Methodist Chruch-After school program

        Ukhanyo Primary- Grade 7

        Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation- Future Fighters Grade 12

Ukhanyo Primary School


News From Masi- Ukhanyo Primary, Methodist Church, and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Future Fighters

9 June 2009
Lizzy, Kathleen, Nfundo (Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation youth worker), and Lisa (Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Director) met with the principal of Masiphumulele primary school. He was very enthusiastic about the project. He expressed that a project like this will be very beneficial for the education and development of the learners. The learners, he continued to explain, never have the opportunity to leave their community and this project will provide them with the opportunity to learn about those outside of their community and to interact with other learners from a different community. We will be started with a group of 40 grade 7 learners on Thursday.

Masiphumulele: The Future Fighters
    We met with the high school youth group The Future Fighters at 330 to introduce the project and see if they were interested in being involved. We showed some sample portfolios from boys hope/ Girls hope and explained the various aspects and goals of the project. They all expressed interest and enjoyed looking at the pictures of the USA youth. One teen stated her concern for the creation of her portfolio because she said she doesn’t have anything to share because they do not do anything there. She explained how she, as a 12th grader, has never even been to a restaurant with a friend. I explained how many of the youth in the States have a very similar experience, yet all of their lives remain very significant. I told her that this project also works to empower young people to bring about the changes that they want to see within their own communities and to engage with other youth about the struggles which they have and share and what they as young people can do about it, such as creating community projects. We also asked for their help with working with the younger youth after school program. We agreed to meet on Fridays at 1:30.

11 June 2009

Masiphumulele Primary School Grade 7: Introduction
    Today was the first session with the grade 7 learners from Masi Primary School. The principal was very enthusiastic about the project and was present throughout the session. We started by explaining an overview of the project and how our sessions will be structured. We will be meeting with the youth on Tuesdays and Thursdays afterschool from 2:30- 3:30. The youth were excited to participate in the project, although some did not seem to fully understand what I was explaining due to a language barrier. Although the youth speak some English, especially at school, their first language and their preferred speaking language is Xhosa. The principal explained that within the community English is barely spoken so this is another benefit for the children who can improve their English-speaking skills while working with us. We played a game with the ball to learn the participants’ names and something special about themselves. After the game we played music while they created the cover pages of their portfolios. Their individual pictures were taken to paste on the cover page next week. We also provided the youth with oranges bought from a community fruit stand. The first day went very well and I look forward to working with the youth next week.

Masiphumulele Methodist Church After-school programme: Introduction
    We met with the after-school programme youth for the introduction session. These particular youth are a range of ages from around 7-14. We played the introduction ball game to get to know each other and introduced the project. Their pictures were taken and they began to work on their cover page. Although some of the youth are much younger, they seemed to really enjoy working on the page and were very creative with their project. The older youth were very helpful in assisting the younger ones and explaining what to do for those who could not understand our English. We also distributed fruit to the group and walked around the room engaging with the youth who were clustered in groups creating their cover pages. The structure of the programme for this group may have to be modified at times to accommodate the younger ones, but I think it is great to have them participate.

16 June 2009
Masiphumulele Youth Day
Today is a South African National Holiday called Youth Day, which commemorates the youth who died during apartheid while fighting for social equality, justice, and change. We went to Masiphumulele for a Youth Day festival coordinated by Lubabalo Vellem, a Desmond tutu HIV foundation Educator. The youth from the Methodist Church after-school programme, who are involved in the YCCP activities, performed dances, plays, and narratives celebrating their lives and culture, and the lives of the youth who died so they could be free. The 16th of June in 1976, during what is now known as the Soweto Uprising, The festival began with the youth parading around the township holding youth empowerment signs, such as protecting youth from HIV and saying no to drugs. The children chanted loudly in Xhosa while they walked around the community, inviting more youth to attend the event.

18 June 2009

Masiphumulele Afterschool programme: About Me

    The kids in Masiphumulele worked on their about me pages of their portfolios. We brought in the portfolio book and pictures for each kid. They were so excited to have a file of their own. We also brought a couple of bags of apples, which the kids were thrilled to eat. The group started small, with about 20 kids working on the project. Later the smaller children showed up and wanted to participate. We helped them color and took each of their pictures.  We also brought in some balls to play with when the kids were finished with their project. We stayed until 6pm having fun with the kids until it started to get dark so everyone went home. It was so nice to provide the space and activities where the kids could get a snack, have fun, and feel safe.  

19 June
Masiphumulele Future Fighters: About Me

    We met with the group of teenagers in Masiphumulele to continue working on their portfolios. We sat around the table with the participants and worked together on their cover and about me pages. Since we are close in age, we all enjoyed spending time talking together and getting to know one another. The teenagers were enthusiastic about helping on the project with the younger youth in the community.
20 June 2009
Masiphumulele High School group: About Me
    We met with a group of teenagers in Masiphumulele today to work on the project. They enjoyed looking through the About Me pages made by the teens from Boys Hope Girls Hope in Cleveland. I explained the situation of the BHGH youth, and how they were part of the organization so that they could have access to a safe home environment and a good education to empower them to become leaders for their community. We sat down with the group and worked together on creating a cover page and a page about ourselves. The teens, who are very close to my age, enjoyed talking and getting to know me better. I asked them if they would be interested in a leadership role through assisting with the Youth Cultural Connection Project with the younger youth. They were very enthusiastic about helping us and will start next week.

23 June 2009
Ukhanyo Primary School: About Me
    The grade 7 learners at Ukhanyo primary school in Masiphumelele worked on their about me pages. We passed around the pages from the USA youth. The youth enjoyed looking at the pages about the USA youth. To provide them with some guidance for their pages we also created our own sample pages and wrote various topics on the chalk board to be covered such as name, age, grade, birthday, favorite color, food, activity, and something special. They enjoyed the rice crispy treats and music while diligently working on their projects.

Methodist youth group
    We met with a group of learners at the Methodist church in Masiphumelele. The continued to work on their about me pages and holiday pages. Each child received a file to keep their projects in, which made them very happy to have one of their own.We shared more pages from the USA youth. We sat with the kids and worked on the project with them, discussing their holidays and explaining American holiday traditions. Some younger youth arrived and we provided them with coloring books and crayons. We then distributed the rice crispy treats, which all of the youth loved. They asked for the recipe so they could make the treats at home.

29 June 2009
Ukhanyo: My pictures
    The youth are on school Holiday for the next few weeks but will be continuing to meet with us at the schools. We missed our train this morning so arrived at the school ten minutes late. When we entered the school, the youth were there eagerly waiting for us. We had reminded them not to be late, so one of the participants immediately let us know “you are late!”  All the kids laughed and we apologized for not being on time. We brought rolls and cheese for a snack and spent some time letting the youth play games, eat their snack, and catch up on the previous projects. We then distributed the cameras and explained how to use them.  They were very excited and eager to take pictures around their community.

Methodist after-school programme
    The youth arrived at the church and we distributed rolls and cheese and played games with the ball for about an hour. We then let them catch up on their previous projects. We distributed the cameras to the youth and explained how to use them.  Even the younger one’s received a camer and the older youth were very helpful to make sure the younger kids understood how to use them.

1 July 2009
Ukhanyo Primary: My language
    Today we focused on language. We talked about the different languages spoken in South Africa and the USA. We made a bug poster with basic Spanish conversational words and the youth repeated after us as we went down the list. They enjoyed learning a new language. They then made a page about their first language, xhosa. We walked around the kids helped us to pronounce the words. They made a list of words for us to have memorized for the next time we meet. All of the kids returned their cameras for us to print.

Methodist After-school group
    Today we had fun teaching Spanish to the kids. They enjoyed learning the different words and practicing basic Spanish conversations with us. We sat down at the table with the kids as they created lists of words from their language. They were so helpful in teaching us how to pronounce the words and excited that we were learning Xhosa. After we played games and sang songs.

7 July 2009
Ukhanyo Primary: Something that has had an impact on my life
We shared stories from the US youth about something which has had an impact on their lives. Many of the youth explained their struggle with parents who have been divorced, losing someone close from cancer, or recovering from an injury. I read a couple of the stories to the entire class and distributed a story to each child. The youth enjoyed reading the stories and shared them with eachother. They then wrote their own stories, many dealing with HIV/AIDS, alcoholism, or family.

9 July 2009
    Today is my birthday so we decided to throw a big party with the kids. We brought viennas and cake for the kids to eat. The kids made birthday cards, danced, and played soccer for hours. It was an amazing and fun day for us all.

14 July
We brought the kids their pictures from the disposable cameras. The photos turned out amazing. It was neat to see the various aspects of their lives which the youth captured. There were many pictures of their families and friends. The kids worked on collages of their friends. We brought in magazines and newspapers for the kids to cut out pictures, words, and phrases. The pages turned out great. It was a rainy day so we also made sure to bring hot chocolate and fruit for the kids which helped to create a cozy and comfortable environment.

16 July
    The youth continued working on their photo collages. They were very focused and enjoyed sharing their pictures with us and explaining about their family and friends.

Youth Cultural connection project, Cape Town South Africa