Clarence Primary School, Questionnaire pilot
posted by Tom Farrar on 17 August 2009
Sanibonani sizwe (Hello world),

In Oli′s absence you′ll be hearing from me the next couple of weeks. We have been running WKU Life Skills Football Training at Clarence Primary School (the site of our head offices) for three weeks now and have completed three sessions: The Goal (which discusses the importance of goals to give purpose both to the game of football and to life), Obstacles-HIV (which talks about obstacles that stand in the way of goals, in football and in life, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS as we must know all about the opposition in order to defeat it!), and Tactics - Make a Plan (in which kids develop a strategy for remaining HIV-free!)

It is going great, the kids at this school are very receptive and easy to work with. One of the activities in the third session was designed by myself, called yellow card - red card. It draws an analogy between a yellow card in football and being HIV positive, and between a red card in football and getting full-blown AIDS. I was worried that the analogy was too complicated to resonate with the kids but it actually worked quite well in this instance. They were really able to pick up on the point that being HIV positive is not "game over" but that you have to change your lifestyle, eating healthy and taking treatment, just as a footballer with a yellow card must change his tactics and play more conservatively to avoid getting a second yellow which equals a red - just as, if HIV progresses to AIDS, your immune system can no longer fight off infections and very soon it is game over.

Furthermore, we stressed that in life, no one blows a whistle and tells you that you have HIV - you have to get tested before you can know your status.

The programme is not running at the school this week because our staff are really busy with other things. Marcus and Paul are in Malmesbury (near Cape Town) this week training 20 youth workers recruited by Wester
Hamba kahle!
posted by Oli Walsh on 11 August 2009
Hi everyone!

Hope you all had a great weekend! We here at WKU definitely did, with Sunday being National Women′s Day in South Africa, sending us all into different directions for the long weekend. Some of us went up north to visit St. Lucia, others chilled on the beaches in Durban, while I spent some time seeing friends in Cape Town!

Alas, it′s back to work today, and we′re as busy as always. We are lucky to welcome a new volunteer - Thilo! - who is here from Germany for 2 months and will be helping us out with our website and other media.

As for sOccket, last week was filled with many site visits to Edendale Life Skills trainings, Lamontville football practice and to the youth centre. It was great to get feedback - simply being here has informed me of so much and I truly appreciate WKU′s help and support during this pilot study!

Unfortunately, my time here has absolutely flown by, as I am leaving on Thursday to Paris to further develop this project. It′s been a pleasure sharing some of my experiences here with you and I hope you will consider coming out to join WKU in doing their awesome work!

All the best,

Jessica Lin
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