Thomas Hendy — Dudley
U.K. , Europe

“I chose Cape Town because it has such amazing opportunities at every turn. It is so beautiful, you could go somewhere every day and you’d never go to the same place twice. Although, it is definitely worth it to go a few places more than once.

“I loved the freedom I had when interning here. I was able to be independent in my work, but also had the support from VACorps staff and my own supervisor to help me along the way. The work was so rewarding, being able to have a positive impact on an area is a great feeling. I definitely feel I have a lifelong attachment to Sakhulwazi Hub and all my friends that I’ve made there.

“I think coming to South Africa has changed me in many ways, both professionally and personally. I definitely feel more confident in myself, being able to approach new situations with more enthusiasm. In the past I would have been more skeptical, however after being thrown in head first into this new, brilliant environment, I can say that I feel more prepared for life than before.

“I think the things I will remember most about working at Sakhulwazi were the small victories. The work can be defeating often, many things fall through and fail. The sheer enthusiasm and ambition for the projects coming from my colleagues at the site is something that I’ll never forget. No matter what happened, we were always able to get up and carry on. Furthermore, just seeing how everyone interacted with guests on our site, it was such a pleasure to see the passion coming from everyone who worked there. An example being, when we hosted an organization they invited us to join them to pray before hand. It was something I’ve never experienced before, and it really showed me the pure passion that the people living in Philippi and other townships have for the work they are doing.

“I’ve been in South Africa for 9 months as of my departure. The thing I love most about it is definitely the country’s nature. I’ve never lived anywhere that has mountains in the back garden, somewhere you’re able to hike up to a waterfall or just go and relax on the beach surrounded by beauty. I spent a lot of my time here hiking and camping wherever I could find a mountain and a place to put up a tent. There’s nothing more magical than camping on a beach surrounded by mountains, watching bioluminescent plankton glow and the entire milky way arcs above. It truly is wondrous.

“Interning with VACorps is great as you know you’ve got that constant support there and no problem is too big. Their weekly activities are great as they get you to submerge yourself into something perhaps you would never have tried without. The biggest reason I would give is the freedom they give you when living in South Africa.”

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Meet past participants:

Federico Ravazzolo, Italy (2022)

Federico (pictured on the right) is studying for his Master’s in Physics for Energy and Sustainability at the University of Amsterdam. He joined to VACorps program in July 2022 and participated in a sustainable […]

Riley Goldstone, New York, USA (2022)

Riley is studying for a BA in Global Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined to VACorps program in June 2022 and participated in a sustainability internship at an […]

Madison Brennan, Boston, USA (2022)

Madison joined the VACorps program on January 2022, and participated in a sustainability internship at an Urban Farm.  She is studying her masters of Liberal Arts in Industrial/Organization Psychology at Harvard University, School of […]

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