One Heart Source
Rating: 4.75 stars 63 reviews
Location: PO Box 24293 Los Angeles CA 90024 USA
Geographic areas served: Tanzania and South Africa
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Summer 2014 2-week Volunteer :) I could not recommend this incredible organization enough! I was very nervous about traveling abroad by myself, and the people were so amazing at helping to organize my travels and making me feel so comfortable. Once in Africa, I quickly realized just how passionate everyone in this program is. I made life-long friends and memories. The children I mentored and taught will forever hold a very special place in my heart. As cliche as it may sound, these kids taught me as much as I taught them. I would suggest participating in at least 4-weeks. I am still so happy I at least did two weeks. However, the weeks went by wayyyy too fast. I would have loved much more time to bond with my kids and get to be a big part of the education. LOVE LOVE LOVE ONE HEART SOURCE!
Volunteered with OHS Summer of 2014 primarily looking for an adventure. I soon found that I was working with a very passionate organization dedicated to educating the township of Imizamo Yethu and its youth.
The experience I got far exceeded what I was expecting. I met people from around the country that became fast friends.
An amazing organization where you are not only empowering children but also it also encouraged to think outside of the box. You are exposed to different cultures and issues all around the world. You are able to see how our small choices have a bigger impact on the world. A very humbling and experience, like none I have ever had before.
The mission of OHS is to empower children through education. The students they reach out to are often living in very difficult circumstances, and it is very obvious to see the need that they have to 1. a better education, and 2. the lack of any other adequate help provided by their society. Thus, the work OHS does is essential.
I found the work very gratifying as well as relevant. I did not think at any point this was a "feel good" organization- where people can just go back and say "I volunteered in AFRICA!" No. This was serious work with real education agendas. But it was not only the education that was important for the students, but also the connection to their teachers (us, the volunteers). Often at their homes, stability is not a common element- so having someone at school who is there for them makes them WANT to come to school, even when they don't feel like it.
My experience with them has changed my entire perspective on so many issues, especially the cycle of poverty that can trap groups of people, not just in countries like South Africa where there are townships, but even in the US- something I had never thought about before. Honestly, I can say OHS will make you reevaluate many things, but it will open up something deep in your soul- a kind of happy, empathetic connection to humanity you may not have known was there; at least it did for me, and I am forever thankful
The experience in One Heart Source has affected me in ways I did not foresee. Ever since I was a child, I have always wanted to be a teacher. A Chinese proverb says, “Education is using one’s life to influence the other’s”, which is also the reason why I choose to join a 4-weeks volunteer program with One Heart Source in Cape Town, South Africa. It presents me with the wonderful opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of children while also influencing myself.
I believe a good teacher passes on to their student not only knowledge and skills, but also positive moral values. It is the reason why a whole person’s development takes a significant role on the development of a child’s health, and this is the short-term goal I wanted to achieve with my students throughout the program. I believe children deserve a happy childhood in their early years and to have equal opportunities in education, status, and most importantly, life. However, there are still a large amount of children living in fear of violence and insecurity of a safe life. They are unable to enjoy the most basic needs as a human - to be beloved by another, which highly affects the mental growth of a child. Therefore, I came here with the goal of giving my knowledge, love, and care to my students while also trying my best to make a large change through small steps over time.
If you have the same thought like me, please don't hesitate to join us as part of the One Heart Source family! Apply now! Together we can change lives!
My 4-week volunteer experience with One Heart Source in Cape Town, South Africa this past summer was an incredible, fulfilling, and eye-opening experience. Volunteers form such a close, special bond with their students that by the end of the program, it is incredibly hard to say goodbye. My students taught me patience, gratitude, diligence, and compassion, and I certainly learned just as much from them as they did from me. Not only do volunteers engage closely with students at Moravian Primary School, but the directors of OHS also offer various tours and educational outings in order for us to understand the history of South Africa and the context in which our students are living. I walked away with enhanced knowledge about apartheid, HIV/AIDS, living conditions in townships, and social inequity in modern South Africa. My experience with One Heart Source has motivated me to pursue non-profit and public health work in the future, and I am inspired to continue participating in volunteer programs. I also made some amazing friends in my volunteer group that I still communicate with frequently and miss dearly. I highly recommend volunteering with OHS; it is a challenging, rewarding opportunity that causes you to realize that you CAN make a huge difference in the lives of very special, vulnerable children. Never underestimate your potential as a volunteer! These students need you as their mentors and will appreciate your help more than you can imagine.
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One Heart Source has forever changed my life for the best! The staff is amazing, the excursions were immeasurably beneficial to my growth, and the students were a pleasure to work with. I really appreciated the balance between working at the school and learning about the greater context through trips and meetings. I struggled at times but I always felt supported. I can honestly say I would do it all over again if I could!
A huge leap of faith is what brought me to Cape Town, South Africa during the summer of 2014. Being accepted to volunteer abroad with One Heart Source (OHS), a non-profit/grassroots program, was the the life affirming moment that I had been in search of. For four weeks, OHS provided me with the opportunity to educate and empower vulnerable youth of sub-Saharan Africa as a mentor through social and academic support. In an effort to address and close the achievement gap in the classroom I first had to gain an understanding of just how connected we all are through our humanity. Living in the birthplace of Nelson Mandela, a leader who believed in the healing power of love and reconciliation, rejuvenated my activism and pushed my consciousness to new depths. To be humbled by kindness, loved and cared for by strangers (who quickly became family), to learn and live within a culture unlike my own, and be an agent for social change halfway across the world has caused me to question what work still needs to be done so that we may achieve a non-racial society and show that we are reflections of not only ourselves but of each other.
I volunteered with One Heart Source during the summer of 2014. It was one of this most incredible experiences I have ever had. While volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa I met the most inspiring and beautiful people. Everyday was focused on experiencing the culture, people and environment. It was nothing short of a life changing experience! It is a memory I will forever cherish! Thanks One Heart Source.
I applied to One Heart Source in summer 2013 hoping to get some international experience. However, nothing could have prepared me for the life changing experience that I had in Cape Town that summer. We were a group 10-15 volunteers and for one month we lived together in Hout Bay and taught everyday at the elementary school in the township nearby. The connections that I made with my student and all the other students was beyond amazing. It was for the first time that I realized my passion for working with kids and this experience prompted me to pursue applying for school psychology programs back at home. Furthermore, through One Heart Source's amazing staff and partnership with the community, I got to experience the different side of South Africa that is rarely seen in the media. I got to talk interact and make connections with the local, talk to the activities, gain a different perspective, and above challenge myself to be a better human being.
I was offered to go back in the summer 2014 to help out with the managing of the volunteer programs. The second time was even much more better than first time. I got to rebuild my relationship with the students, gain leadership skills, learn about problem resolutions, and even more importantly immerse myself more in the South African culture. I could see how One Heart Source has developed a lot more in the course of only one year. Their partnership with the local community, growth of their staff , and their program had gotten even more amazing than first year. The months I spend in Cape Town compose of some of the best days of my life and I can't wait to go back!