Kids Around The World in Paarl, South Africa

Kids Around The World in Paarl, South Africa

Emily Swanson

May 2014

Each year Seniors complete a project of their choice that is linked to previous studies at Harborside  Academy. Below is a description of Emily’s project.

August 1st through 13th of this year I was able to serve with Kids Around the World in Paarl, South Africa.  This was not only an awesome experience, but a challenging and life-changing one.  My team was made up of people ages two to seventy-two from all over the United States! Over the course of our time there we completed two playgrounds.  The first was assembled at a sports field run by the organization we partnered with, Monte Christo.  This playground was 80 feet long and in a central area close to many townships.  The second playground we assembled was located behind the Lukhanyo Center, another Monte Christo care site.  The Lukhanyo Center is in a local township called Mbekweni where thousands of people live.  Both playground sites provided lots of interaction with local people, especially kids.  For days, kids would watch us work in awe of this shiny ‘new playbox’ that was slowly coming together. When Dedication Day finally arrived, hundreds and hundreds of children came lined up and anxious to play.  When the tape was finally cut opening the playground to the community, you couldn’t see the playground! Kids covered the entire structure! Those few hours of watching the kids joyful faces and excitement made all the long days of digging holes and work worth it.  Besides assembling playgrounds, I was also able to help unload and distribute 135,000 meals! That’s 700 boxes or 21,000 pounds of food! These meals will help to feed 1,000+ kids per day and saved the food center $40,000! I also visited a children’s HIV/ AIDS center and was able to hold and play with the children there.  It’s heartbreaking to see their conditions but gives you a new perspective on just how blessed we are here in the United States.  I’m extremely grateful for my experiences in Paarl and will surely never forget them.

Final Product 
Senior Project Website

Comments are closed.