HALO Msc student Holly Ockenden travelled to Empangeni, South Africa in August to volunteer for Izulu Orphan Projects, a non-profit organization that educates, feeds and supports over 1,700 rural South African orphans, as well as the children of HIV positive widows.

Holly explains more about her volunteer work and experience in South Africa:

While in Empangeni, I assisted primarily with child assessment trips out in the field, where we were responsible for assessing the living conditions of the orphans and make sure the families were receiving the help they need. I also helped with cultural ceremonies (one of which was a large national women’s day celebration).

My time at Izulu Orphan Projects (IOP) was wonderful and very impressive. Although a short stay of only 2 weeks, I was able to gain invaluable experience working within the communities, especially the foster family visits were very impressive. To see the hard living conditions was sometimes quite shocking but IOP is working non-stop to improve the life of so many local families.

More information about IOP and how to donate can be found here: www.izuluorphanprojects.co.za