The first steps volunteer

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The first steps volunteer

Ivy came to Okakarara in 2008 as the first steps volunteer - straight after graduating from school, she worked for others and helped actively. She tells us in a short interview what exactly she did and what she still remembers.

Who are you and when did you complete your assignment at steps for children in Okakarara?

Hello, my name is Ivy Boachie, I'm 35 years old and almost 16 years ago I volunteered for a year with weltwärts in Okakarara at steps for children.

What were your tasks and what did you particularly like about it?

My tasks were mainly childcare and teaching. In the preschool and afternoon care areas, I supported the teachers in the classroom with teaching and helped organize activities such as homework help with various leisure activities in the afternoon. In addition, I supported the PC lessons, the Internet café and occasionally gave German lessons for adults and was involved in tending the vegetable garden for the soup kitchen. What I particularly enjoyed was working with the children in the preschool and helping to create the play ERARI in the afternoon. The fact that I was able to work with the children, young people and adults gave us the opportunity to exchange our experiences, knowledge, knowledge, culture, etc., which was enriching for both sides. For example, I quickly learned the Otjiherero language. To this day I still know some words in the language.

What do you remember – how did you spend your free time back then?

There are still many beautiful moments that I can remember very well. In my free time I spent a lot of time in the Okakara community. Most of the time I met up with friends and was often visiting someone. There were several church activities on the weekends that I participated in. For example, the Youth Choir and the Bible studies were some of them. Among us volunteers, we occasionally met up and, for example, went on a trip to the Namib Desert and other beautiful places.

How did you find out about steps for children?

For me it was pretty certain that I wanted to go abroad after school. I applied to DED-weltwärts together with a friend. When the steps project and other projects were suggested to me, I was very enthusiastic about the description of the concept and could only say yes to steps. From Namibia I had heard little at the time. But I was very curious about what to expect.

When you think back to your time at steps in Namibia today – what is going on in your mind?

Whenever I talk to other people about Namibia, I notice how my eyes light up with joy. steps has given me a lot for the rest of my life. Staying at steps was a very nice experience for me as a young person, which I still value to this day and always carry in my heart.

Is there a highlight that you particularly remember?

One of my highlights was actually traveling around the country. At the time there were four of us with a rental car for about two weeks traveled, to look at the landscape of Namibia. We met great people and saw a lot that was simply breathtaking. One of my most beautiful moments that I will never forget is the view of the Waterberg. Whenever I see the picture, I remember the warmth of the people and cows, goats and chickens, the music, the sour milk, the biltong, etc.  

It is said that if you travel to Namibia once, you will always come back there. Did you come back to Namibia after your time as a volunteer?

I just can approve that too! But unfortunately I haven't been there yet, but that will change soon.

What do you want for the children in Okakarara and the children at steps for children in general?

I wish the children in Okakarara that they never lose their joy and steel in life and that they can lead a self-determined life that they can be proud of. I wish the entire community in Okakarara the same and that they can look back on steps and say that it was definitely worth being a part of such a great project.

Dear Ivy, thank you very much for giving us such wonderful insights into your stay at steps! We thank you for your commitment and wish you all the best!

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