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Within the largely secluded and beautiful region of South Africa is the little village of Port Saint Johns.

The authentic landscapes and villages of the Wild Coast’s valleys, where Nelson Mandela spent his childhood and first years of school, intrigue and attract travelers from all over the world looking to discover other cultures.

The Amapondo Backpackers Lodge offer travelers the opportunity to stay and live as long as they like in exchange for volunteer work. The previous owners also helped create a pre-primary school located in the Mthumbane neighborhood, a means to make tourism more beneficial for the local population.

Today a small NGO, the “Amapondo Children’s Project” (ACP) continues to support this school in an attempt to mitigate the region’s severe lack of infrastructure.

“It’s the only pre-school we have here, our school is a school of donations”

Photo de Nonkuselo Ntsepo

Nonkuselo Ntsepo

Teacher at Mthumbane

“We try to support the schools, we believe that it all starts with education, and the stronger the foundation is the better you will do in life.”

Photo of Elizabeth Vanden Schrieck

Elizabeth Vanden Schrieck

ACP Project Manager

“If this school wasn’t here, there’d be a big problem to get the youngsters to school.”

Photo of Steve Allen

Steve Allen

ACP Regular Volunteer

“It can only be positive to have people from all over the world interact with people who’ve grown up in a very small village. It can only be a beautiful thing.”

Photo of Thebo mosothoane

Thebo Mosothoane

Amapondo Backpackers’s operational manager
Child at school on the Wild Coast
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Why this video report?

In addition to promoting cultural exchange, Amapondo Backpackers participates in fundraising and also provides accommodation for the Amapondo Children’s Project (ACP) volunteers and employees. The ties between this hostel and small NGO appealed to us because it symbolizes the benefit of tourism for the development of a region.

Moreover, we were looking for an association that supports access to school in a disadvantaged area and works in collaboration with the local community which is exactly what ACP does. Thanks to parent and teacher investment, it’s above all a real community project that supports this partnership. This project also rests on the benefit of access to education as early as possible in order to help parents but mainly to enable children to better adjust to the classroom environment later on.

All these reasons inspired us to create our first report. “First Lessons” represents the first steps towards education for the children of Mthumbane, but also our first steps into video production!

Credits

Title: First Lessons

With the participation of: Elizabeth Vanden Schrieck, Steve Allen, Thebo mosothoane & Nonkuselo Ntsepo

Music: West African by Hicham Chahidi

Copyright music: https://www.musicscreen.org

Duration: 10 min

Subtitles available: Français et Anglais

Main locations: Port Saint Johns – Mthumbane

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