2020-01-29 SOUTH AFRICA

Beth Code, Australian volunteer in South Africa

Beth Code has completed her first year as a volunteer in South Africa. She is the coordinator of Marist Youth in which has a strong input in Marist Schools and mentors the international community at Marcellin House in Johannesburg. She also works for the Marist School Council (MSC) and Custodians, working very closely with Mike Greeff – MSC Director.

Beth, from Australia, participated in 2018 in the training for candidates for the International Communities for a New Beginning. And, through the Cmi Department, she was sent as a volunteer to the Province of Southern Africa.

As the year closed, Beth joined the 2020 school leaders from the five Marist schools of South Africa at Addo as they ran the summer holiday program for the children who live in this ‘township’, in the Marist Mercy Care project, initiated in 2006 by Jason Grieve who was the ‘Head Boy’ at St Henry’s College in Durban. He collaborated with two eighty-year-old brothers (Chris from South Africa and Claude from Canada) as they formed a partnership with three Sisters of Mercy from UK. The summer program each year is joined by a new group of school leaders who are accompanied by past school leaders who have previously been part of the summer program.

Beth writes:

I am feeling so humbled so have been able to work with the Sisters of Mercy, and young Marists from around South Africa at the December Annual Summer Camp. Over 400 children from disadvantaged areas in the Addo (South Africa) region attended.

As volunteers, we ran various activities such as sport, arts and crafts, dancing, reading, health education, career guidance, gender-based violence awareness, leadership, mentorship and personal development. In addition to the fantastic program, we were able to provide a small daily meal. Which for so many, is not guaranteed.

Each and every child that attended the camp, would greet us full of energy with a genuine need for love and attention from all of us. Offering love, care and a sincere interest in each child, was a simple gift that I could give, but one that is meaningful, cherished and valued.

It was truly a blessing to be able to spend so much time with the children of Addo and an emotional experience that I will carry with me always.

________

Have you ever thought, as Brother, layperson, student, ex-student, of becoming a Marist volunteer? Listen to your inner voice and contact the Department of Collaboration for Mission, International (Cmi) – cmi@fms.it

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