Kamdyn Thakur, a young American living in Shanghai, recently spent 2,5 weeks volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa. She has a heart for two very important things – travel and volunteering. If i could… enabled her to combine these two passions and make a meaningful difference.
We sat down with Kamdyn to find out a little bit more about her as a person, and how she found her experience in Cape Town.
Tell us about yourself?
Most of my hobbies include service and volunteer work. I teach multiple catechism classes at my church, I help orphan kids with special needs, and I am an active volunteer at my school for events they have. I am very passionate about the environment, I am the team manager of the Bye Bye Plastic Bags Shanghai chapter.
This is my second year involved with this and we are making great efforts with trying to eliminate the use of non-reusable plastic bags.
What made you decide to volunteer in Cape Town?
I wanted to get out and travel on top of doing my internship through a volunteer experience. Africa was a continent that I had not been to before and it interested me. There is so much history and human rights matters in Cape Town, I knew this was the place where I wanted to do my time.
What did your experience entail?
My volunteer work experience entailed working at an NGO and sitting in on psychologists’ sessions, social worker’s evaluations and group therapy meetings.
How did you find the transport system?
It was very simple. I used Uber most days, but by the end of my trip, I understood the public taxi system.
What were your favourite experiences in Cape Town?
The friends I met and the work experiences were both equally great. I made so many meaningful friends through if i could… and my volunteer experience.
Were there any complications that arose during your stay in Cape Town?
I had some paperwork that I needed to complete legally since I’m a minor who was leaving the country on my own, but other than that I didn’t have any complications.
What are your views and opinions on Cape Town as a city?
A part of my heart will always be in Cape Town. Even though I was only there for 2,5 weeks, every second being there was worth it. I love Cape Town for its culture and diversity. There is always so much going on, it’s great.
What are your top 5 lessons learned?
Cape Town was my first serious trip on my own, I had to do my work and provide for myself. In Cape Town, I experienced buying my own groceries, having the freedom to go wherever I wanted in the city (the waterfront was fun!) and to get myself to and from where I needed to be every day. I’m not sure about my top 5 lessons I learned but overall I learned a lot from the trip and I’m grateful for it.
Kamdyn passes the baton
Kamdyn is one of the many volunteers and interns that we welcome in Cape Town with open arms. Our well-resourced internship and volunteer opportunities help passionate changemakers combine travel and volunteering, making sure that they leave an imprint as they move through the world.
Is it your turn to make waves in your space? Find out more about our internship opportunities here.