Stories

Brandon Hiemand

I Brandon Hiemand have been involved in Watergarden for two years and what a rewarding, fruitful and amazing experience it has been. Watergarden has but only given me a taste of community work which has awakened a childlike spirit within me and has motivated me to feed of energies that similar spaces provide.

I’ve been interviewed once and asked what my worst experience with Watergarden was and after a long while I couldn’t think of any and at the same time I was asked what my best experience was and instantly I just babbled insanely about the numerous encounters I had with the children and the coordinators. I could however remember the best feeling felt and that was watching a child striving to be better than the next which evoked that same feeling in me and in those simple moments of reciprocity it drove me to go back for more.

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Michéle Paris

"...is Watergarden worth it? No doubt about it!"

For the past year, Watergarden has definitely been a huge part of my life. And although at times I felt like I wanted to give up, and it wasn’t always a walk in the park, in the end if you’ve touched one child’s life, you’ve done your job. And fact is we, as a team, touched many children’s lives last year. And that makes every hard time and tear worthwhile.

It becomes so easy to get caught up in one’s own obligations and commitments, but every now and then one of those children do or say something so special that brings you right back down to earth and you realise it’s not really about you, but about those children. Children, who faithfully come every week, come rain or shine, to learn and play and just be kids. That’s what they are after all. And for one afternoon a week you get to be a kid again too and forget about everything else.

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Hanri

Watergarden project

Watergarden is an amazing experience and has become the highlight of my week! It's such a enriching feeling to have a part and see the changes amongst the children of Klamuts.

The children are always booming with excitement as we arrive and water garden has become a daily ritual which they look forward to. It is just such a privilege to see these children transform before your eyes. At fist the children was cautious and remained at a safe distance with little respect toward the volunteers. But within a week or two changes were clearly visible. The children became more open and inviting both in the games we played but also at a personal level. There respect also increased drastically especially to the older volunteers. The children developed a strong need to share their abilities and talents with the volunteers. It is amazing how much talent and potential the children possess. As the program progressed the children became more eager to receive assistance in homework and take part in other academic activities such as learning.

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Amor Sloet

Influence

When I heard about the opportunity of becoming a volunteer at the Watergarden Project, I just couldn't wait to agree to do it. I thought about what an amazing chance this could be for me to be a good influence on children that are at a stage or age that they are easily influenced. Little did I know that by influencing others, I'll also be affected. This project affected my whole life's philosophy.

Wonderful things have happened. The children were extremely shy, timid and uncommunicative. It was really hard communicating with them. They wouldn't look us in the eye and sometimes even refused speaking to the volunteers. Previously mentioned is not because they were rude, but simply because they just didn't have the courage.

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Minette Oelschig

An absolute enlightening experience

Watergarden has been an absolute enlightening experience for me this semester. I have gotten to know the children, their environment and what happens in their daily lives. It is my first experience of working with these children and in a community project such as this.

A definite connection has been formed between the children and us. The children have become more open and warm towards us and I think we have become to serve as friends, role models, teachers, counsellors and adult figures to the children. I know that the time spent there and the love and empathy which we shine out to these chidren is something which is very meaningful to them.

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