilst penguins paddled around them. It was a beautiful place, and the perfect spot to finish our trip, reflect and relax, lose a few flip flops... don't ask! and have our farewell lunch together, before heading to the airport for the 11-hour trip back home.


mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers, Boulders Beach, penguins


South Africa changed me. 
I learnt so much. 
I experienced so much. 
And I'm so grateful for the opportunity! 

I want to say a HUGE thank you to Warren for creating this mission, bringing us together and being AMAZING out there! We changed lives out there and YOU made that happen!! To Caz for planning such a fantastic trip and partnering us with such inspirational people and organisations. To the rest of the team for being such amazing friends out there, I love you all dearly. To everyone we met out in South Africa and my BIGGEST thank you goes to every single one of you that donated towards our sponsorship fund, YOU made this trip happen for us and played a big part in our mission. 

'We all belong to South Africa, and South Africa belongs to us all' -  Oliver Tambo

mission inspire, South Africa, Cape Town, travel, world changers






So, who's coming next time? ;) 



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18 comments

  1. What an amazing thing to do, I do love to do something like this and help those young people out, it must feel so accomplishing.

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  2. What a wonderful thing to do! It looks like you all had a fabulous time, and made a difference to people's lives too. Go you!

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  3. Me - I’ll come next time! I’d love to go on a volunteering trip like this :)

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    1. Oh you definitely should, its an amazing experience!! :)

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  4. Great work you guys got involved in, different to use that we used to seeing come to S.A. I am yet to hike the table mountain but how incredible is that

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    1. Thank you! Oh yes Table Mountain was a challenge, but at least I can say I did it!! :)

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  5. Wow what an incredible adventure and something amazing to be part of. Hose are going to be memories to treasure forever

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  6. Wow, what an absolutely incredible experience. Something you can be proud of and treasure forever.

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    1. Most definitely something I'll always be proud of being a part of!

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  7. Oh wow what an amazing thing to do, you must be so proud of yourself. It must be quite haunting to see the poverty there though, it's the kind of thing we all know is going on but to see it for yourself must really hit home.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it definitely hit home! Its a crazy world out there!!

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  8. What an innovative idea I used to work in Ghana with the red cross I would love to be overseas again

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  9. What an amazing trip! I went to South Africa a few years ago and loved it - it's such a beautiful country.

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