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October 21, 2014

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October 21, 2014

Originally, I wasn't sure what to make of my application to One Heart Source. I was looking for an adventure, a chance to grow as an individual, and an opportunity to give back to a community less fortunate than my own. Something about the program resonated with me that I couldn't initially describe. So I took the chance and volunteered in their Cape Town program.

The experience was one of a lifetime. The people I met, the experiences I had, and the community I worked with was phenomenal. The 4 weeks I spent there flew by in an instant, but the lessons I learned there will last for the rest of my life.

Take a chance and volunteer with One Heart Source. You will never realize the impact just a few volunteers can have on the outlook of an entire community. The kids I worked with changed my life forever, and I know the time our program spent with them changed their lives as well.

One Heart Source is also extremely flexible, and offers several programs with varying length to help ensure that anyone who wants to make a difference can apply. Additionally, the program allows for free time outside of the classroom, so that volunteers can immerse themselves in the culture of South Africa as well.

One Heart Source was without a doubt one of the best things I have every done with my time, and I highly encourage anyone interested in helping amazing communities across the world to seriously consider working with this program.
October 20, 2014

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1 previous review
August 14, 2013

I volunteered with One Heart Source for a month this summer in Cape Town. It gives me goose bumps to reflect on this experience because it truly was incredible. During the short 4 weeks, I was expos... more

October 20, 2014

I originally applied to One Heart Source because I wanted to help others outside of my community. But OHS is so much more than helping out in South Africa. The experience was so life changing because it was raw and real. You get to do hands-on work and interact with students as a teacher, no previous experience necessary. It challenged me to become a better mentor and leader everyday, and I hold the bonds that I made with those students close to my heart. During those 4-weeks, you learn how to become the best teacher you can be in order to help students learn not only Math and English, but also how to be confident, driven, and embrace individuality. While mentoring, I learned so much more about myself from students and staff than it felt like I was giving. I fell in love with the meaning behind OHS and its movement, and I was blessed enough to return for 2 months as a fellow this past summer. I encourage everyone I know to become part of this community and volunteer because it goes above and beyond general non-profits. It is so fulfilling to connect cross-culturally with students in South Africa and volunteers from around the globe to address and discuss the issues of social injustice. Apply today and join the family; I promise it will be the best decision of your life!
August 14, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I volunteered with One Heart Source for a month this summer in Cape Town. It gives me goose bumps to reflect on this experience because it truly was incredible. During the short 4 weeks, I was exposed to so much of the South African culture in Hout Bay. From teaching the kids, touring the townships, visiting the International school, and exploring the local area, just being in that environment and not only seeing its struggles but actively making a difference is such a powerful and meaningful feeling. What I taught to those kids from Imizamo Yethu will stay with them forever; I have learned that there is no greater joy than watching a student learn and progress because I was able to teach. I think that lasting impact is part of what makes this experience so special. The entire time I learned more and more about myself and how I find meaning in life, while forming relationships with a group of unique individuals who share the same passion. That alone was very humbling to have so many different perspectives collaborating towards the same goal. Every conversation was enriching and inspirational, and I learned so much from documentaries, TED talks, and discussions with my group and the managers. I couldn’t have asked to be led by a better staff, who was wholeheartedly devoted to this organizations movement and every volunteers journey throughout the experience. I am blessed to have worked with One Heart Source, and I would recommend it to anyone I know. It is such a beautiful organization because it is constantly evolving, always dedicated to education. This opportunity has empowered me way beyond my expectations, and I look forward to continuing that fire.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 20, 2014

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October 20, 2014

My experience volunteering for One Heart Source marks a pivotal change in my life that I will never forget. It opened my eyes to issues of social justice, equality, and what it means to be human. Every day working with the students is so much fun and enriching, and every moment spent with the One Heart Source family is sure to change your perspectives and make you want to become the best version of yourself. Deciding to apply to volunteer with One Heart Source was definitely one of the best decisions of my life.
October 19, 2014

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October 19, 2014

One Heart Source gave me such an eye-opening experience, which I have referred to time and time again since I've returned to the US from Cape Town. Probably the most important idea I learned from this trip is that I understand very little about the world. Going on this trip and working closely with some of the most taboo problems of society opened my eyes and deepened my understanding of what was really going on. Unlike most other NGOs, One Heart Source gives their volunteers the responsibilities to communicate and work closely with the advisors and the founders of the organization. I felt like my opinions on what we could do were received and discussed by the coordinators of the organization. In fact, communication during the program was fantastic. There would be a meeting every morning to discuss our goals for that particular day, and there would be a debriefing after dinner to discuss what we learned and how we can better work. In addition, I felt that the advisors of the programs not only stressed the importance in the quality and effort of our work, but also the importance of understanding the backgrounds of the people we were working with. It didn't feel at all like I was doing menial work. Rather, I felt like I was learning more and more about the culture every day and using what I learned to help those in need.

Although I was a little worried before I left for the trip - there was a lot of ambiguity of what we would actually be working on and what our accommodations would be. It was very unclear what the daily schedule would look like. However, once I settled in, I felt like I was so welcomed and so taken care of. I realized that our work was ambiguous because it was so conditional to what we wanted to work on. The program, I found, was dynamic to the needs to the people and the suggestions of the volunteers, and I think that's really important for an NGO to both be effective and to grow as an organization. Our voices were heard, and because of that, I felt like I was making a difference.

One Heart source was an unforgettable experience and the things I learned on my trip, I still use everyday! I came out a more effective leader, a better learner, and an independent. It was truly an opportunity that opened more doors than I could have imagined.
October 19, 2014

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1 previous review
August 8, 2013

I volunteered with One Heart Source for a month this summer, and it was one of the best month's of my life. It was interactive, empowering and extremely rewarding. I'm definitely signing up next year,... more

October 19, 2014

Volunteering with One Heart Source was the most enriching, nourishing, thought-provoking, experiences of my life. The program allowed me to interact closely with the community I was working in. One Heart Source created a family within its volunteers. I have never felt so close to another group of people outside of my own family, and that closeness along with the fulfilling work is what brought me back to volunteer for a second summer. Volunteering with One Heart Source was the best decision I have made in my life and I suggest it to anyone looking for a hands-on, empowering, fulfilling experience with a group of amazing people.
August 8, 2013

I volunteered with One Heart Source for a month this summer, and it was one of the best month's of my life. It was interactive, empowering and extremely rewarding. I'm definitely signing up next year, and telling all of my friends at home to do the same!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 16, 2014

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October 16, 2014

One Heart Source is by far one of the BEST decisions I've ever made in life! My friend told me all about her experience and how it changed her life, so of course I had to see for myself! I did some research, applied, and the rest was history!! OHS has truly opened my eyes and heart to people, places, and experiences that I could not have imagined before. Teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students was incredible, but being taught by my students, community members, and OHS family was something I didn't expect! I learned so much about other people, cultures, communities, etc. and more about myself. I came into OHS wanting to go into law enforcement and left certain, that I want to go into primary education. And of course, I will be going back for 2 months next summer, because it is that AWESOME! I WISH EVERYBODY COULD EXPERIENCE THIS!! I LOVE OHS AND OHS LOVES ME!!!
October 14, 2014

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October 14, 2014

My involvement in One Heart Source began the moment I happened to read an invitation in one of my 1,500 emails. It then proceeded as a leap of faith as I decided to spend my first time out of the U.S. volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa with a group of people I did not know. Volunteering abroad was always something I wanted to do but I had no idea that the 4-weeks I had spent so much time preparing for would so profoundly change my life. “Life changing experience,” is the cliché everyone hears when someone speaks of his or her time abroad. But what do I mean by life changing? I say that because I realized my worth through my capability to exponentially impact others. I am indefinitely grateful for my experience with One Heart Source. I now carry a newfound consciousness to not only strive to make change in Sub Saharan Africa and other unjust parts of the world, but in my community, my life, and myself.
What sets OHS apart from other organizations is that it is a very personal experience. My time working one on one with my student Anele was my favorite part of my experience. In my efforts to teach her she inadvertently taught me more than I could have ever imagined and the bond we developed truly opened my heart. As we had all come together for a common goal, I grew incredibly close to the diverse group of individuals I worked with in Cape Town. OHS is a team and a family that radiates positivity and genuineness in their efforts to right existing global injustices and to create volunteers part in that. Along with our time in the classroom we also learned a lot about the history and culture of Cape Town that really put further meaning to our purpose there.
This is an experience I would recommend to everyone and in the case of facing any uncertainty or fear I urge you to take a leap of faith. Although my knowledge of OHS and Africa was very limited preceding my trip, I now have not only more knowledge of that but also a newfound understanding of myself and the world around me.
October 9, 2014

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October 9, 2014

One Heart Source is a family that is committed to changing the world by inspiring, empowering and educating one child at a time. During the summer of 2014 I spent four weeks in Cape Town, South Africa with my OHS family. While in CP I mentored and tutored three primary school children (each in third, fourth, and fifth grade respectfully) in mathematics and literacy.

When I first decided to volunteer my main purpose was to experience another part of the world -- in this case, Cape Town. I knew that as a volunteer I would be doing good work helping underserved children in Hoat Bay. However, what I did not expect was to be inspired to view the world differently. I did not expect to understand my community different. And I most certainly did not expect that this trip ignite a longterm interest in non-profit work. Well, everything that I did not expect became a reality.

Firstly, I experienced the inextricable human linkage between people around the world. This was demonstrated through a deep connection with and love that develop between the students and I. These children are extremely intelligent, absorb knowledge like fresh sponges, and only desire to learn more. As a volunteer I was able to assist teachers at their school by alleviating some of the pressure to teach and provide attention to 50+ students in one class.

Secondly, visiting the rainbow country where one of the world greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela, demonstrated that love and reconciliation heals all wounds was simply astounding. The land, people, and entire country is beautiful. However, there is still work to be done. People still suffer from not having equal access to a great education that is the impetus for upward mobility. This is why I am returning to Cape Town in the summer of 2015 to continue the great work that the OHS family has started.

I lived in a beautiful apartment in walking distance to the beach with 6 other volunteers. We ate together, laughed together, changed lives together, and together we worked to enhance the reading, writing and math levels of our students. Volunteers come from an array of socioeconomic and faith backgrounds. Also, they have varying interest in their academic studies and they come from around the world (literally!) to volunteer with the OHS family.

We strive to empower! We strive to give children the tools to be successful in any arena. Together, as a family working toward this common good, OHS is making a difference. We invite YOU to join our family and begin changing one life at a time through the power of education and mentorship!
October 6, 2014

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October 6, 2014

You hear it all the time. "Volunteering changed my life." “It was the most meaningful experience of my life." But what does this really mean? After spending a summer with One Heart Source, I can guarantee you'll be that much closer to figuring it out.

Ever since returning from Zanzibar
the summer of 2013 and even more so since returning from Cape Town this past summer, everything has been different. I see things differently. I think differently. I interact and communicate with others differently. I do mundane things like study for a test or call my mom differently. I value everyday experiences differently. I grocery shop differently. I respond to emails differently. I participate in class differently. I take chances differently. I could go on, but I don’t want to use the word “differently” anymore. I guess my point is that when I say “volunteering changed my life” I mean that it awakened a consciousness that I didn’t know existed. The best way for me to describe it is, gaining a greater sense of connectedness to humanity, regardless of boundaries, and embracing the fact that I have a role in creating change.

One Heart Source also provided me the opportunity to see just how powerful of a tool education can be for social transformation. I learned that whether or not my students could reach literacy level x or y, just by being there and interacting, we’ve made mutual impacts on each other. We may never fully know the extent of our impact, but realizing that anybody I come into contact with has the chance to learn or take something away from our encounter is why I continue to volunteer with OHS.

So if you’re into expanding and changing your world view, or just want to have an amazing summer immersing in a new culture and teaching hardworking kids, One Heart Source is the program for you!
October 6, 2014

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October 6, 2014

One Heart Source (OHS) has literally changed my life. People throw that phrase around casually but my experience with this amazing organization has made me a more humble person and leader and I am grateful everyday for my experience with them.

I volunteered with OHS last summer in Cape
Town, South Africa for four weeks. I travelled from DC to Cape Town and although it was incredibly nerve-racking flying not only alone but alone and to a different continent, OHS staff members were at my gate waiting for me when I arrived. Their warmth and welcoming attitude was just the beginning. Not only were the staff members incredibly supportive and inclusive throughout my trip, but the other volunteers were as well. I volunteered with this organization knowing no one and I am in no way an extrovert. Yet by the end of my trip I made real friendships, many of whom I stay in regular contact with.

My desire to volunteer stemmed from the injustice I feel toward the inequality children face. Although I have a background in education, that is not at all needed in order to volunteer with OHS. In fact, the majority of volunteers in my cohort did not have a background in education. The staff members work with you as a group to help you help your students as best as you can. Furthermore although we do teach children, it is much more of a mentorship. In my time there I had three students that I worked with throughout the four weeks. Our mere presence did so much alone, by allowing these students to have one-on-one time with a role-model figure.

Cape Town has an incredibly rich history. It’s culture runs deep and you will see that every day of your trip. Although parts of Cape Town are unsafe, I never once fell unsafe in my time there. Our living quarters were in a very safe area and staffed with security guards 24/7. Furthermore you are always with other volunteers and in the township, at least one staff member and a community leader of the Township as well.

I cannot imagine what my life would be like without this experience. Not only was I a mentor/teacher in my time there, but also a student. I gained tremendous insight about myself, and my future dreams in these four short weeks. I would recommend anyone and everyone to participate in a volunteer program with One Heart Source, and I promise your experience will be nothing short of positive and meaningful.
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