posted by Thilo Neumann
on 20 September 2009
As another volunteer comes and goes, this week we will have a guest blog from Thilo, who was on whirlwind two month visit:
After almost two months in the office I finally have the chance to do my bit for this blog.
What was supposed to be an introduction of me and my work is therefore more of a review of my stay in South Africa as I will already leave Whizzkids today with a heavy heart.
Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, I arrived in Durban to work with Marcus and his lovely crew in early August. As a student of media management I have tried to contribute my ideas and knowledge in helping out Oli in the PR and Media department during the last weeks.
Along with my fellow countryman Stefan (who is expected to arrive in Durban for another twelve month stay in October) I focused on a relaunch of our website which will hopefully be online in October. Besides that I worked on a new brochure, edited some video footage and filled in as Paul’s assistant after Henryk′s departure four weeks ago.
The most lasting memories that I will take home are definitely from last week when Paul and I ran four World Cup tournaments in Rustenburg – one of them at a Correctional Services facility. To experience the pure joy and passion of these kids while they kick a football was something that I will truly never forget in my life.
Nevertheless my stay with the WKU crew comes to an end because I have to resume my studies in Germany. But as time flew by, I am already thinking of coming back after finishing university next year. Even though it was just two months I enjoyed every bit of it and have to thank Marcus and his staff for providing me the opportunity to spend the last eight weeks with them.
I already longingly look forward to a reunion sometime in the future!
Another working week
posted by Oli Walsh
on 18 September 2009
With Paul and Thilo off to Rustenburg and Marcus not back until Tuesday, the office was pretty quiet at the beginning of the week.
I filled in for Paul and did the weekly site visit to Edendale (Monday), Lamontville and Umlazi (Wednesday), to see the trainers, visit our existing schools and looking for new schools and ensuring our programme is being implemented correctly with all the relevant teaching materials. This was an opportunity to be out of the office (although most of it was spent in the car) and chance to be out in the field, actually seeing first hand the great work our trainers and us as an organisation are doing. It makes you appreciate that all the work that we put in, with long hours in the office, is all worthwhile!
The rest of the week was spent in the office, having meetings, looking at funding opportunities, researching ambassadors for our programme and making securing funds to build a football pitch a priority so it can be ready for the grand opening, hopefully in November, so if anyone has a spare $60,000 or so.......
posted by Oli Walsh
on 14 September 2009
So last week was slightly disrupted by tonsillitis!
It meant Wednesday and Thursday was spent in bed and extra work for everyone else in the office, with Paul valiantly stepping in at the last minute to go to Rustenburg with Thilo.
We loaded the bukkie on Friday with all the relevant equipment for four tournaments in Rustenburg (including one at a correctional facility), plus all the equipment needed for the HIV / AIDS conference in Botswana the week after as Tom and Marcus (now back from the UK) are going to meet them half way in Jo′burg!
The working week did not finish on Friday for the WhizzKids volunteers. On Saturday, Paul, Thilo and myself spent the rest of Saturday making final preparations, including trips to the office and Pavilion, but the highlight was definitely the hours spent cutting, threading and stapling ribbons for 900 medals!
Then Thilo and Paul spent all of Sunday driving to Rustenburg, let′s hope the tournaments go well, good luck!
Back to work.....
posted by Oli Walsh
on 4 September 2009
So a big thank you to Jessica and Tom for filling in the blog in my abscence, while I was in the UK. This week has been my first full week back in the office and it has been pretty busy, particularly with Marcus away in the UK.
Firstly a big thank you to Henryk, our latest volunteer to leave, who had been here since March, primarily helping Tom on M&E but also Paul with managing the trainers and visitng the schools. He did a great job and will be sorely missed, boith in the office and aroudn the WhizzKids house! He has been replaced (not directly) by Thilo who has more of a communications backgroud nand has been helping out on the new website and ICC tournament due in November, as we ll as a few bits and pieces!
Alot of time has been spent catching up on emails but also looking at how we can work together better as a team, which seems to be goign pretty well so far. That asisde there is the ICC tournment in November, the Football for Hope Centre opening in December and lots of tournaments, with oru first in a correctiona lfacility teh week after next!
Have a good weekend, maybe we will get Thilo to contribute next week!