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EXPERIENCES

Overall score Let’s Go South Africa Internship: 8! I experienced South Africa as a truly fantastic country which is so divers that it keeps surprising you. Especially the nature and the people are beautiful. Beforehand we were warned a lot about the dangers, which made me cautious with the locals in the beginning (which is not bad). Of course there were also intense moments such as experiencing the townships and children living on the streets. So there are definitely some challenges in doing an internship in a development country, but it makes it extra nice to see how happy they are with you and your contributions. As I physiotherapist I learned to work and bond with patients that were hard to communicate with. The preparation regarding our stay and the safety were very well done by Let's Go Africa. And we were well guided on the project and at the partners' accommodation. If you like adventure and flexibility I would definitely recommend this to people!

Merel Faassen, physiotherapy internship South Africa March-June 2018

Overall score Let’s Go South Africa Internship: 8! We worked 2 months in the hospice of New Hope Care as physiotherapist. Two days a week we treated 3 patients and we assisted them with stretching and movement exercises for their limps. On tuesdays we joined a nurse with house visits in the community. The support from Let's Go Africa was very nice from begin to end. Luckily we didn't have any problems in South Africa so that we didn't really need LGA. But there was a lot of interest from Roel and the organisation works well. The added value is in the personal contact and the size of the organisation. It's not too big so I believe it justifies the purpose in a better way. You could make sure that you are easier to find on the internet. My advice to new (physio) volunteers is to have a work plan ready beforehand which includes what is expected from them.

Viktor van den Assem, physiotherapy internship South Africa March-June 2018

Overall score Let’s Go Botswana experience: 7. It was truly an amazing experience, a real eye-opener for me. I gave presentation at primary and secondary school. In between I worked on different projects like; organising a cycling event and excursions for kids, portfolio for soccer players, healthcare manual, gardening and more. The accommodation was not totally what I expected and the organisational programs were mostly not up and running. The preparation by LGA was sufficient and Roel was up to date about Botswana. What will you always remember? ‘The love I developed for them and they for me. My supervisor supported me in everything that I wanted to implement during my internship. Unfortunately, this was less towards his own employees which was a shame as they had some good ideas.’ Would you do another internship, volunteer work or travel experience with Let’s Go Africa? ‘Yes, because I had a good experience and I would like to learn more about Africa.’

Justien Dreischor, Let's Go Botswana Oct 2017 Jan 2018

Overall score of Let’s Go Botswana experience: 7. Mainly I worked on the data processing within the Tuberculosis project. Thereby, I implemented business management lessons, additional exercises and exams. The local people in Botswana are very nice and immediately welcome you as part of the family. They do stare at you sometimes as they have sometimes never seen ‘white people’ before. Therefore, they also think you know everything which is sometimes difficult. As expected I had to develop my patience to the next level. Unfortunately, funding, planning and the project description could have been connecting better in practise. However, I learned that everything doesn’t have to be perfect in order for it to be good and fun. I would recommend a Let’s Go Africa experience because it’s an experience that changes you.

Karlien van den Broeck , Let's Go Botswana Sept-Dec 2017

Overall score exclusive Let's Go Travel Botswana service package: 8! We got to LGA via our daugther who was doing a volunteer project via them. The people in Botswana are very friendly, not pushy at all and it's a beautiful country with unfortunately still a lot of poverty. The preparation, travel schedule and budget by Let's Go Africa were all according to plan. We would have want some more choice in accommodation, but all the rest was perfectly organised and price quality wise the service was very good!

Marc van den Broeck & Hilde de Wolf, Let's Go Travel Botswana 2017

The locals in Ghana were very friendly as lots of people every day liked to come and chat for a bit. I never felt unsafe! Beforehand I thought my accommodation and the food were way more basic, but it was really nice. The school is totally different from what we are used to in Holland and the rules were also very different. But that doesn't mean it is a bad school. The supervision by the projectmanager and LGA was great. I could ask all my question and the Follow Your African Sun gave me better insight on what to expect and set my goals. I have experienced such beautiful things and met amazing people and I would definitely recommend other people to do this.

Iris Mons Volunteer in Ghana, 2017

Doing volunteer work in a development country was an unforgettable experience for me. I am really happy to be a part of it. After 4 weeks you have a better idea how it is like to live there. Now I don't take the things we have so easily for granted anymore. Everything was very well organised by Let's Go Africa. I learned alot from the Ghanian people and also to travel alone and being confident things will turn out fine. I will always remember the children at the school where we worked. It was a great experience doing and sharing all this with my friend. Actually everything in Ghana was very special to me.

Ellen Signer Volunteer in Ghana, 2017

I really found it awesome to do volunteer work in Ghana. It is a chaotic country and sometimes it's hard to communicate with the locals. We were well prepared by LGA and the project was fun and well organized. All the things I experienced, I will never forget especially celebrating my birthday there. All together a beautiful and valuable experience.

Desley van Laar, Volunteer in Ghana, 2017

Overall Let's Go South Africa internship experience: 9. It was totally great because of all the different people we were privileged to meet. All of them were very nice, honest and very relaxed. People in the Netherlands can learn a lot from it. I noticed there was a huge difference between rich and poor in South Africa and that there is almost nothing in between. When we encountered a problem we could always go to Tim, but we missed the actual supervision in our social field locally. Roel was always available as contact person on the background and I would definitely recommend people to go on an experience with Let's Go Africa. I am certain that you won't regret it, because every moment is unforgettable.

Sarah Geurts, intern at New Hope South Africa 2017

Overall Let's Go South Africa internship experience: 9. South Africa is really a beautiful country and I had a great time there. Also thanks to the great local people we met, who took great care of us. I really felt at home. Thereby I was happy that we were prepared regarding the traffic regulations and safety matters in South Africa. Because of the safety warnings, I was sometimes a bit scared and very alert. But, this might also be the reason that nothing happened in the end as we were very cautious. The project description could have been better matched with the activities in practice at the local partner, but overal the guidance of Let's Go Africa was good. Roel asked for updates regularly and stayed very involved in this way. I was happy that I did this project with Sarah and that was good advice of LGA. This is not a project for someone to do alone. End product: We created a manual for group therapy sessions on self confidence for the children on the project. These sessions can be implemented by the social workers after we left. Thereby, we handed over a holiday programme with all kinds of activities for the kids.

Romy Schreijer, intern New Hope South Africa 2017, HAN Social Work

We both were very positively surprised especially about the hospitality and openness of the South African people. We have worked with the Sports Impact organisation in Mitchell’s Plain for two weeks. De preparation was very professional and detailed by Let’s Go Africa, just as the whole introduction in the host family, the transport and the whole stay at the project. De combination of working and living right within the community in a host family was very special and ideal. Two weeks were just to short unfortunately! Lenneke; “I gave a workshop on teambuilding to a special disaster unit. Thereby, I had lots of discussions with the program manager regarding the search for funding for their new sports accommodation. The plan is already there and we are going to look for funders in the Netherlands and the UK and try to give some policy support where we can. I have experienced many projects, but this project was very special to me so I want to commit myself to it.” Coosje; “I participated and helped organising sport activities. We did spinning lessons, bootcamps and different sports at the local primary school. My first Africa experience has made a big impact on me.” We are definitely going to recommend Let’s Go Africa on Facebook! The travel service we had from them was perfect and we constantly made use of Roel his advice during our trip through South Africa and Swaziland. In the future we will be using his services again for sure.

Lenneke Aalbers & Coosje van Wijck volunteer work and travel South Africa and Swaziland 2016

My 3 month minor physiotherapy in South Africa was a overwhelming experience. I did research at Ori organisation, who work with people with disabilities. I wrote a report for the CEO of the organisation to handover to potential funders in order to raise money. De supervision by Ori could be better, but the physiotherapist on duty assisted me very well and I could always go to her for all my questions. The organisation and guidance by Roel from Let’s Go Africa was great and he even came by to visit me at the project. I lived at a white Afrikaner host family and I really felt how it is like to feel at home far away from home. The host family has a special place in my heart now and I am definitely going to see them again some time. Before I went to South Africa, I had some expectations but I did not know that it is so well developed especially compared to other African countries. After my project I went for a nice trip through South Africa and experienced the different local communities. All together it was a very interesting and special experience, because I really have the feeling I contributed to important aspects in the organisation. Therefore, I would really like to go back to do another volunteer work project and travel some more through this wonderful country in a few years.

Henk van der Scheur, physiotherapy internship South Africa 2016

Let's Go Africa helped us a lot with our trip to South Africa last summer. We didn’t want a standard trip via a travel agency, but we did need some advice to create our own unique trip. With help of Let’s Go Africa we found the ideal way to do that. We got great service through tips, new ideas and helpful contact information for car rental, accommodation and amazing activities. Our main travel schedule was hereby created but we still had the freedom to go where we wanted when we wanted. So, a good mix of an organized trip and the daily flexibility to change it. The conversations part of the travel service where very nice and personal. Even during our trip we always had the chance to ask questions to the organisation, so a great back up. This way of travelling was overall an amazing experience and we look back on a very successful trip to South Africa, where Let’s Go Africa contributed to. Thank you!

Ron & Jackie, South Africa trip 2015

We are having a wonderful time here and we would have love to stay longer because there is still so much to do. However, our work duty back home calls again unfortunately. We are working on a short course on types of food and together we developed a list of costs for extra food supply after consulting the cook and housemother. Besides that we did several administrative tasks. We really like doing things and take initiative, which makes the project manager happy. It is great to do all kinds handcrafting and games with the little kids and even see that the bigger boys like to join in the fun. We discussed with project manager regarding the project donation, so we decided to spend part of the money on electricity in the new office and spend the rest of it on the children in the home.

Martine Ridderhof-van Driel and Linda Heijmans, Volunteer work in Ghana, 2015

In the beginning I really had to see how I could make a difference at the school as an Applied Psychology (Science) Student. There were so many things that surprised me and that I wanted to change. The education here in Ghana looks a bit like the classic way of education back in the days where children sat behind these typical desks repeating everything the teacher said. With my educational background and the knowledge I acquired during the years studying Applied Psychology, my hands were itching to change the educational system. But, where could I start? I came to the conclusion that you should not want to change everything in another country. It is already good if I can find my way around and contribute bit by bit at the school. So, I started to individually lecture and supervise young children (3-10 years old), who were behind compared to children of the same age. Thereby, I assisted children who showed different socio-emotional behaviour in class then their classmates. It was so good to see these children grow in this way. I am already proud of them if they are making small steps forward and I enjoy to see them shine when they can understand the difference with their own names in different colours. Besides the supervision of these children, I also coach three of the teachers.

Floor Marlet, Internship in Ghana, 2013-2014

The first month I was working on the ‘The El Shaddai School’ is not comparable with the way I am working now, four months later. I told my fellow intern Floor the first week that I was never going to give training to the teachers. According to me it was too big of a challenge to stand in front of a group of people who are older and also from a total different culture. Meanwhile, I already gave two trainings to the teachers and I am working on the third one because it is so much fun! Also the students did multiple trainings together with me. I learned to give these kind of trainings during my study Applied Science and is totally new for everybody here, but I only got very positive and enthusiastic responses afterwards. When is the next training Estha?

Hester Buwalda, Internship in Ghana, 2013-2014

As soon as I realised that most of the children did not know how to read and write properly, I decided to start giving lessons. In the afternoons and evenings I gave these lessons and helped them with their homework. Sometimes it was hard to get them all together, because they always had something else to do. But after some time it worked well. My second task was to assist and supervise the children in their household. I got up early in the morning to get them ready for school and assisted them in the afternoon with their work to keep the house clean. When there was no French teacher for 3,5 months, I was teaching French in 3 classes of the El-Shaddai school. In addition, I did a lot of “small tasks” in the meantime. For example, applying for insurance cards, sharing the pocket money, typing documents for the Project Manager etc. Lastly, I gave a workshop about AIDS and Malaria for the students of the El-Shaddai school and different schools in the villages nearby. Volunteer work abroad is a good way to get to know a different country and their culture. Through living among the local people, you truly learn to understand their way of life. I feel like I really got to know the real Ghana in the past 7 months. At the same time I was able to help some people whom really needed my support. It was a wonderful and very interesting experience I will never forget. Ghana is great!

Anja Werntges, Volunteer work in Ghana, 2013-2014

Ghana has a very special place in my heart. The gratefulness that the people show because they know you come all the way from the rich western world to help in their small village. They appreciate that a lot. Especially the children teach you to be happy with the small things in life. The sun that rises, life that starts. Even though the circumstances are not ideal, I did not see many sad people. Your are always welcome everywhere you go. They don’t make appointments, you just come by. Not making appointments and arriving too late is what you learn very very quickly. With pain in my heart I left after six weeks. But with all the great experiences with the children, the volunteers and the weekends away to discover Ghana in my mind, I am certain I will return. I want to know how the kids are doing, see the new orphanage house and I want to show the project to my boyfriend. I would also like to see more of Ghana itself because there are so many places I haven’t seen yet. So there will be a time where I will taste the warmth, liveliness and hospitality of Ghana again and I am already looking forward to that.

Fleur de Wit, Volunteer work in Ghana, 2013

The first couple of weeks we mainly assisted David with all kinds of administration and during the evenings we got to know all the children. After that is was way easier to do our own tasks and activities. It was truly amazing to work with all the kids and I got so much love from them in return. When I think back about my time in Ghana on the project, I always remember all the stories from the children. You hear shocking stories and then you those quiet faces and you cannot imagine it is real. It was a great time that I will never forget. Thank you for that!

Nicole van Dooren, Volunteer work in Ghana, 2013

Ghana is wonderful! When you are on the road you see so much of the country. The rice, cassave and coconut fields are all over. Amazing! On the way back we visited the different projects and finally arrived in Cape Coast. A piece of history from the time of slavery and Dutch influence during that time.

Dianne Swinkels, Volunteer work in Ghana, 2013

I have truly enjoyed the whole trip and it made a big impression on me. I am very glad I have been able to experience all this and will never forget it. Often I think about what the kids in the orphanage home are doing at that moment. I feel really connected with them and I can totally relate to the fact that the people there feel like a second family to you. Thank you again for your great hospitality, openness and good treatment you to me and Anja. It was amazing!

Susan Hijmans, Volunteer work in Ghana, 2012

We arrived safely back home. We had such a wonderful time with such a lot of beautiful impressions. It was an amazing experience to live together with the people in Klikor. It keeps repeating in my head. Thereby, it was also very nice to experience this important piece of your life in Ghana.

Anja de Boer, Volunteer work in Ghana, 2012