Five weeks with the GameChangers
posted by Friederike Moeller on 5 September 2014

Hello, my name is Friederike. I am a German student and I came to South Africa for an exchange semester to study Humanities at the UKZN in Pietermaritzburg. After I finished my semester I wanted to stay and I wished to experience something else than the campus life.

A friend recommended WhizzKids United to me and so it happened that I stood in front of Stefan introducing myself and asking for the chance to volunteer for a couple of weeks. I got involved with the programme called “Game Changers”. I was helping out with teaching as well as with preparing and evaluating the lessons.

I enjoyed the work a lot because it was fun to think of different exercises to develop skills like presenting, summarising, discussing or mediating. It was an awesome feeling to see how the Game Changers grew during the classes and how they could improve their skills when we repeated the exercises again and again. In the classes I could be very creative to find different ways to support the interaction between the Game Changers but also to support the individuals themselves at the same time. Game Changers is a great project because individual care of the learners is taken. It was always possible to stay flexible in the classroom and to enhance the basic lessons with exercises the learners wished for. I could come up with specific trainings if I saw a need for them when the learners lacked a certain skill in a former exercise.

I learnt a lot myself, too. I have now a deeper understanding of the Edendale community, its needs and the education system here. It was not always easy to explain facts, motivate the class and push the learners to finish the tasks in time. Nevertheless I am very thankful that the Game Changers respected my way of teaching and were patient to understand my accent. I am very proud of their work so far and hope they will all have very good experiences in their internships. I will miss them and the work with them a lot as well as all the great staff members of the Health Academy who welcomed me in this typical African warm-hearted way. I will also miss to watch children having fun on the football pitch after school. But I will keep the positive energy of WhizzKids United and bring it back with me to Germany.

A New Henrike
posted by Henrike Heierberg on 12 August 2014

I can´t remember what it was like to explore the world for the first time when I was a baby, but I guess that I have learnt nearly as much in the past eight months as I did in my first year of life. Working for WhizzKids United has taught me a lot.

Firstly, I got to know myself better. Through interactions with my colleagues I was shown where my strengths and weaknesses are, which means a lot to me as it helped me to make use of my strengths, improve my weaknesses and use them to grow as a person. The Henrike who will go back to her home in Germany in September will be a different one than the one who came to South Africa in December.

Secondly, I could not have chosen a better country than South Africa to volunteer in. The diversity of this country has impressed me. Sure I have found some things difficult: I have often struggled with situations where racial differences were obvious, but still, many times I was also impressed by the society. Having so many groups with such different cultural backgrounds in the same place, working together can be challenging; yet, you guys manage well. I will take this mindset back to Germany and show my friends there how it can work. It is definitely one aspect where I see a need for action in my home country. The German society could learn a lot from South Africans.

Finally I noticed how important it is to me to have a direct impact on the community with my work. Having the chance to support WhizzKids United´s achievements in Edendale makes me grateful. I haven´t got in contact with most of our clients, but the few I got to know are enough. I can see how much they can gain from both our health services and all the other activities which empower the youth. By coming to WhizzKids the adolescents can be helped, have fun and grow.

That´s what I enjoyed most about volunteering for this great organization.

Even though my time in KwaZulu Natal is limited, my biggest wish is to stay involved with WhizzKids and keep supporting my colleagues to give Edendale´s youth a brighter future.

Nontobeko Zuma- Game Changer!
posted by Osaebea Amoako on 21 July 2014

I am Nontobeko Zuma. I am an enthusiastic, fun, approachable and adaptable young woman.

 

Before I attended Game Changers (A programme for young people between the ages of 18-24 that supports them with skills for the job market), I was a graduate looking for work experience and who lacked the financial resources to further my studies. I heard about Game Changers and applied immediately. During the application process I was called for a two day interview. Day two of the interview process was based on teamwork and creative thinking. Through the interview process and all the challenges, I was fortunate enough to be selected onto the programme.

 

Having been through the Game Changer programme, I currently support the WhizzKids United Girls Football Team as an administrator and liaise between players, management and the other teams. By being part of this team, I have acquired various skills, for example, planning for football matches, writing monthly reports, providing weekly feedback to management and booking and organising transport for game days. I am also at present attending driving lessons because I know that it would increase my chances of finding employment.

 

Going forward, I hope to learn as much as I can while being part of WhizzKids United. Game Changers helped me to identify skills relevant to the work that I am doing now.

Things I would love to experience in Brazil
posted by Sphesihle Dlamini on 24 June 2014

The things I would love to experience or have knowledge of when I am in Brazil is to learn some of their language, their culture and the way they do things like rituals and traditions. I would also like to experience how they keep life moving, the hustle and bustle of life there. I want to learn how they spend time together and how they play their sports such as football. I heard that football is the best sport in Brazil and in Brazil, children start preparing for professional football at the age of 9!

I heard there is a beautiful stadium in Brazil called Marracana Stadium. I would like to see it by my eyesand touch it by my hands and I would like to learn what food they eat is Brazil and there is a mountain called Sugar Loaf Mountain which I would like to see.

Learning all these things I have mentioned will help me get to know more about Brazil!

Yeah neh! I am going to Brazil to represent South Africa, our country!
posted by Xolani Molefe on 24 June 2014

Yeah neh! I am going to Brazil to represent South Africa, our country! Even though South Africa did not qualify for the world cup, but I will be there. I am going to learn a lot of new and different things in Brazil even though I am not sure what yet. I will meet and play against people from 32 different nations!

The only thing I am sure about is that we all know that Brazil is a popular country when it comes to football, they produced quality players like Ronaldinho , the king of football. Since I am a footballer as well, I know that I will learn a lot more about football in Brazil.

Yeah neh! We will have fun there and I am 100% sure we will win the tournament no matter what!

I am going to Brazil!!!!
posted by Sanelisiwe Mthembu on 24 June 2014

It is quite a great honour and an experience of a lifetime, you know! Getting to visit another country, especially a country like Brazil, getting to go to a famous city like Rio de Janeiro, it is AMAZING!

I look forward to seeing how their life differs from ours here in South Africa. I also want to learn about other countries while I am there and I hope to teach them a bit about South Africa too.

I am going to make lots of friends when I get there. I hope that they will treat me with respect because I will give them all the respect I possibly can. I want to come back with an experience and football skills that I will teach my fellow peers.

When they ask me how my trip was, I know there will be a lot of answers because I would have learnt a lot!

Words cannot express the emotion within me
posted by Fisani Mtambo on 23 June 2014

At times it feels like a nightmare that I may wake up and find that this was all a dream, but in reality it is not!

Being as young as I am it is very rare to actually travel outside your country AND to represent the whole of South Africa in Brazil. It makes me wonder and search for what is so special about me, but at the same time it is an enormous feeling knowing that out of many young people, I was selected. I am so pround of my dedication and determination

I hope that Brazil will accept us for who we are and be warm, loving and welcoming. We are going to be in a big city in a big country so I think a lot about safety and crime and health but I believe that it will be okay. We are all from different countries and love, trust and respect will grow from all of us.

When different opportunities knock I jump higher to see my luck....
posted by Nokulunga Mdluli on 17 June 2014

When different opportunities knock I jump higher to see my luck. Dreams and ideas are the shape of things to come and I’ve always dreamed big. Who would have known that I can reach overseas at my age? This is huge! A once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will tell to the future generation.

I never listen to laziness. Laziness could never understand. I just so wish that it was already the day we are heading to Brazil. As I sit and wonder every day, I am wondering how they are going to treat us, what they might expect from us, what the trip as a whole will be like. It puts a big smile on my face. I am just so extremely happy to be part of the delegation from South Africa.

Nokulunga Mdluli

Siyakhona reflects on 20 years of freedom
posted by Siyakhona on 8 May 2014

2014 marks 20 years of freedom and democracy for South Africa, and seeing as many of the participants of our Siyakhona programme were born around or after 1994- when South Africa first became a democratic nation, we thought we would engage them in a discussion about what 20 years of freedom means to them. Here is what some of them had to say:

It means a lot to me because many things have changed for black people and also here in South Africa. We are allowed to do things we couldn’t do before like voting and marrying whoever we want to. We are progressing as South Africans.

I still think a lot has to be done because certain people and places still have stigmas when it comes to race. What I personally feel as a young South African is that there are amends to be made and as part of the generation of “born frees” I think that the second breakthrough is up to us.

I know that I received a better education than my mother did and that I have a right to have a say in the world today as well as to choose a job that I will like.

I was born in 1991 and throughout the 90’s, even though we got our freedom in 1994, and apartheid was still in the air, I was one of a very few black people who got accepted to a private school that previously did not accept black students. Not only that but my mom and I lived in a largely white community which did not help much. I was constantly called “Kaffir” and my friends and I would get punished more than our white classmates. 20 years later I see no difference in the way that we treat each other. I also think that the people we trusted to help us haven’t done that to the best of their abilities. We are neglected by our heroes which has forced us to seek survival tactics.

It means that we are able to go to any schools and all have similar education but some other schools have no access to things such as sports facilities and textbooks.

It means a lot to me because many things have changed for black people and also here in South Africa. We are allowed to do things we couldn’t do before like voting and marrying whoever we want to. We are progressing as South Africans.

Without any doubt, everything is in our hands

I think we are very lucky to be “born frees” of South Africa because we did not face a lot of political issues like our parents did.

A lot has changed but few things remain the same. Like homophobia-. What I personally discovered is that no education in the world can change the way some individuals think. Our law is against people who are prejudiced but you can still find policemen being prejudiced based on gender orientation. South Africa is for all who live in it and we have freedom of expression.

It means that we have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else.

Arts and Crafts at The WhizzKids United Health Academy
posted by Selverani Govender on 6 May 2014

Arts and Craft under my supervision began here in February 2013.

We have done work with collages of figures, charcoal and wash drawings of the new building at the Health Academy.

The arrival of a continuous project for our student lay at the centre of my thinking while I worked with them from February until August. It was then that, after having watched and thought about the work of the students and their ability, I was able to concieve the T-Shirt project, for the students to express their artistic ability as well as to give our international volunteers something to take back home with them.

The T-Shirt project works with the names of the students and the symbols which are linked to the student names. For example the name Andile means abumndance in isiZulu and is linked to an image of the ocean or sky.

By painting the symbols linked to their names, the students are painting things rather than concepts. The stuudent names provide the stimulus for the response to the things painted. I also find that this project enhances group activity.

I enjoy working with the students that I meet.

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LATEST POSTS

5 September 2014
Five weeks with the GameChangers
12 August 2014
A New Henrike
21 July 2014
Nontobeko Zuma- Game Changer!
24 June 2014
Things I would love to experience in Brazil
24 June 2014
Yeah neh! I am going to Brazil to represent South Africa, our country!
24 June 2014
I am going to Brazil!!!!
23 June 2014
Words cannot express the emotion within me
17 June 2014
When different opportunities knock I jump higher to see my luck....
8 May 2014
Siyakhona reflects on 20 years of freedom
6 May 2014
Arts and Crafts at The WhizzKids United Health Academy

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