iKapa Impact Profile on: Daniëlle Davelaar
This month’s iKapa Impact past intern profile is dedicated to Daniëlle Davelaar, who hails all the way from The Netherlands! Daniëlle studied a BA in Social Work at Christelijke-Hogeschool-Ede. She came to South Africa in 2017 to obtain her practical experience in counselling and was placed at the ‘Choices Crisis Pregnancy Centre’ (Choices) in the Helderberg area near Cape Town. What was meant to be a short 3-month stint of counselling experience for her degree landed up being almost 9 months.
Her passion for the work of Choices motivated her to finish her degree in Social Work. She returned to The Netherlands to complete her degree and as soon as she graduated in 2018, made long-term plans to return to South Africa and work at Choices. What started as a 3-month internship became 5 years of Daniëlle becoming an integral part of the Choices team and calling South Africa her home more permanently.
Danielle sums up her experience - “At Choices no-one who comes in for counselling/help is asked where they are from, how much money they have or judged in any way for their situation or circumstances. Everyone is treated with the same care and compassion. The women and girls in the waiting room at Choices all come with their unique problems, pain and feelings. They are desperate, hurt, damaged, rejected and scared. The staff and volunteers at Choices provide practical help and counselling to these women. Love and patience for the girls & women in need is always evident. We, as counsellors, realise that we cannot change their situations, but we believe that by listening and supporting them, they are enabled to make an informed decision that they feel they can live with. I feel privileged to form a part of this safe space and even though the complex situations of the clients are challenging, our team at Choices brings some light into their despair which allows hope and a way forward”
After 5 years of work at Choices, Daniëlle has accepted a similar post to help women and girls in in Malawi starting on 1 April this year.