#B2B2019: Cori-Leigh McGuinness Blog

“To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, rich or beautiful. You just have to care enough.” My journey on B2B so far has been unbelievable. My journey started the night before we left, the atmosphere in the group was un-describable- I felt like the group just came together and it felt like a real team. Even though we had so many hours of travelling the whole team was so excited to get out and get stuck into whatever that was in store for us. When I woke up on the first day I was completely buzzing to get into the townships, we done a tour around the valley and the scheme to see how these people live and meet some of the people that lived there. It was crazy for us to see with our own eyes and not just hearing the stories from past B2B members. It is heart breaking to see because it feels so unfair, no one should be allowed to live in the conditions that these people do and seeing how grateful they are for small things that we take for granted is so sad. Most of these people did not even have a pair of shoes and they were still running around with the biggest smile on their face and still continued to be the most grateful people for anything that they were given. During the rest of the week we visited many different places like the creche and the primary school. In these places we got to take time spending valuable time with the kids and playing games with them. Most of these kids don’t get the love and affection that we were giving them, so they were loving it to have people to play with them and just to show them some attention. We give the kids some bubbles and bouncy balls and it was like Christmas morning to them, this is stuff that the kids back home would take for granted or never look twice at if they were handed to them. Blanco has made a massive impact on me and it will always hold a special place in my heart along with the people that live in it, especially the two kids that have completely stole my heart- Suzie and Adrian. They are the most loving and caring kids that I have ever met in my life even in the conditions that they live in, this doesn’t stop them from being the most grateful kids who never have a smile off their faces. The team have been completely amazing. Every single person has come out here and gave it their all. The team has been their true selves without hiding behind any masks. I am proud of every one of them as they have all came such as long way from starting this process to where they are now; standing in South Africa. Everyone is getting along so well and working together in the team. I couldn’t have asked for better people to be on this journey with and all of them are friends for life. In Belfast we would never see people living in shacks with no electricity whereas out here it is normal for them. Even the people are completely different, everyone out here is so grateful for everything that they have even if it is only a small thing to us like a meal. Back home all this is taken for granted and we don’t appreciate what we have, compared to the people out here. The whole atmosphere in Blanco is different, everyone is so welcoming and so friendly. I have realised so much while being out here. The main thing being that I shouldn’t take my family for granted as much as I do. Some of the kids out here are basically raising themselves because their parents don’t care for them. Whereas, my family would do anything for me and I feel that I don’t appreciate this as much as I should do which I am definitely going to start doing when I am back home. Even the stuff we take for granted like a warm bed or electric in your house- this is stuff some of the people out here would die for and I really didn’t realise before how lucky I am to have all this provided for me. Being in South Africa has been an eye opening experience for me so far and I am so happy with the things that I have realised which is shaping me into being a better person both here and back in Belfast. “And that is how change happens. One gesture, One person, One moment at a time.” 

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