I first volunteered with African Impact when I was 18 years old, on their ‘Teaching and Community Support’ project in Zanzibar. I hadn’t been to Africa before (or ever even travelled alone!), so the prospect seemed somewhat daunting.
It was absolutely worth the initial nerves! I felt at ease as soon as I arrived on that beautiful island. The scenery/beaches are amazing, and the Zanzibaris are some of the friendliest people I have come across. During my month’s stay in Zanzibar I took part in English lessons for children and adults, activities, as well as fun games within the schools. We taught grammar and planned lessons together with the local teachers. We taught life skills and business skills to the locals. We planted vegetables and cleaned up parts of the beach. The weekdays were jam-packed and that’s how I liked it. On the weekends, we were free to do our own thing and I took the chance to head out on a boat and swim with dolphins in the wild, visit Stone Town, explore the village and relax on the multiple beaches. The whole experience brought me new independence and memories that will stay with me forever.
“Once you go to Africa, I promise - you will want to return.”
This year, I am now 23 and I wanted to go back to Africa with the same organization because my previous experience was so positive. African Impact are recommended by many people and are rated very highly for volunteer projects in Africa. I love the fact that their projects are balanced to ensure plenty of community time during the week, but also have the weekends off for free time and to explore the country.
I didn't want to spend my time comparing my trips so, after a lot of research, I chose the ‘Orphan Day Care and Community Support’ project in Zululand, St Lucia for my second volunteer project in Africa.
Lucy-Anne working with children at a local creche.
I truly had the most incredible month and met other volunteers that will remain friends for life. Similarly, to last time, we worked in the community in rural crèches, and we put on English classes and reading clubs for children in the villages. We were always welcomed by lots of smiling children, ready to sing, play and learn. My favourite weekend in St Lucia was spent at a 5* game reserve on safari - it was all great fun!
I chose African Impact and both of these projects because of the areas they were in. From what I could gather when I researched, they seemed to be very safe and secure locations. For example, the volunteer house in St Lucia is in a small tourist town, which felt as secure as being at home. I kept my expectations low because, at the end of the day, it is Africa! Water doesn't always run warm - and the people are living very basic lives - but both of my trips were everything I could have wished for and more!
While the people I met do live in poverty, the children we worked with are some of the happiest children I have ever met. The people of Africa are wonderful and have so many stories to tell. There is loads to learn about their culture and they are very grateful for our time and education.
I would honestly recommend a volunteer trip to Africa to anyone! You get to give something back to the world and will come home feeling extremely grateful and humbled.
About the author and project:
Lucy-Anne joined us from England for 4 weeks on our Orphan Care Project in St Lucia, South Africa. Thank you for your hard work Lucy and we hope to see you on another project soon!
To learn more about the projects Lucy volunteered on, visit the website pages: