33.4 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS
posted by Daniel Schoeberl on 30 April 2010
Worldwide AIDS & HIV statistics
Worldwide AIDS & HIV statistics
During this week I learnt more about the worldwide statistics regarding HIV/AIDS and while I was reading about the high numbers of HIV/AIDS infected people it gave me a chill. I found out that more than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981. In 2008 there were about 33 million people who still lived with the disease all over the world. In the same year 2.7 million died as a result of AIDS.

The number of people living with HIV has risen from around 8 million 20 years ago to an estimated 33 million, which is more than fourfold. This statistic shows us that it is vital to continue fighting against the further spreading of the disease.

The chart above shows a worldwide distribution regarding HIV/AIDS infected people. As you can see with 22.4 million in Sub-Saharan Africa the number is far too high. But also these statistics motivates the whole staff of WhizzKids United to fight against HIV/AIDS every day.

Source: avert.org
Karl presents at Sport & Globilisation Conference
posted by Stefan Kunze on 26 April 2010
Karl Hankinson
Karl Hankinson
On the 22nd April, our UK Programme Manager Karl Hankinson was invited at the request of HIV Sport to present a workshop at the ′Sport & Globilisation Conference′ in the North East of England. The conference was an opportunity for individuals and organisations within the area to learn about different approaches to sport and development; and to see how sport can be used as a vehicle for change. The conference aimed to highlight the different ways sport is used in UK projects, and look at how it is being utilised in the lead up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Karl said: "It was a good opportunity to bring together different organisations and trade ideas of how we all use sport in our different ways to tackle social issues. There was great interest in Africaid′s work, particularly how the lessons we have learnt in South Africa are now being transferred to worthwhile communities here in the UK. Conferences such as this offer a great platform to raise the profile of the excellent work we are doing out in South Africa."
My first visits to the townships of South Africa
posted by Daniel Schoeberl on 23 April 2010
Kids in Umlazi after school.
Kids in Umlazi after school.
As you know, two weeks ago I started my voluntary work with WhizzKids United. During this time Iīve learnt a lot of things about the whole programme and of course about the disease of the human immune system caused by HIV and AIDS.

Yesterday it was the first time for me going out of the office to watch how the Life Skills Trainers work. At first we visited a school in Umlazi which is in the south-east of Durban and has a population of about 750,000. There our trainers Sithule and Siphelele were running the Peer Education programme which is the continuance of the Life Skills Training and where the children will be trained to be Peer Educators, which allows them to reinforce the Life Skills lessons. For more information about the programme click on the category ďOur programmesĒ on our website.

After the lesson my colleague Stefan and I looked around the whole school building. When we were walking close to a basketball court a few kids asked us if we wanted to play basketball with them. Of course we agreed and played a kind of a mixture of basketball and rugby with them which was really funny. It was a new experience for me to play ball with kids from a township and to be the only white person with Stefan for far and wide. I think the children also enjoyed it and had a lot of fun with us.

Unfortunately we had to break up the game, because our next destination was Lamontville, Durbanīs oldest African township which was built in 1934. There we watched a training session with the four Festival 2010 kids. I was really impressed with the discipline of the two boys and two girls and it was also important for me to see that they practiced with a lot of joy.

Furthermore I am looking forward to the tasks which await me the next five months.
50 Days to go.....
posted by Oli Walsh on 21 April 2010
Beachfront construction from the stadium roof!
Beachfront construction from the stadium roof!
With only 50 days to go to the World Cup (please ignore our website counter as we have been the victims of hackers again), the excitement and pressure is building in South Africa.

While we anxiously wait for the teams to arrive, and hope none of the big stars are injured in their remaining games for their club teams, will South Africa be ready?

It is hard to gauge how many foreign fans will be coming for the World Cup, with estimates ranging from 100,000 and up! We hope that when they come, that Durban in particular, will have finished all of its upgades, from its airport due to open on May 1st to the beach front which has been a building site over the summer.

Durban is a truly beautiful city by the sea and hope that the impetus provided by the World Cup, and the foreign visitors who visit us for the first time in June, will comeback, and ensure Durban is a holiday spot of choice for the future!

In a further effort to keep you updated on what is going on at WhizzKids United, we have launched a twitter page, which provides daily, if not hourly updates!
Website continues to be a great success
posted by Stefan Kunze on 16 April 2010
There are only a few white spots left on the WhizzKids internet map
There are only a few white spots left on the WhizzKids internet map
When we re-designed our Website in 2009 we were hoping, that the website would help us to spread the word about WhizzKids in the world. And thanks to Google and its analysing tools, we now have the approval that the website fulfills its purpose.

Since the launch in November 2009 we had more than 2 500 people coming to www.whizzkidsunited.org and more than 17 000 pages have been viewed.

And the website is a worldwide success: our visitors came from 100 different countries (Slovakia was number 100) or 1069 different cities.

A big thanks you goes to everybody who visits our website and helps to make WhizzKids even more famous all over the globe.

You can also follow us on facebook by joining the WhizzKids United group.
My story
posted by Sma on 14 April 2010
Sma Outside the Office
Sma Outside the Office
When I found out about my status, it was so difficult. I could not face my family; it was like I am already dead. But with people around me, they made me see the world and life in a different way. Finding that Iím HIV positive changed my life, my mom was so worried. But she was the one who made me believe that I can still live again. She helps me to start my medication; she takes me to different hospitals while she was earning nothing. Life can change in seconds. Starting my medication was difficult for me because I couldnít swallow anything, my throat was very bad by that time. Every morning she had to wake up and crush my tablets with something and add some water so that I can drink. She takes me to bath because I couldn`t do anything. And as well I find out I had TB, which make its worse because I had to take both medication TB and ARVS. That was so difficult for me, but I just told myself that I want to have a life again. My children were also worried that they will lose their mother. But with the love of people around me Iím here getting better every day. I am still on my treatment and I am feeling very well. I just need to start over with my life.
I am so glad that there are people like Marcus who do not give up. Being with WhizzKids United I learn a lot, itís really changed so much in my life, the support they were giving me. I would like to thank them, that`s why I like to work with them again. They make me a better person, the skills are wonderful.
To young and old people, I will say if you are negative keep it like that don`t let anyone change your status. And those who are positive changing your life style is a good idea. Those who donít know their status are walking in the dark. It is better to know, so that if you are positive you can start your treatment early. Knowing that you are positive, it is not the end of your life. You can still live the life you want to live. Knowing your status is the right thing to do. All young people, you need to know your status. Life is a wonderful gift from God so live life to the fullest. I will always thank God with everything he has done for me. Let us build a better world. Be faithful to your partner, I almost lost my life because my boyfriend was not faithful to me. I am not worried anymore. Do not let other people bring you down. Going for counselling classes can help, you can live without being worried. Know your goals in life, be motivated, stop spreading HIV. So try to prevent it, without good people there is nothing we can do.
I am feeling better, and I will take my treatment in the right way because i don`t want to get sick again. It is not nice to live with HIV but if you follow all the instructions you can live well. You will be able to stand in front of my people and tell them about what it`s like to live with HIV.
You can find out more about me in my profile
My first days with WhizzKids
posted by Daniel Schoeberl on 13 April 2010
Daniel in front of the office.
Daniel in front of the office.
Last Sunday I arrived in Durban to start a 6-month-voluntary placement for WhizzKids United. On the one hand I chose the internship with WhizzKids, because I was and already am very interested in the approach and philosophy of the organization helping children to stay away from Aids and teaching about HIV prevention through the medium of football. On the other hand I got the opportunity to be a part of the World Cup 2010 in South Africa and celebrate this event with thousands of people from all over the world and of course to support the German team. Furthermore I want to improve my English skills and learn as much as possible about the South African culture.

My first two days working with WhizzKids were very interesting because I got a detailed insight into really exciting projects. I also got a lot of background information about the spread and growth of HIV and Aids in South Africa which was really shocking to me, because I never thought that the rate could be so high. The tasks which await me seem to be very exciting and I hope I can contribute my part to a successful work with WhizzKids in the upcoming months.
Thanks for an unforgettable time
posted by Matthias Kaspar on 9 April 2010
Things you enjoy always go by the fastest. I am pretty sure you are familiar with that perception. 6 months have passed since my first working day for WhizzKids United (WKU) on the 22th of October and it doesnít feel like this. I regard it as a good sign. By looking back I canít remember one day I would have wished to be back in Germany.
Throughout my whole stay I appreciated the most the comfortable working atmosphere at WKU. Everybody loves what he is doing and is convinced about the impact- to make a difference in the lives of Kids in SA. Eventually it leads to a great spirit amongst everyone who is involved. I am grateful that I could be part of the team for a period of time and that I could experience this spirit.
Irrespective of the wonderful impressions I got during my time travelling in SA there were a few moments with WKU I will always remember. One unforgettable experience I shared here already with you (see blog entry from the 4th of December 2009).
For instance I enjoyed the time running 2 weeks of our Life-Skills-Session at Greyville School. It was exciting for me to work with the kids and to see how they respond to the program. To watch the kids interacting on the pitch and paying attention to the Life-Skills lessons was quite impressive.
Today it is my last day at WKU. We will finish the day with a football game and a lovely braai at our office.
I wished I would be able to carry on working for WKU during the World Cup but I have to go back to Germany to finish my studies.
Thanks to everyone at WKU for an incredible time here in Durban.
Another volunteer goes......
posted by Oli Walsh on 9 April 2010
Matthias at Greyville School
Matthias at Greyville School
Today marks the last day at WhizzKids United for Matthias, who has been with us for six months. He has perfumed a number of duties across all departments; from very menial tasks like photocopying and printing, to piloting a film project and being an enthusiastic Life Skills assistant at Greyville School. He has been a great asset, not only in the office, but also in the volunteer house with his superb cooking skills and enthusiasm for everything he does! He loves the sunshine and the beach, which I am sure he will miss; I hope he will miss us too!

We will have a new volunteer arriving from Germany on Sunday, Daniel SchŲberl, so please join me in welcoming him.

We are always looking for volunteers, both international AND South African, to work at our centre of excellence in Durban, for placements of six months. Due to our funding we rely heavily on these volunteers who carry out allot of our office administration, to ensure our programme can be delivered in the field. If you are interested please have a look at our volunteers section or contact me: oli@africaid.org.za
Four day weeks the way forward.....
posted by Oli Walsh on 6 April 2010
Last week was a four day week, as is this week, which is always a bonus! Four day weekends, always go down well with staff and volunteers. That did not mean that last week was not productive, and there is alot more to do this week!
Paul, our programme director ran a training workshop with our trainers last week to introduce them to the new eight session manual and is running a Peer Education Workshop this week. It was a good opportunity for the office based staff to interact with the field staff and take part in drills. I really enjoyed taking part in the life skills and getting out in the fresh air and sunshine with the trainers; an opportunity to get out of the office, albiet briefly!
We are in the process of working on venues and locations for three five day summer camps we are hosting over the World Cup with Castrol and Grassroots Soccer and will finalise the plans once the schools are back for term 2.
Last but no least, we are getting even closer to finalising funding for our football pitch at the Health Acacdemy, which is super exciting and will let you know once it is confirmed. Enjoy the short week!
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