U.S. volunteers visit MoP

2016-02-24 06:00
Photo: tania sandberg The group of U.S. volunteers with Mother of Peace staff.

Photo: tania sandberg The group of U.S. volunteers with Mother of Peace staff.

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PROFESSIONALS, mentors and students from Rites of Passage in Masachusetts visited Mother of Peace (MoP) in Illovo last week with the aim of learning, teaching and opening themselves to new experiences.

Group leader and cultural proficiency coach Shirley Edgerton said their organisation was started five years ago in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.
“In our community professionals volunteer their time to teach children what they want to learn. In 2014 we travelled to Ghana and really enjoyed it, so when volunteer, Susie Weeks, invited me to Mother of Peace, we decided to come to South Africa in 2016 to learn and share experiences,” Edgerton said.

They shared with their girls the relationship that existed between them and MoP and agreed to make the trip to MoP.

“Many of the girls are similar in age groups [to the girls at MoP], and have had similar experiences. There is a mutual encouragement they can share and we have found even though living in different parts of the world, they have plenty in common,” she added.

Edgerton said they want to inspire, motivate and learn.
“We will also discuss what we can do in terms of raising money for Mother of Peace. The girls raised a percentage personally and as a group. As a non-profit organisation we have experience in fund-raising and will see what we can do to be helpful here.
“Some girls have already undertaken to donate items, such as a computer, etc.,” she said.

“When we were in Ghana and here, we were surprised to see the Hollywood connection, the Justin Bieber and Taylor­ Swift supporters. They are great American television supporters and the same here,” Edgerton said.

“For me, what sold South Africa was my trip to South Africa is Cape Town. I just love Cape Town and when I retire, I would like to retire there. I love South Africa.
“We are from the mountains - it is a resort area and big ski country, so South Africa feels very comfortable,” Edgerton stated.

“We are really looking forward to the week. I am hoping we all are open and receptive to the great opportunities that may be presented during this week. For me it is an opportunity for growth and learning,” MoP general manager Iris Canham said.

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