I had an amazing Service Learning experience working with Ilitha Labantu. I was able to participate in a variety of ways, which included teaching Life Orientation courses to primary school students, organizing events to raise awareness about human trafficking, attending court cases, and helping to do whatever needed to be done in the office.
As a Service Learner, I was entrusted with important tasks and responsibilities. On my first day I helped a social worker from the agency teach primary school learners about Children’s Rights and the South African Constitution. Everyday at Ilitha was a new experience that challenged me as a speaker and as a leader.
While at Ilitha Labantu, one could do school visits where you’d travel to 2 or 3 schools a day and talk about a life issue such as: bullying, HIV/AIDS, rape, and abuse. One could also help administration by entering counselor sheets, to create an electronic version of the hard copy. Also, there are various tasks that need to be done around the office. For instance, I had to call around and find a play for the children’s program to go see, put folder packets together for a forum that was the next day, write an executive summary for another organization to get funding, and just going along with the other employees on what they have to do for the day.It is a very good service site if you are the type of person who likes to observe and learn, rather than be hands on and implementing programs and what not. This is also a site where it is very professional. Dressing up daily was a must. Carrying yourself in a professional manner is also a must. Ilitha Labantu, for me, created a lot of pondering within myself and my role in the world.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working at Ilitha Labantu with the Siyazingisa Youth Program as well as advertising, promoting, and fundraising for the 2009 Child Abuse Awareness Walk. Two days a week I assist the youth facilitators in coordinating school visits and leading discussions with learners about issues affecting their daily lives. Xhosa is their first language so I also work to improve their confidence when speaking English in a group setting. The impressionable youth are surely the voices of tomorrow and promise much hope for the future. Ilitha Labantu strives to empower and challenge them to make positive changes in their familial settings as well as in the community of Gugulethu as a whole.