We have no shortage of inspiring volunteers here at IVHQ and this Easter, we’re sharing the stories of IVHQers whose actions are making an impact year-round. Here’s a collection of stories from our international volunteers to inspire you this Easter…
David McNamara in South Africa
Thanks to the inspiring initiative of IVHQer David McNamara, the construction of a new sports court is underway for the school where David taught in Cape Town.
Upon completing his volunteer program in South Africa, David gained the support of his company in Australia, who granted a donation of R228,000 to construct a sports court for the school. The court will take around one month to complete and our local team is confident this will make a significant difference to the students of the school, supporting physical education classes which IVHQ volunteers facilitate. To top it off, prior to arriving in Cape Town, David sent over several boxes of notepads, pens and pencils for his teaching placement, as well as several boxes of soccer balls.
Linda Kinnell in Tanzania
A mother-daughter IVHQ trip to Tanzania inspired Canadian Linda Kinnell to return to Africa and raise enough funds to purchase a piece of land and build an orphanage in Arusha, which now houses 16 children, who Linda visits every 6 months.
Linda shares, “with the help of many friends, family, my community, clubs and even complete strangers, who have so generously donated to my passion, Karim Orphanage has gone from two small 8 x 8 rooms, with nothing but 2 beds for 9 children, no water, no power, no room for children to play, to an acre of land with a new, safe home, a bed for each of the 16 children, bathrooms with toilets and showers, table and chairs to sit at and eat their meals, solar power, 2 water wells, garden and a rainbow colored playground!”
In 2014, Linda traveled back to Tanzania to watch the first student from Karim Orphanage graduate from high school. “For me, it was a dream come true to be a part of Salma’s graduation and see her dreams unfold. A lot of people say, “those children are lucky to have you in their lives” but I think I am the one that is blessed to have them in my life,” reflects Linda.
Vin Kebblewhite in Cambodia
Meet Vin Kebblewhite, former IVHQer and Founder of Life Project Cambodia - an NGO empowering Cambodian children and youth through education and community outreach programs. Sounding familiar? You might remember Vin from our Volunteer of the Year Awards in 2014. As part of the awards, Vin was awarded with $1,000 from the IVHQ Fund which has been invested in developing a sustainable community vegetable garden at Rumdul House, which currently educates 30 students.
Vin explains, “Our vegetable garden will introduce farming knowledge and techniques to our students, helping them understand where their food comes from and potentially stimulate new interests in agriculture and botany. Excess produce from the vegetable garden, if any, will be given to our student’s families as part of our monthly family assistance.”
Brandon McGee in Zambia
Brandon McGee spent 3 months volunteering with IVHQ in Zambia, assisting on our Community Development project within a small farming community called Linda Farm. “The farm was created as a safe haven for the disabled and their children, and as I grew up the younger of two sons of two completely disabled parents, I wanted to give this place a try,” shares Brandon. During his placement, Brandon developed the idea to introduce livestock to this farm to provide a sustainable source of income to the community as “goats are one of the simplest animals to care for, they can forage on the natural plant life and are originally from Africa,” said Brandon. After gaining approval from the local coordinators, he gained the support of his rotary club back in the US, proposing that he use a portion of a college scholarship which they had granted him to support the project. This enabled Brandon to transfer the goat project from paper to life, and construct a secure enclosure (composed of a barn and fence consisting of 200 poles and 1,200 meters of barbed wire) for the five goats which he purchased for the farm.
As Brandon has returned to Canada to complete his college degree, the goats are now under the management of Novic and Harrison at the Linda Farm and the milk from the goats is intended to make both cheese and soap and provide a sustainable source of income for years to come. “The goats were also purchased in a ration to promote breeding for a husbandry process which has the potential to yield a significant amount of money due to the farms centralised location in Livingstone,” said Brandon.
For more international volunteer inspiration, meet these IVHQers or find your perfect volunteer project by taking this quiz!