For the love of volunteer work

2015-07-22 06:00
PHOTO: tania sandberg

Mallory Pfaff’s passion has made a big change in children’s lives at Mother of Peace.

PHOTO: tania sandberg Mallory Pfaff’s passion has made a big change in children’s lives at Mother of Peace.

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MOTHER of Peace (MoP) volunteer Mallory Pfaff joined the organisation four years ago from Holland, since then she has been back twice a year.

“Ever since I left I felt a bit homesick, I missed the children, so now when I have a holiday from my studies, I came back. Last year I volunteered for six months and currently I am back for two months,” says Pfaff, a qualified nurse and social worker.

She says the practical she did over the six months last year taught her so much.

“When I saw that I could make a difference in the children’s lives, I knew I would return. As the famous saying goes, ‘when a passion and a career comes together, something beautiful happens’. That is what happens when I volunteer at MoP.”

As part of research for her practical marks, Pfaff focussed on special needs children.

“Mother of Peace has a challenge when it comes to special needs children. I saw these children often have a certain special talent we can develop. My idea is to start more group work to develop the children’s skills and to design a programme for them.”

Pfaff said one of the challenges many of these children face are confidence issues, she uses soft skills training such as sewing to build confidence in the children.

“The rewards of volunteering are high, the babies I first visited are now four and five years old. It is amazing to see how they grow and develop,” she says.

Mallory also wanted to do more for the children, so she started an online shop to sell little elephants sewed by the staff at MoP. The idea behind the elephants is that elephants never leave an orphan behind, the troop always takes a calf whose parents died, into the family. This is exactly what MoP does - it takes orphaned children into a family, until they are adults.

“When a child is born, these sewed elephants make great gifts, each also carries the name of a child at MoP,” she says.

Mallory sold R60 000 worth of elephants in four months in Holland and some locally.

“If there is any shop who would like to sell our elephants, we would really appreciate it,” she said.

Mallory’s dream is for the children at MoP to be confident, reach their dreams and really become participating members of society. She is looking for new things for the children to make and she also hopes to teach them to make the little elephants themselves.

“I found the children are very creative and we also now sell key rings, wish bracelets and other items made by them in our shop at MoP,” she said.

A keen reader, Mallory likes to read everything, but not when she is visiting MoP. She loves to hang out with friends and her hobbies are photography, sewing, cooking and baking.

“I love travelling especially in South Africa.”

In Holland, Pfaff works as a nurse for children with disabilities and says it is very different from South Africa

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