UBELONG Volunteer on a weekend trip in South Africa.

“Smile as often as you can and to every child.”


UBELONG Snapshot
Name: Sara Gianesello
Age: 21
Hometown: Magione, Italy
Nationality: Italy
Languages spoken: Italian, English (fluent), French (intermediate)
Occupation: University of Perugia
Volunteer Abroad: Helping at a Daycare in Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 2 weeks
Start month: August 2018

Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a UBELONG Volunteer because the association was trustworthy from the very beginning and the experiences offered seemed to be authentic. I think that the internet site convinced me, it was very well organized and it had all the details I was looking for.

What was your impact on your volunteer project?
Even if I stayed just for two weeks in the school I realized that, for the children, volunteers mean the world. Some of them come from a really tough background and family, and also at school teachers have to be strict in order to maintain control of the class, since there are more than 30 kids. The volunteer is seen as an adult friend who comes from somewhere very distant and has strange hair and accent; they see you as their playmate and they are really curious about you. This means that they have also the opportunity to learn from you about your world and experiences, and I think that this is crucial for their education.

What advice would you tell a future volunteer?
Smile as often as you can and to every child. If you give them love, they will love you back even more and there is nothing more amazing than being hugged as you walk through the school.

In a sentence or less, best packing advice?
Leave at home all the superficial stuff. You don’t need your entire wardrobe, especially because you’re going to live with 4/6 other people, imagine if everyone brings their entire house!

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Related post:
Meet Sina Brunner, a certified acrobatic performer from Germany who volunteered with UBELONG at the caregiving project in South Africa.