Well we're about to say farewell to one of our beloved team members. Fi (also fondly known as Winnie), from the "sunny isles" of the UK is about to depart Africa's shores. She, along with Cory (our zany United Team member from Boston, US who left us 2 weeks back) set up our amazing Peer Education program.
So far, 40 children have volunteered their time to begin to be HIV educators to their fellow students.
Both Cory and Fi have done an inspiring job and have exceeded our expectations.
Cory came to us with a background of assisting the set up of peer programmes whilst Fi came on a "gap" break between uni and the start of her working life. They were faced with challenges that working in another culture brings - different understandings, different ways of communicating, different expectations.
In only 3 months they produced remarkable results!
Not only did they write the Peer Educators course and workbooks, they commenced it in 2 schools and we now have children providing a fun and interactive HIV prevention education to their peers during Life Orientation courses in both these schools.
The program continues under the direction of our local Zulu coordinator, Thami with continual support from the rest of the WhizzKids United team.
This peer programme builds on the WhizzKids United programme - it provides another referal support for the kids we are working with. We recognise that sometimes talking to an adult, whether they be from your community or from overseas, can be very frightening. Talking to someone your own age who lives like you do, and understands things like you do, can be easier. If we provide a place of referal for even one child to find someone to talk to, to assist in the escape from abuse, to support a child to protect themselves - then we have succeeded in our aim
Fi and Cory have made HUGE inroads towards this cause and we thank them for the hours of time they gave to the kids: through preparation, travel to Edendale, running the courses and supervising the children when they presented to their classes.
The kids themselves have loved every minute of their time. There have been tears at the graduation of each peer education class particularly when the children realise that both these wonderful girls live so far away from them.
You really HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE, Fiona and Cory!
THANKYOU and the best of luck for the future - Cory in her studies as a Nurse Practitioner and Fi in her new work and hopefully further studies in law. We think you will be amazing successes and we miss your mad and fun ways at the Africaid house!!!
Sawubona! Howzit! Hiya! G'day! and Guten Tag! from the WhizzKids United Team and welcome to our Press Conference. We're so pleased that you could join us.
We're looking forward to regaling exciting tales of changing the lives of adolescents in Kwa-Zulu Natal, of providing hope and motivation to prevent HIV in their lives.
The team changes from month to month and so will styles of writing as each of us take a turn to bring to you the news from the football fields. We want to give you an insight into the everyday running of the WhizzKids United HIV Prevention programme as well as a ongoing update on the kids we're working with.
We hope that you will continue to join us for our upcoming Press Conferences.