Action Volunteers Africa 2016


2016 has been more of a year of consolidation, focusing on the two big school programmes, YearBeyond and LiteraSEA, both of which we scaled up with 110 and 60 volunteers respectively. We have concentrated on refining our volunteer development programme and management model. We are ready to go into 2017 with some exciting new developments in store.

 Success stories


"AVA is not just work related or about gaining experience, but growing yourself."

“When I say it was challenging for me, I have always self-doubted myself. No matter what I do, I always question whether I am doing it right. What is that person saying about me? Will I fit into this crowd? Do I need to be another person? Being with AVA and doing their self-development programs, I am actually learning to accept myself for who I am. It is actually okay for me to be who I am. They have helped me grow in such an amazing way. Not even thank you is enough!

Lisa did this breaking beliefs workshops with us, where she gave us homework. We had to take time and think how many times we say ‘I should have done this’ or ‘I should have done that’. In the past, I realise I do it a lot. It is almost like you are making excuses for something you could have done. It is very hard to not make excuses for yourself. At the end of the day, you have to put your best foot forward and say I need to do this. One thing I have learnt is to stop saying ‘I am going to’, and rather just do it. Actions speak louder than words. Let me show you what I am capable of doing. At the end of the day, you get the result that you want. If I believe in myself, I know the next person will believe in me.

AVA being AVA is the name of the organisation, but the people at AVA are with you at every step of the way. Sometimes you aren’t sure who to speak to, but AVA sets this tone where you can speak to them. They really helped me as a person. I have a lot of challenges. One of the biggest challenges I have had, they have helped me overcome it. AVA is not just work related or about gaining experience, but growing yourself. Personally, it is helping me mould myself.”

Makosandile Zukelwa


"The program gave direction to my life. It gave a light to the direction I wanted to head to."

“Before I joined AVA I was very confused. Yes, I knew what I wanted to do and what I wanted to pursue, but I didn’t know where to start, where to go, or who I could speak to. I didn’t know who to speak to that will listen to me and give me an opportunity or see the potential in me. I was very confused at that point. From high school and the dropping twice from varsity, dropping out had its own a psychological effect on my mind. You start self-doubting yourself. Are you really equipped to work with people? Are you equipped to pursue whatever you want to do? Maybe I have lost all these opportunities and I wasn’t really meant to do these things. Joining AVA and going through the workshops, I changed and it made me see the world in a better light. It also gave me confidence as a person. It changes the way I see my future and the people around me. It changes how I see the world at large. AVA created more opportunities to look outside the box. They encourage you to try other things that you may be able to accomplish in life. At the same time as giving you possibilities, they teach you to be realistic about your goals and dreams. It gives direction to your life. The program gave direction to my life. It gave a light to the direction I wanted to head to. It allowed me to start believing in myself and to see changes in everything I do. I am starting to realise that there is progress in my life. I am starting to see clear and being realistic about my goals and dream I want to pursue in the future. It gives you more options to choose from to solve problems.”

Makosandile is currently in the CODEX internship programme.