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Organization Review

Overall Experience: 
Hey there. My name is Sarah Kimmig. I have been a volunteer working for Philisa Abafazi Bethu from February till April 2010. It is quite difficult to sum up my experiences in South Africa in just a few sentences because I had a fantastic time and once I start talking about that time which means so much to me, I can hardly stop. I will try to do my best, so here we go: The African culture is quite different from our lifestyle so living the African way for two months was quite different for me. But Lucinda´s passion for people and PAB, her open-mindedness and also her ability to work from her heart no matter what life throughs at her made it easy for me to settle in and feel at home in Lavender Hill very soon. I knew if there would be anything which would bother me, I could chat with Lucinda or my hostfamily about it and together we would find a way to sort it out. It was also very exciting to meet volunteers from all over the world. We did not only work but also spent our free time and weekends together, exploring the greater Cape Town area. Before I started working for PAB I was introduced what living in Lavender Hill is like. I was showed around the area, the informal settlement and was informed about security standards. From the very first day on I could see, hear and feel how much the work of PAB is needed in Lavender Hill. Finally the women and children have someone they can talk to, a place where they find support, a source of knowledge where to find legal help and psychological services, develop their skills, a place where they can relax and chat to other survivors of gender base violence. Together with Lucinda I worked out my areas of responsibility fitting my level of education, e.g.: • Conducting soft skill development workshops; Contents: analyses of cycles of violence, strengthening self esteem, opening up new perspectives of life, legacy for women, empowerment and emancipation • Initial psychological treatments; creating the record of anamnesis, assigning patients to particular treatments • Participation in and support of therapeutic services; preparation of sessions, running sessions with children or adults under supervision (behavioral psychological oriented, most clients were victims of gender based violence, abuse, domestic violence), accompanying visits to our clients’ homes, taking victims of life threatening attacks into shelters, dealing with drug and alcohol addicts • “Safe house” duty; staying with women and their children in the safe house, offering coaching and consulting services, cater for their needs (health issues etc.); • Accompaniment of a children’s camp; autonomous supervision of a group of 12 children aged 12-16 years (out of 90 children aged 8-16 in total), educational work, sport programmes, excursions • After-School-Programme for children aged 7 to 18 years; supervision of participants, participation in activities (life skill programmes, beading, clock making, sports, preparation of a concert (dancers and singers) • Evaluation of programmes/therapeutic work; qualitative interviews in order to examine the success of therapeutic services, examination whether follow-up measurements were taken • Participation in social networks; conducting meetings with other organizations, representation of Philisa Abafazi Bethu at the “International women’s day conference”, attending forum meetings • Fund raising; finding German companies to support PAB, meeting with the German embassy, creating marketing material in German (inclusive Power Point Presentations etc.), supporting the development of a project proposal in German (in order to get funds from the government), recruiting volunteers who will be able to assist the organization in the future This activities are only an example for what you can do while working for PAB. There are a lot of opportunities for you. Please check out the reports of the other volunteers for further possibilities. I hope you have a better idea now of what beeing a volunteer at PAB is like. If you require additional information or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time: Regards, Sarah