Volunteering – An African Experience
The Highs And Lows
Volunteering – An African Experience – There are few things more gratifying than giving your time – energy – money and passion to a person – animal or cause that is bigger then you perceive yourself to be. To do a “good” deed – not because you have to but because you want to. Learning the art of giving at a young age is a gift that pays you back many times over as you mature. It was with all the right intentions that a young woman set off for Africa to give of her time and her heart.
The first time I went to Africa was five years ago. I went to work as a volunteer in Namibia – with the Harnas Wildlife Foundation – and this place was great. They save animals and love them so much. That was the time I thought all places in Africa really loved their animals. How wrong could I be?
The next year I went to a place in South Africa. I went there because of the lions, and I spent a lot of time with them. I fell in love with every one of them. I was with them every day, and I loved to sit at the end of the day just to hear them roar! I was there for two weeks. After a while I found out that the owner had a hunting company on the side, where he took clients to kill all kinds of animals, including Lions.
I could not understand how he could save lions but also kill them. I soon realized that he did not save the animals – he was actually buying them, selling them and breeding them. This was the time I saw that there are not only good places who have lions in Africa – but bad ones as well.
This is a place not worth talking about so much – because after all of the negative talk about it – they no longer have a volunteer program.
However, when I was there, I met a woman who I got to know. I later went back to South Africa so I could meet her and volunteer again.
NOTE – ABH: It must be very disconcerting as a volunteer – believing that you were doing a good deed – to then realize that some of the animals were dying in the revolting trophy industry.