Ricochet News

Two Matriculants from Walmer have been selected to participate in a year-long cultural exchange programme in Germany

Two Matriculants from Walmer have been selected to participate in a year-long cultural exchange programme in Germany

Through the assistance of Masifunde Learner Development, Manelisi Billy (20) and Sarah Fina (18), who passed their matric exams at the end of last year,  will be heading off to Germany next week (Monday 9th March) to participate in the weltwärts reverse programme, which gives youth from developing countries the opportunity to do volunteer work in organisations in Germany.

“It's a huge success that they have been chosen as most of the other applicants are older and much more experienced,” said Laura Klapper, Sponsorship Administrator, at Masifunde Learner Development.

Manelisi will work in Bonn at Lebenshilfe e.V., a home for disabled people and stay in his own apartment on the premises. He will support them with their day-to-day activities such as grocery shopping, cooking and general assistance. Manelisi volunteered at The Cheshire Home in Summerstrand, last year, in order to prepare himself for his duties at Lebenshilfe. He will also be taking his supporters through his life changing journey on his blog, "Life in Bonn- Restoring the quality of living", on betterplace.org.

Sarah will live in Oldenburg and work at Jugendkulturarbeit Oldenburg e.V., a youth development organisation and share a flat with other volunteers from countries across Europe. Jugendkulturarbeit runs Drama and Music programmes in schools, which complements Sarah’s love for the performing arts. She took Drama and Music as school subjects at Victoria Park High and was a prominent member of Masifunde’s Drama and Youth Choir Group. Sarah will be assisting with the organising and running of the programmes, while improving her script writing and production skills

When asked how she felt about being selected, Sarah answered, “I'm so amazed because I never thought I'd stand a chance, even though I know I have so much to offer. I am so excited and a bit nervous because I will be going into a new world. All I want to do is help out and challenge myself so I will learn more and grow into a better person. I believe I am ready for all that will be thrown at me. It won’t be easy but I'm ready.”

Manelisi believes this opportunity is one of the greatest platforms he has ever been given, “I feel blessed and excited yet nervous because there's a lot of responsibility. I want to work hard and represent where I come from.  This adventure came at the right time. I am so grateful for what Masifunde and weltwärts has done for me and also my family for their support.” 

“Cultural exchange programmes have the invaluable gift of exposing our youth to people from different religious, geographic and socio-economic backgrounds. The world is a global village and it is vital for our youth to be able to participate successfully in that environment and within a multicultural society. We wish Sarah and Manelisi all the best for their journey and encourage them to learn as much as possible when they are abroad,” said Edem Foli, Head of Communications and Fundraising at Masifunde Learner Development.


Photo Caption: Manelisi Billy, who will volunteer at  Bonn at Lebenshilfe e.V., a home for disabled people.