Monthly Photo Competition: And the winner is...
posted by Daniel Schoeberl on 27 August 2010
Winning photo of August from Oli.
Winning photo of August from Oli.
Two months ago we started our first Monthly Photo Competition which was won by our Office and Finance Co-Ordinator Michelle. In August we rolled the dice again and let our members of our Facebook Page decide. This time no one had the chance to cheat or corrupt other colleagues to give them their votes. Ok, I´m sure Michelle hadn´t cheated or blackmailed some of her colleagues the last time.

All in all it is really impressive that the photo competition has proved popular amongst all of our staff members, because everyone uploaded his or her favourite pictures of August. Oli also submitted a picture even though he is no longer working at WhizzKids United, but he still wanted to compete. From the UK he had sent us a small variety of his best pictures and we gave him the chance to attend because nobody thought he would have any chance.

After uploading all the chosen pictures on Facebook, in total 16, our fans had three days to vote for their favourite pictures. Yesterday was our deadline and we got our winner which is….. *drum roll* ….. our former Marketing Director Oli Walsh. He had taken his photo during our WhizzKids trip to the Drakensberg after kicking the ball into the lake. Well done and congratulations!

Of course every month we have a prize for the winner. This time the prize is that one week long the winner will get a coffee in the office whenever he wants one. Sad for our winner, because he has left the office too early and nobody is really able to serve him a coffee. Either he has to come back and continue working with WhizzKids or we have to book daily flights to London for the next week to serve the coffee which probably isn´t a cheap solution for our organisation!

As from now the competition for September starts and I´m sure each of our staff members gives their best to win the next competition. And of course in the end of the following month we need YOU again to vote for our best photo.

Write a comment below this entry if you have any ideas about prizes for the next winner.
New staff at WhizzKids United
posted by Sma on 20 August 2010
Charmine and Nancy in the new office.
Charmine and Nancy in the new office.
At WKU we have three new staff members that are joining us to keep up our good work! The two in Durban are Charmaine (through Australian Volunteers International) and Nancy are on the Marketing team and one in Pietermaritzburg, Gugu Mofukeng, at the Healthy Academy.

Now that they are here, they are able to go on every day working very hard to keep up the good work, because we were short staff in last couple of weeks. Two of our office staff left, long-term volunteer Oliver Walsh as Marketing Director and Brian Suskiewicz, from Coaches Across Continents, as a professional soccer coach. Many thanks to them for committing themselves to WhizzKids United and their work in ‘Delivering excellence in HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment and support to youth worldwide through the medium of football’.

We are working hard to build a safer environment for children across South Africa through our unique programme: Life skills, Peer Education and Whizzkids United Healthy Academy. We are hopeful that by the end of this year we will have achieved more of our goals with the addition of our new staff members.
Former volunteer Arthur about his experience with WhizzKids
posted by Daniel Schoeberl on 16 August 2010
Arthur on our teambuilding trip to the Drakensberg.
Arthur on our teambuilding trip to the Drakensberg.
My time at WhizzKids has easily been one of my most memorable experiences, with the struggles and joys of living independently; my disastrous meal and terrible efforts at getting up in the morning, but most of all the people I met and the adventures that I had and could never have experienced at home.

The sessions and activities that I took part in were hugely rewarding. The tournaments revealed the kids’ joy of football, but more significantly a life that in Britain and possibly Europe you just don’t see. The Health Academies are unique and brand new giving me a taste of the difficulties in setting something up from scratch.

I learnt so much from the WhizzKids team like; the sustainability of the charity, AIDS, the background of South African kids and the culture and society they are immersed in. Despite the fact that a lot of the kids had clashing views and ideals, it was still clear that the one thing they had in common was football and their passion for playing it!

The use of football as an analogy, to teach children about HIV and AIDS, is a stroke of genius and I know that if Maths had been taught in a similar way I would be much better at it.
Working in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, was amazing: with the sea and coast 10 minutes away and the Drakensburg several hours drive, the location is perfect and scenic. Overall I have had so much fun and the humour and joy brought by the team made me feel at home from the first moment.

Written by Arthur Jackson.
Language school in the WhizzKids office
posted by Daniel Schoeberl on 13 August 2010
Primary School in Umlazi.
Primary School in Umlazi.
As Africaid´s WhizzKids United is based in Kwa-ZuluNatal and the most spoken language here is Zulu, the whole office staff has begun learning it. Our goal is to study the basics of the language to communicate and impress some of the people in the townships where we work, especially the kids.

Our Zulu teacher is office apprentice Sma who has been working in the office in Greyville since April and lives in the township Lamontville. So far she has led two lessons for us which must be really exhausting for her on the one hand, because she needs to be very patient with the Germans, English, Canadian and also South Africans who have really bad or no existing Zulu skills.

Ok, our Canadian Tom has learnt it for two years so comparable to the rest he definitely plays in another league. On the other hand it must be very funny for Sma, because most of us are not yet able to pronounce some of the difficult words like NGICELA or NGIYAPHILA.

We all enjoy the WhizzKids intern language school and are looking forward to the next lesson. But until then we have to do our homework which was given us by Sma – learning ten new words a day!!! Isn´t she a strict teacher?
Monthly Photo Competition has started
posted by Daniel Schoeberl on 10 August 2010
Winning photo of August from Michelle.
Winning photo of August from Michelle.
Since last month the staff of WhizzKids United has started a Monthly Photo Competition. This means that every member of our office in Durban has to take pictures and sort out his or her best ones. After the selection we upload the chosen photos on our Facebook page where the members of our account can vote for the best photo of the month.

The winner of our first competition in July was Michelle with the picture you can see in this blog entry. The snapshot was taken by herself during a visit at the Health Academy in Edendale (Pietermaritzburg). Her prize was to let the rest of the staff sing a song especially for her. So far she hasn´t punished her colleagues yet and to be honest I hope she´ll forget it!

Nevertheless we have started our next competition for August and I´m excited to see who will win. We´ll publish the pictures on the 23rd of August on our Facebook page and we need your help, because from the mentioned date till the 26th of August YOU can choose your favorite photo of the month in our poll and have a say who will win. We will also publish the winner on the 27th of August on our blog and Facebook.

Until then each of our staff has to search for the best picture. Let the competition begin!
Final Whistle at WhizzKids United!
posted by Oli Walsh on 4 August 2010
Top of Moses Mahbida - great view of Durban!
Top of Moses Mahbida - great view of Durban!
Time flies so quickly! It seems like only yesterday that I had been packing up my life to come to South Africa, and now 16 months later, I am back home!

I have tried to think of the highlights of my stay in South Africa, and there have been so many, both at work and also away from the WhizzKids United office, that I could not do it justice in this blog. Instead I have put ten highlights that I could think of, but am sure as I reflect, there could be many more! If you can think of more you can leave a comment at the bottom........

1. First World Cup graduation tournament; these tournaments are great as they give everyone a chance to see all office work they are doing put into action, interact with the kids and get a sun tan! They also take place in the townships and give a real opportunity to interact and feel a part of these communities. Ten in ten days is too many, but still......

2. Visit to Lesotho on Easter Weekend last year; one of my first trips within South Africa, with other WhizzKids volunteers, getting to see a music festival, the mountains and ride a (slow) horse

3. Working with Marcus at the World HIV / AIDS conference at the ICC in Durban. The first opportunity to present our programme, talk to people and see the passion that Marcus had as he interacted with delegates. Long days on our feet but worth it!

4. Getting a fundraising proposal accepted!

5. (Delayed) opening of the Health Academy

6. Lunch time cross bar challenges

7. Attending the first Football for Hope Centre opening in Khayeltisha with eight WhizzKids!

8. The World Cup - from media visits, to the Castrol camps through to attending World Cup games, the World Cup really was a once in a lifetime opportunity that South Africa truly embraced and am lucky to say - I was there!

9. Dancing Fridays - this could have been included in the World Cup but thought it deserved its own mention. Doing the Waka Waka with all staff as it came on the radio was great; I know there is a video somewhere, but let’s hope it never makes it online!

10. The people; while not a highlight all the people I have worked with from office staff, to the many volunteers (and the life at 313), through to the trainers, as well as partners, streetfootball world and basically anyone I have had contact with! There is such passion and dedication in our field and particularly at WhizzKids United that it is infectious, making it so hard to leave!

Okay, so I am sure I have bored you all by now, it really has been an incredible time, and I hope to see you all again in the future!

p.s. sorry Stefan if there are spelling mistakes!
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