South Africa

Power of One: South Africa

We live in a rapidly changing world, one that demands creative and innovative solutions for building a sustainable quality of life, education, and economic prosperity for all people and creatures. The programs created by Blue Star of Hope serve that purpose. Learn more about our South Africa program below:


Next Program Dates To Be Determined

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some countries are not open to tourism, so our programs are currently on hold. We will resume our programs as soon as we can.

THE POWER OF ONE PROGRAM has touched the lives of many individuals around the world. International students will join together in Botshabelo, South Africa to visit one of the most special places on earth; a children’s village for orphans of the AIDS epidemic. We will experience and participate in the day to day lives of these beautiful young souls and their caregivers, as well as day trips to local animal sanctuaries.

A little background…
We choose our volunteer sites very carefully. Extensive research and development goes into setting up each potential site. Above all, we need to be sure that the people involved are demonstrating our program ideals; being a Power of One and making a difference! There must also be an opportunity for us to contribute as volunteers to work towards making that difference.

A long time friend of the Power of One is a dynamic young Mexican/Canadian woman named Yuri. She has been passionately involved with an orphanage in South Africa for many years. She felt that the mission of Botshabelo and the vision of the Power of One were a natural fit. After three years of hard work we were all able to sponsor a team of students from Botshabelo to attend the Power of One-Thailand. While there it became obvious that we needed a Program in South Africa that supported the endeavors of this beautiful children’s village. And here it is!

Marion and Con Cloete have had a lifelong dream- of peace and understanding in their native South Africa. Having lived through Apartheid and its indescribable aftermath, Marion and Con long ago saw the need for refuge for neglected children in their country. With three children of their own they began by taking in one orphan. One child then became four and now the Cloete family is roughly 150 strong! Nicole, Leigh and Shanna have become amazing young women with their own children and work tirelessly to assist their parents in this dream of providing care, safety and love for these little ones.
Marion says that the children of Botshabelo now have family where everyone works together towards common goals. Even so, it is very important to the Cloete’s that the children remember their ancestral lineages, cultures, languages (it is not uncommon for children of Botshabelo to speak several tribal languages, Afrikaans and English), and especially their mothers, fathers and family members who have been lost to AIDS. There are not words to describe the journey that Con and Marion have been on, what they have sacrificed for their dream and the incredible power of what they have accomplished at Botshabelo. To get a bit more of a glimpse visit

allie's rhinochet giving baby a backpackgirls night- veronika

Program Overview

An International Cross-cultural Exchange Program set at an AIDS orphanage, with the added bonus of trips to African wildlife sanctuaries.

Imagine yourself halfway across the world in the beautiful hills of South Africa surrounded by the smiling faces of African children…This place is Botshabelo, “place of refuge”. Each day you wake to the sounds of laughing children and whatever adventures the day may bring!

These children were not always laughing, happy or safe- it is estimated that there are 1.2 million AIDS orphans living in South Africa and these particular children are the fortunate ones to call Botshabelo their home. Nearly all of these children have been raped, abused, and/or neglected, many are HIV positive and all have lost some or all of their family to AIDS. Here at Botshabelo they are safe from hunger, cold, illness, rape, poverty, hopelessness and fear. Botshabelo IS a place of refuge; an oasis for these children.

  • WHY: These children may live in Africa but like all children they belong to the world! Through volunteering at the Children’s Village and the rhino/lion reserve, our global student ambassadors will experience themselves in a larger context of life, gain an expanded world view, build confidence and cultivate compassionate understanding of the delicate balance and interconnection between all living creatures.
  • WHERE: Two weeks at Botshabelo, South Africa. A Children’s Village, a place where in spite of the daily challenges, miracles happen every day. You can be part of the miracle!
  • SETTING & EXPERIENCES: Our global group will volunteer for two weeks at a Children’s Village. Here we will engage in the daily tasks of caring for 150 children; from cuddling the babies to building a library and everything in between. Singing, bath time (getting 150 kids bathed and ready for bed is an adventure in itself), African dance- the days are always full and never dull! No African service project would be complete without interacting with the magnificent wildlife indigenous to this part of the world. We will volunteer at a rhinoceros and lion reserve, where we will learn about the endangerment of the rhino…and help care for baby lions! The poaching of rhinos is devastating this unique species and at the reserve we will learn ways that WE can protect them.

    We also spend one day at yet another reserve taking in the beauty of the African landscape and hoping to catch a glimpse of giraffes, zebras and the majestic African elephants.

  • WHO: Students, ages 16 and above are invited to participate as our valued Student Ambassadors. A working knowledge of the English language is required. Adults are invited and needed to participate in the Program as Adult Mentors. Our Adult Mentors are vital to this organization. You will lend your unique skills and support throughout the Program. We can promise you all an unforgettable, life changing journey!
  • WHEN: Next Dates To Be Determined
  • COST: $1750 plus the cost of airfare
  • INCLUDES:Meals, housing, ground transportation and all entrance fees. (DOES NOT INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE)
  • NOT INCLUDED: International airfare, (we help arrange this.) tips for guides and drivers, some meals and travel insurance.
  • DEPOSIT: $350 to hold your spot on the Program. Deposit due by February 10, Make Deposit…
lion and lionesskids- children's daykevin and lazi009

Program Objectives

The Power of One- South Africa has four purposes:

  • To bridge cultures through activities designed to explore cross-cultural similarities, build leadership skills, learn about ecological sustainability, propose creative solutions to local/global issues and develop peacekeeping skills as world citizens.
  • Through this volunteer experience, helping at the Children’s Village and spending time at the rhino/lion sanctuary our student ambassadors will see themselves in a larger context of life, gain a new world view and build confidence. These experiences help our young adults find his or her place in our world, know that they have one (!) and learn to cultivate peaceful relationships, understanding, compassion, acceptance and the knowledge that we are all connected in some way.
  • To instill cohesiveness in our global students while they learn to stretch themselves, live outside of their comfort zones, discover new skills and have tons of fun!

A Unique Volunteer Experience

  • Among the many experiences of the POWER OF ONE program, especially important is the volunteer aspect. This is a form of experiential learning where students and mentors collaborate with local communities, schools, projects and programs. Through volunteering and participating with various projects, our students simultaneously gain knowledge and skills, advance personal development and expand their global perspectives. This ultimately strengthens connections between people, cultures and develops communication skills, critical thinking skills and tolerance.
  • We see that so many young people are unsure of “what they want to do.” Exposure to possibilities and ideas through meaningful service, gives students more clarity about their own personal abilities, goals and interests. It gives them a sense of contribution, which leads to a stronger sense of connection and that they are a part of the global community, and in fact, vital to the global community. This builds self esteem and empowers our young people to find their place in this ever changing world.

Get started today!

Ready to apply, either as a student or a mentor? The application process is simple! Click below to fill out our application form.

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