Stories from the Mission Field

December 2017

DayCare in Mamelodi


You are looking at a colorful wall painted with motives like Mickey Mouse and giraffes when you are walking on a busy street in Mamelodi. There is loud honking from the cabs, which never seems to stop and you hear noise from playing children behind colorful grids at certain times of day.

Up to 61 children are being taken care of in the DayCare between 7am and 4pm. There are three permanent employees. Two teachers that look after one or two classes, and a chef that cooks breakfasts and lunches every day for the kids. Here you will be helping with the daily routines like changing diapers, feeding the babies, or washing them. One of the tasks is also teaching. In the group of the one to three year olds, it is not really teaching. It is mainly standing in front of colorful billboards pointing at animals, fruits, or body parts and the kids have to name them. It is amazing when twenty pairs of children’s eyes are curiously watching you to show the next animal to scream it loudly and then to imitate the noise of that animal. Most of the time they know the name in Sotho which is the most spoken language here.

Beside the numerous honking cabs Mamelodi is also known for its Jazz music and the soccer team Sundowns.

Mamelodi means mother of melody and it is a township in Pretoria, the capital. People here are very open and friendly. Many ask how it is to live in a township and want to know the difference to how things are in Germany. Since it does not happen often for white people to be in townships every Legoa (white person) is a real attraction here. Most South African people are very hospitable and are respectful with older and more senior people. Many of them have a strong and deep faith that plays a huge role in their lives. They always pray for everything. Maybe that is why the food is so good. The typical street food is Sphalo, the African citizen. A piece of white bread filled with French Fries, Chakalaka, and meat. The most important thing with food is meat. If there is a lot of meat everything is ok. Most of the volunteers gain some weight here.

It is a great experience that makes you think of challenges like extreme poverty or a completely new culture. Spending time in Mamelodi will definitely make you more mature and will broaden your horizon.