After arriving safely in Cape Town and spending an evening meeting and greeting the other 40 project participants, day 1 began by splitting the individuals into 4 teams, the assigning of roles within these teams plus defining the scope of the project. With this structure in place, the afternoon involved a group presentation taking place at the site outlining the history of the local area and previous works of this charity.
Once this was completed, the groups split into their respective teams and started looking at their work packages.
This was the day when Alice’s work truly began. Alice was assigned the role of Project support in team 4 and the day 2 schedule began with creating the product breakdown structure and then identifying and analysing the risks with her team. Cavity wall building began shortly after and took place for the rest of the afternoon. At the end of day 2, Alice produced the checkpoint report for the project manager and updated the issue register and lessons log accordingly.
This day was taking up solely of working hard alongside the locals and delivering some of the work packages on Alice’s teams breakdown structure. The evening involved meeting local teachers from the school and discussing the positive impacts that these projects have had on the local children of the area over the last few years. A visual presentation and speech was given which was particularly moving for some of the project professionals.
This day began with a continuation of the work package delivery, a major change issue occurred whilst the team was creating one of the products and it became clear that a new trench was going to have be created for completion of one of the schools buildings. Alice’s team escalated this issue to the project manager and the change request was granted. Work would continue on the delivery of this new product over the next two days, as project support Alice updated her teams schedule, registers, PBS and logs accordingly.
The afternoon of day 4 was spent at a local farm which provides jobs for parents of the local schools children, these local stakeholders were also responsible for growing the produce to feed the Global projects professionals lunches every day during their stay.
The day closed with a highlight report involving all the teams, the project was still very much within delivery tolerance despite set backs and the creation of new products for 2 of the teams.
Day 5 saw a huge breakthrough in the work packages for all the teams as the construction really began to come together. However as the hottest day so far, everyone began to feel drained. The pressure was now on the team managers to keep up the momentum to complete the work with only two days of construction work left. All the foundations had been laid from the previous day and the team could now concentrate on building the walls up specified in the work package and catch up on time lost due to Day 4’s issues. During the evening, Alice and the volunteers had the opportunity to visit another successful project that the charity SASDI has been involved with. The teams visited a newly built boarding school which takes boys from the streets and provides them with education. The project has seen some tremendous and truly inspiration results as some boys have achieved great things such as becoming qualified lawyers and chefs.
With just full four days of hard work, averaging ten hours per day, the final days of building began. At lunch everybody involved got together for a team photo in front of one of the completed work packages and recognised the impressive amount of work that had been achieved in such a short space of time. The volunteers were officially awarded certificates at a presentation ceremony for their hard work and speeches were made. The SASDI founder quoted, “if the volunteers were around when Rome was built, it really would have gone up in a day”.
Friday evening was filled with barbeques and bouncy castles! A celebration of the week’s achievement took place with hundreds of thank you’s to everyone involved alongside a party for the lovely children attending the school.
On Saturday morning each team gave a presentation to all the volunteers, project manager, founders and Chairman of the SASDI organisation at the University of Cape Town, on work achieved in their specific packages and lessons learned during the week.
The afternoon involved a trip to Rodden Island- a special occasion and great day to visit as 27th April is a South African public holiday, ‘Freedom Day’ to commemorate the first democratic elections held in 1994.
The final day in South Africa arrived and everybody was in agreement that it had arrived too quickly. The group had a scheduled morning visit up Table Mountain but there was a problem (or an issue in PRINCE2 terms) as it was too overcast and dangerous to climb to the top. The group consequently travelled to signal hill for some breathtaking views over the city of Cape Town.
The group spent the afternoon back at the hotel discussing highlights from the trip before departing for the airport. All the volunteers agreed the experience was a great way to practice the PRINCE2 processes and implement it into such a worthy cause. The building work has enabled 50 extra places for local disadvantaged children to attend the school.
Alice raised an impressive total of £639.83 in sponsorship which has gone directly to the Philippi children’s centre and towards building materials for the construction work. Alice and the team here at Aspire Europe would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who was generous enough to make a donation towards the cause.
The whole group raised a remarkable total of over £60,000 for this charity.