FMy name is Jenna Spencer and I am from the beautiful country called South Africa “yes viva Africa”.

I left South Africa with the sole purpose to come to the United States of America and spread the love of South Africa through volunteering by showing our one of a kind Flora and Fauna, the diversity of our people and our unique ways of cooking. We call ourselves The Rainbow Nation.

The most memorable moments in of volunteering in America is by just making a child laugh, getting to venture out to new places and learn about other people’s journeys.

I have been in America for eleven months now and I am still learning the culture there is just so much to learn and experience. America has the togetherness feel to it, everyone helps each other, I experienced this during my first volunteer program. Global awareness has showed me that the people are very generous which is what I love and has inspired me do to my best and help anyone and everyone that I can. Volunteering enables me to create global awareness to other cultures with a larger scale of people as we come together to help the greater good.

A lot of people only know about their own country whereas in these volunteer programs we are able to create global awareness educating people about other countries around the world.

My first volunteer opportunity came at a cluster event where I signed up to do an event for the “Only you Foundation for Special needs 5km walk” where I spoke about South Africa, along with other Au pairs from different countries. I then met the man who started it all.  I learned about his family and what happened to his courageous son Mikey. This story changed the way I viewed life and I now live life to the fullest each day. Doing that event I met a bunch of other au-pairs that I now call my friends.

It was the first time doing a volunteer event in America I was so nervous until I saw the excitement in the children’s faces as they were about to learn about my country. I was amazed to actually hear how much the kids knew about South Africa and that touched my heart as I saw the thirst for knowledge in learning about new things.

I recently attended another Global Awareness day at my host children’s school.  I went with my friend Alungile, all dressed up in South African props and clothes and spoke about our country. We spoke about our heritage, sports, languages, food, wildlife, and culture. The kids where so well behaved and asked a lot of questions. As we spoke about our country we heard the giggles and saw the little hands shoot up to ask more questions. I had a lot of fun educating the children about South Africa and at the end of our presentation they all stood up to hear our National Anthem, this brought tears to my eyes that I had to hold back.

At the end they were so excited to get their little passports, flags, and stickers of animals that I decorated with the colours and traditions of South Africa.

I feel as an Au Pair we should be able to do a lot more volunteer work, if we can all stick together we can create more of a difference and accomplish more tasks on a larger scale. I see myself as a bee and I hope to pollinate as many flowers as possible.