A GROUP of US student volunteers have travelled to South Africa hoping to make a difference in under resourced communities by helping a number of Cape Town based NPOs. The exchange programme was part of an initiative by Student Athletes Abroad. Beyond Sports director in South Africa Nawaal Nacerodien said the students contributed in areas such as fundraising, research and social media communications. "While many of the students are excellent athletes, they were mainly selected for their people skills that enable them to make a difference in a variety of programmes. The students have spent time at Inyathelo the South African Institute for Advancement strategising, planning and undertaking research using its state of the art facilities. They also volunteered at NPOs across the peninsula. Chelbi Graham, 20, who is studying early childhood education at John Carroll University in Ohio and excels in basketball as well as track and field events, worked with Project Playground in Langa and Gugulethu. Project Playground is involved in activities like netball, soccer, art, dance and after school tutoring. It helps children develop their self esteem. Marie Brockman, 22, who is a biology graduate from Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, said she "fell in love" with the country Brockman got involved in Community Health Interven tion Programmes. These exposed her to learning and physical activ ity programmes for four to nine year olds at 17 Cape Town schools. Inyathelo Operations director, Feryal Domingo, said the students were "energetic, focused and fun".