Youth empowerment through exchange Rotary Club of Chatsworth had the privilege of coordinating a student exchange programme for Nikiel Moodley, son of Club President Eugene Moodley, who went on a short visit to Germany.

Nikiel Moodley had a memorable and life-changing experience skiing on the slopes of Austria.
Nikiel Moodley had a memorable and life-changing experience skiing on the slopes of Austria.

The Rotary Club of Chatsworth’s (South Africa, D 9270) short term youth exchange is a Rotary International student exchange programme for pupils in secondary school.

Since 1929, Rotary International has sent young people around the globe to experience new cultures.

Typically, students have the opportunity of visiting another country, generally living with a host family during their stay.

These involve direct student exchanges between two families arranged through Rotary to coincide with major school holiday periods.

The Rotary Club of Chatsworth recently had the privilege of coordinating such a programme for Nikiel Moodley, who went on the short-term exchange to Germany.

Nikiel, who is also the son of current president of the club, Eugene Moodley expressed his thanks and appreciation and shared his exciting experiences.

He said, “I lived in Munich, in a small town on the outskirts called Grafing. I was hosted by a great, kind and caring family, the Winters. Sub-zero temperatures for the first time brought a new meaning of cold to me. I particularly enjoyed a white Christmas, which was truly astonishing.”

Nikiel added, “Their Christmas culture is completely different to what I am used to. Many Christmas outdoor and indoor activities include Christmas markets. My Rotary exchange friend, Leo and his family had a particular Christmas tradition which was really awesome.”

“It was great adapting to the diverse culture fairly fast. I made many friends, from different parts of the world including Australia, Italy, Argentina, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Public transport is easily accessible and some of the places I visited were Cologne, Bonn, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Neuschwanstein Castle and Strousberg, France,” he concluded.

President of the club, Eugene Moodley, emphasised that the programme is brilliant and should be exposed to more pupils in the community.

“It helps the pupil by learning a new language and meeting new people. The Rotary Youth Exchange is the opportunity of a lifetime for the more than 8,000 students who participate each year. By sharing your own culture and embracing a new one, you help foster global understanding and learn a great deal about yourself and your home country in the process.”

“Nikiel has come back having grown emotionally and is ready to take on his matric year. He seems so much more independent and sociable. I encourage parents to explore this programme for their children,” he said.

Source: Chatsworth Rising Sun

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