Teaching and Coaching in South Africa – Selina Karaboyun

My name is Selina, and my five-week volunteer teaching experience with United Through Sport in South Africa was an unforgettable chapter of my life. During my time there, I primarily taught at Isaac Booi Primary School, where I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the South African education system and make a meaningful impact on the children’s lives.

Teaching at Isaac Booi Primary School

One of my main responsibilities was teaching English. This role was both challenging and rewarding as I navigated the differences in the educational system and adapted my teaching methods to best support the students. I particularly enjoyed the one-on-one reading sessions, which allowed me to build deeper connections with the children. These sessions were incredibly fulfilling as I could directly witness the improvement in their reading skills and confidence. Getting to know the kids on a personal level was a highlight, and I cherished the moments of seeing their eyes light up when they grasped new concepts or mastered a difficult word.

Coaching Netball and Dance

In addition to teaching, I was also involved in coaching sports, which added another enjoyable experience. Mondays were dedicated to netball sessions, which were always energetic and full of enthusiasm. The children’s passion for the game was amazing, and it was a great way to start the week on a high note. On Fridays, I led dance lessons, which became a favorite part of my week. Dancing with the kids was a perfect way to wind down and celebrate the end of the week, creating a lively and joyous atmosphere as we danced our way into the weekend.

The Safari Adventure

One of the most memorable highlights of my time in South Africa was the safari experience. It was awesome to see wildlife up close both during the day and at night. The safari guides were incredibly knowledgeable, providing us with fascinating information about the unique animals we encountered. Spotting animals at night was particularly thrilling, and sleeping in the bush camp added to the experience. 

Community and Support

Throughout my stay, the United Through Sport staff members were always welcoming and supportive. They were readily available to help with any issues or concerns, making sure that all volunteers felt comfortable and valued. Their dedication and care contributed significantly to the positive experience I had. The sense of community among the volunteers was strong, and I felt like I had gained a second home in South Africa. The togetherness and shared experiences created lasting bonds and friendships.

Reflections and Recommendations

My time in South Africa taught me to appreciate different cultures and the joy of giving back to the community. The friendships I made and the experiences I had were invaluable, leaving me with a deep appreciation for the people and the vibrant culture of South Africa. Volunteering with United Through Sport was a life-changing experience that I would recommend to anyone seeking a meaningful and adventurous opportunity. 

Thank you, United Through Sport, for the unforgettable journey. I hope to return someday and continue making a difference in this beautiful community.