Lucas as a short-term volunteer in Namibia

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Lucas is doing his homework in the afternoon with his guardian angel child

Lucas as a short-term volunteer in Namibia

steps asks – Lucas answers! He is currently working as a short-term volunteer in Namibia at our Okakarara location and is sharing some of the experiences he has already had here. He may also have some tips for anyone traveling to Namibia soon! 

Who are you how long have you been at steps and at which location?

My name is Lucas, I am 18 years old and have been taking a gap year between school and studies since July 2023. After working in the USA and Thailand, I have been working at steps for children in Okakarara, Namibia, for four months since the beginning of January.

Why did you decide to volunteer in Namibia?

I would like to use my gap year to improve my language skills and see the world. I find it exciting to get to know foreign people, lifestyles and cultures and thus expand my personal horizons. At the same time, I want to do something good and meaningful. I think that people who grew up in good circumstances should try to give something back to less privileged people. Through my work at steps for children, I hope to be able to combine both: to gain new impressions and experiences and at the same time to positively influence the future of disadvantaged children.

What books did you use to prepare for your time in Namibia?

Everything was there, from travel guides to various documentation. I found it particularly interesting to delve into the history and colonial past of Namibia. Precisely because it is still such a “young” history, this knowledge often helps you to classify the things you see and experience.

How do you like to spend the evenings after your work at steps?

As the other volunteers have already written, we live a typical shared apartment life here in the afternoons and evenings with everything that goes with it: Cook together, play board games and enjoy movie nights. The sunsets and the night sky are indescribably beautiful here. Sitting outside late in the evening with some music and looking at the stars is an incredible feeling.

Namibia - Lucas is here for 4 months as a volunteer

Are there any tasks that you particularly like at steps?

That's what I enjoy the most physical education. If everyone is still a little tired in the morning, a little exercise is just the thing to start the day. It's always nice to see how the children enjoy living out their urge to move.

What has been particularly challenging on your trip or during your stay so far?

I got used to the project and Namibia in general quite quickly - it wasn't a challenge for me at all. Applying for my visa, however, was a bureaucratic obstacle course. The Namibian government had just converted the process to an e-visa at the time and it was initially not at all clear which documents were actually required. In the end everything went completely smoothly.

Lucas makes art with preschool children in Namibia

What surprised you most about your stay?

The openness of people. It's unbelievable how quickly you are welcomed here and integrated into the community. We really do a lot with the locals - whether it's choir afternoons together, going to church or barbecue evenings. If, like me, you come from a larger city in Germany, you first have to get used to constantly being greeted on the street, sometimes even by people you don't even know. It also often happens that a child runs up to you to demand a hug. An unusual but beautiful feeling.

What are you grateful for?

I think I answer this question very differently today than I did before my stay: Here you learn to appreciate the simplest things that you previously took for granted and often never questioned: a reliable power supply, a comprehensive mobile phone network or a fully automatic washing machine are here not a given.

I am also grateful to be able to experience and get to know a “different world” here and to be able to collect so many great impressions and experiences.

What do you have to try when you're in Namibia?

Definitely braai buns that taste incredibly delicious. The name is a bit misleading because braai is the local word for barbecue. Anyone who has ever eaten stick bread in kindergarten will immediately remember the taste.

Lucas is doing his homework in the afternoon with his guardian angel child

I wish…

...that time here doesn't fly by as quickly as everyone else says, and that I can still collect many wonderful memories with the children, teachers and other volunteers.

Dear Lucas, we are very happy that you are helping so actively with steps for children in Namibia! With your commitment, you are an enrichment for the local children and young people - thank you for your support. We wish you many valuable experiences and a good time in Namibia!

You can read more testimonials here:

Double greetings from Namibia!

We send double greetings from Namibia! We, that is Emilie and Johanna, cordially invite you to take a little mental journey to Namibia and into our everyday lives at steps for children in Okakarara. Johanna Emilie But first of course we want to introduce ourselves: I, Emilie, am 18 years old

What does your FSJ look like in Namibia?

What does your FSJ in Namibia look like? What does your FSJ in Namibia look like? We asked this question to the two volunteers from Rehoboth who came to Namibia together in August 2022 and started doing their voluntary service with steps for children. They describe what they do every day

The almost silent interview with Carina

Carina, weltwärts volunteer 2019/20 in Okakarara, reports here on her almost whole year in Namibia and answers our questions in a short interview. How did you feel the day after you arrived? I felt a mixture of disbelief, respect, excitement and confusion. However, I won't be able to return until a few years ago

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