Monica Oliveto (Pennsylvania, USA)
Monica was COLORS first medical student assisting in the roll out of our first aid kit program. In doing so, she helped in creating first aid kits, sourcing supplies, creating medical resource documents and training teachers how to properly use the kits. Monica also taught in the preschools and held youth group sessions emphasizing good health and proper dental hygiene. Monica gladly took on extra crafting sessions, as well as painting and renovating some of our project sites.
Stefi Marie (Bavaria, Germany)
Before starting her teaching career in Germany, Stefi came to COLORS to gain practical experience teaching children. She planned and implemented educational and skill building classes for toddlers and teens while also taking on various renovation projects. Stefi assisted project COLORS with our largest distribution program, dispersing COLORS supplies, and making sure tool kits and skill building resources were given out to the people who could use them the most.
Micha from Germany
“One of the best experiences of my life”
“What you achieved in project colors up until now is much much more than anyone achieved I know of. You build up an award-winning organization from scrap, helped so many individuals, changed lives and put hope in many peoples hearts (not to sound cheesy) it is (or should be) an inspiration for everyone who knows ýou. Especially as I told my family and friends about the time there I realized how unique project colors (and probably you as well, as project colors definitely is a part of you) is how important it is for the people that it will continue. Working with you in the projects was one of the best experiences in my life. Best wishes to you and everyone over there”
Johannes (Germany 2012)
Johannes joined his wife and us later in September and was able to stay later in October. He spent an amazing time at Alice’s, Violette’s and Sheila’s crèches. Together with Johanna he rebuilt Alice crèche and enjoyed teaching toddlers and the youth group. He Violette’s crèche and fixed the doorstep & fence into the crèche. He organized the youth group’s project-day in Wilderness and Kleinkrantz and loved collecting shells, making pizza, learning how to lead a restaurant and making mosaics. Johannes would recommend spending time in Africa to everybody, as it makes a difference in the lives of many children.
Johanna (Germany 2012)
Johanna supported Project COLORS with her talents from September to October 2012. She came from Germany and helped to rebuild Alice’s crèche. She helped putting in a new floor out of cement for Alice and painted her walls. During creative activities she taught children of Alice’s, Violette’s and Sheila’s crèche how to make and use stamps, how to safely use scissors and how to make mosaics. Johanna and Johannes organized a project-day for the kids of the youth group where they all had pizza party at Cocomo Restaurant in Wilderness, collected shells at the beach in Kleinkrantz, swam played drums and made some nice mosaic mirrors.
After being sponsored by COLORS to finish her studies at Eden Campus a Certificate in Practical Business Administration Thembeca asked to be part of COLORS mentorship program volunteering in the community. She had that chance to learn about Germany by living with our German volunteer Johanna and helped with the crèche painting, kids craft activities, sorting all the workshop supplies/ doll making/ hike with verna/ children’s home visit/thank you for donors….and supplies organizing. She came back a 2nd time to finish her mentorship certificate and train other youth. Thembecka wrote ” I really don’t know where to start or end , but I would like to take this opportunity and thank you very much & blessing that you have blessed me with…thank you very much for your support i really appreciate it this means a lot to me. again thanks for taking notice of me i now feel blessed knowing that the is someone out there who takes a good look at me and spot something great &different about me.”
Fanie Buys (AKA Funny)
“Hi, I am Fanie Buys (age 19) and I have been Volunteering with Project COLORS since 2010 where I did a project with them for school. I am a George South Africa local and have been doing bits and pieces helping COLORS ever since.
I choose to Volunteer with COLORS as very few of the charities here locally in George give the projects the integrity and attention they deserve. Here in South Africa others have the culture of seeing a project as a problem and not as people is rife and that is why COLORS is different.
COLORS looks at projects as people and starts by giving them the integrity and respect they deserve and then the tools to help themselves out of poverty, which is the only way to break the cycle.
COLORS has also helped me grow and learn and become a better person, Volunteering for them has been an amazing experience and I hope to continue being a part of COLORS for as long as possible.”
Jesse (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Age 19)
Jesse came to COLORS directly from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was a fantastic volunteer who had a niche for medical stuff, he has proved invaluable for the medical kits he has put together for township children, and his compassion and affinity in the projects. Not only limited to medical, his Guitar playing was a hit in and out of the township ( often singing on the side of the roads to get lifts). We wish him luck in whichever path he chooses for the future and we know that he will make a success out of life.
Hailing from Germany , Verena booked a last minute adventure to Africa to help COLORS. She was an absolute pleasure from the start and probably our most flexible, easy going volunteer with amazing organizing skills ( often not only having to arrange the children but Jesse as well!). The children will forever be singing “I like the flowers” as she accompanied Jesse’s guitar playing with her voice. Verena was a star in the classroom, creating wholesome lessons for the children. Verena is studying to be a primary school teacher and put her skills to good use. If this is any indication of her abilities we are sure she will continue to change children’ lives with her intuition and love.
Anina Demmler (Germany)
She stayed way to short and must come back. Anina was very creative and worked wonderfully with all the projects. She was fun to be around and truly enjoyed each moment of her adventures with Project COLORS. She will fondly be remembered for building gardens, making crafts and dancing the night away(oh and sun tanning each day by the pool after a long days work feeding kids e’pap and washing street dogs)
“I had experienced poverty when I was growing up, however, Thembalethu is beyond my imagination. Poverty is real. Whenever I closed my eyes and focus a little bit the pictures of the people who need help is haunting. I can see Grandpa right now, Annie’s children and old aged at her house and the dead puppy besides the road. I simply pour my heart to them. My YMDC project is coming soon. I had listenened to the Antony Robbins life management skills , thanx for introducing him to me. I had also inspired by his speeches and Yale University materials. The philosophy practical is also helpful to me. plis dont underestimate it I am now number 1 fan of all the above. Greet everyone who knows me. I will send you my next moves. Thanx Sunny, you rock and I am now rolling. much much LOVE Papapsy Tafadzwa Dube email@example.com Nov 24th 2011”
Carmelle (Congo, Age 17)
Carmelle is a young lady who came to us from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she was a natural when it came to looking after the children at Violet’s daycare and although shy and quiet at first her intelligence and caring nature shone through. She is also good a sports and a pleasure to be around. She is using the resources provided to her by Project COLORS & a Refugee NGO in Cape Town to help rebuild her life after having to flee the Congo. We wish her every possible happiness and strength for her journey.
NINI (South Africa)
Our amazing skills trainer…rain or shin she’s off in the township making every Thursday making things a bit brighter. A professional potter by trade she helps facilitate crafty, funky, and functional trainings in bead works, sewing and making things from recycles.
She also helps each month deliver the kids food supplies keeping everyone happy and full. The ladies and youth love Ninis workshops and we are blessed to have someone consistently helping us to keep the programs on track.
came to us from Brazil where she just finished high school. She was thrown into the chaos of COLORS as her first day entailed a car full of 2 homeless puppies, puppy puke, building supplies, crazy people at the gas station wanting to eat the puppies and an impulse purchase of a small pre-school building when a local builder offered it to us half price! The following weeks were full of building and paint projects plus her daily routine teaching on her own in the pre-schools, as she was our only volunteer for the 1st month of her stay. We will all miss her positivity and willingness to try the unknown.
hailing from Minnesota, volunteerd in South Africa for 8 months. He joined COLORS full time to help with project development, as he longed to make a difference in the world. John helped run our weekly swimming lessons, coordinated lesson plans and activities for the children of Alice’s, Mahme’s, Roselle’s and Violet’s care centres. John was our key youth mentor for Tian, a teen living briefly with us who struggled with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and brain damage from TB.
At just age 19, John was an inspiring addition to our COLORS team, as he truly cared for all the children he came in contact with using his musical talents to captivate and enlighten everyone around If you did not see the You Tube clip please click here: Imagine: I am ONE
had been traveling around Africa for three months already before she arrived at the COLORS base at the end of March. She just completed her university studies in England and wanted to travel around Africa to lend a helping hand. So far on her journey she has helped severely impoverished children in Togo, disabled children in a group home in Cameroon. Through COLORS Katie travelled with her various fellow volunteers into the Thembalethu and Hoekwil townships several times a week and helped coordinate dental, nutritional and educational programs as well as fun activities for the children. She also helped with painting and fundraising for much-needed building project in the crèches and coordinated group activities for older youth in several after care centers. Katie’s enthusiasm with the children, her interest in planning educational activities for each teaching session and her help in caring for rescued puppies.
crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Eastern Canada to lend a hand at Project COLORS. She is returning to university to further her studies but before she starts she wanted to see the world and donate her time to people in need. Together with Naima, John, and Katie, she helped with preschool teaching, implementing nutritional and dental routines, and fundraising for various projects within the township crèches. Before she finishes at the end of May, she aims to raise money from friends and family at home to purchase clean, new bedding for nap-time in the crèches, so that kids with compromised immune systems can have a germ-free place to rest, and to help coordinate a fence-building project at another crèche with the help of a local building supply company.
Sylvie Furlong (Cambridge- United Kingdom) February –May 2010
Coming to South Africa and volunteering with Project COLORS has to be the best thing I have done in my life so far. I have experienced so much and really embraced every day. Working hands on with the children and seeing how just little changes can make such a difference has really changed my view on charity work. It has made me realize how easy it is to make a difference, and has shown me how rewarding volunteering is.
I have met so many amazing people in the communities, and have loved experiencing the Xhosa culture, one that is far from anything I have experienced before.
Running the street dog project with Sunyata’s help and guidance was a highlight of my stay, it is so rewarding to see the dogs transform in front of you and then noticing the owners taking care of their dogs now makes it all worthwhile.
All of the projects that are happening here are incredible and are making such a huge difference, I am very sad to leave and will miss South Africa very much. Thank you so much Sunyata for allowing me to become a part of Project COLORS, and good luck to all of the volunteers in the future!
Sylvie (age 19)
Brittany Mcconeghy 2008-2009 South Africa
Brittany, from BC Canada played a key role in developing COLORS outreach for HIV and AIDS patients through providing occupational therapy opportunities and food distribution. She worked daily with child affected by aids, and programmed recreational therapy camps and leadership activities for disadvantaged children without families. Brttany trully proved herself to be an “agent of change”.
Maria from Norway: COLORS 1st International Intern
Thank goodness for Maria! She literally came long to save the day. After observing her volunteer efforts at the children’s home in South Africa, COLORS was pleased to offer her an internship to run Project COLORS on the ground while our director was in Canada. She did an amazing job and is welcome to come back anytime.
Here is a bit of what she had to say:
I came to South Africa, eager to work at the hospice and with the children of St. Mary’s Children’s Home. Having done nothing of the sort before, I knew not what to expect in my encounter with the children. I worried about how I would cope with the impoverished areas, and the various situations I was certain to experience.
Knowing that the children here have suffered in many different ways, I wondered: How do you help in a way that shows that you are genuine? How do you meet the children in their needs, and get to know them?
I learned a lot about Project COLORS International and the different projects they are organizing here. For instance, we brought two of the children to Sunyata’s house on one of the ‘going away’ weekends. We also went to the crèches of Thembalethu and delivered the nutrition mix Nutty Buddy to the kids. When she asked me to stay here a month longer then planned to fill in for her while she is in Canada, I could not resist the challenge.
I am thrilled for the ability to stay longer in South Africa, getting to know the children better and learning a lot about the different tasks that need to be done in COLORS. I’ve had an amazing time thus far, and I am looking forward to everything that the next month will bring me of ups and downs, experiences and challenges. Most importantly – I am grateful for the privilege. Maria.
Anke (Germany) Co-founders of Project COLORS International.
Anke worked with the children of South Africa where she organized supplies, donations, daily activities with children, and worked
developing various projects to aid the children.
Matthew Whalen (Nova Scotia, Canada)
Sports and activities volunteer.
Matthew volunteered in Dominican Republic and South African project sites. He assisted by bringing donated supplies and coordinating sports activities for the children.
Caroline Swan (Nova Scotia, Canada)
English teacher and sports volunteer.
Caroline worked with the children of Dominican Republic teaching daily ESL and art classes, taking the children on day trips, organizing care packages, medicating street dogs for parasites and teaching sports to children.
Donation and supplies recruiter and project developer.
Eeva assisted the children of the Dominican Republic by developing her own project to get them the supplies needed for a children’s home.
South Africa Development Coordinating Officer
Rebecca is volunteering in South Africa with the CMSR Children’s Home & HIV/AIDS Hospice providing basic needs and resources through the development of recreational activities, ESL classes, mentorship programs, as well as a leadership & life-skill building program for at-risk youth.
Caroline Swans Color Volunteer Experience
Age: 17 Location: Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia
I joined Project Colors International to take part in the Dominican Republic Project. Before beginning my journey I collected many supplies from local businesses such as dental necessities, sports equipment, children’s clothing, and cash donations. All of the donations went to the Dominicans in need, and my family supported my travels to the Dominican.
The need for support was immense due to the lack of water, electricity, and supplies. I worked daily at Tsidkenu Ministerio Orphanage.
It was located in the cracks of Santo Domingo without running water. I assisted Sunyata in teaching English classes, and spent time with the children. Daily, Sunyata and I took small groups
of orphan children on day trips which included special meals, an exercise walk, and an adventure of the child’s preference. I set up a sports program at Villa Bendicion Orphanage with the
recreational supplies donated. It was a chance for the children to travel to the near by university and exercise. I also took part in delivering supplies to an Orphanage in Nagua and a generator
to retrieve water for a helpless village outside of Santo Domingo. During the trip I met many welcoming people, and had the privilege of watching many sick and abused children survive and grow into beautiful souls. I experienced hardships and witnessed human suffering and animal abuse, but found love in the children’s eyes.
I developed an understanding for other cultures and a respect for life.
Christmas milk project for the kids in the orphanage – by Eeva Lahti
I got acquainted with Tsidkenu Ministerio Orfanato’s kids through Sunyata Choyce, who is a colleague of mine working for the UN here in the Dominican Republic. I visited the orphanage a couple of times and just fell in love with the kids there. Christmas time was approaching so I thought I wanted to help them out in some way as a kind of Christmas present. I asked the Director Jakie what they needed the most and she told me that at the moment it was milk, because it is essential for the growing children, but very expensive in the country. I decided to get in touch with my friends and family in Finland to see if they would like to participate in my Christmas milk project. I got so much support that I never would’ve expected to have. My contacts send my pledge to their contacts and their contacts sent it on etc. Finally I ended up getting so many donations that the project wasn’t anymore just a Christmas project but with I have been able to buy to the orphanage milk and other needed supplies also this year. I am very grateful to all the people in Finland for their generous help that has improved the daily lives of so many kids in the orphanage!
Project COLORS Internationalinfo@projectcolors.com
83 Leslie Rd,
Nova Scotia, B2Z 1P8