It is always good to do something and be recognized. For the past two and a half years Sithule and me have always been going to schools for Life Skills Training and tournaments where we would meet with the kids and teachers. But now I got the chance to look at our job as life skills trainer s from another point of view. In schools we ran Life Skills Sessions on many different things, with the main emphasis being on HIV. Kicking the ball around with kids was fun for me and made me really want to stay around in schools and very proud of the job I do. Teachers were very kind to let us in to their classes so we always worked hard to build that relationship.
Now, thanks to WhizzKids United, I got to move from the field to the office which is great because, as much it has been great being in the field, our newer trainers need an experienced voice to help them find their feet. So I feel honoured to be chosen to represent the Life Skills team at the office and try to make the Life Skills programme to be more fun and educational from all angles. It will be challenging for me to alter my way of teaching and transferring information from the kids way of doing things to the adults way, but with the training I have received and still want to receive it will be possible. We may face a couple of obstacles along the way of growing, but I know that with the team I have nothing will stop us from achieving our goals.
My goal is to get all trainers to be on almost the same level in terms of facilitating the training and knowledge of the manuals. We need to be best in everything that we do so our sessions can be fun for trainers and kids. The best way is to share ideas and problems in order to come with fresh and new solutions. Also, I will try to show them how I get around certain things in primary and in high schools and share my experience in working with kids. We will have the best times when it comes to translating complicated words from the manual to youth language and thus make the manual as easy as possible to deliver to the kids.
I’m looking forward to working with all the different trainers and all the challenges I might face. In future I believe we will move forward as a unit so our objective will be met commonly for we are a team that does a great job – so let’s do it together!
From May to July 2012 Oxfam Australia and Jetty run a video workshop that me and some other staff members of WKU were invited to take part in. The aim of the workshop was to introduce basic video-making techniques to us and teach us how to film and edit our own videos.
Exploring the world of video, we learnt that the moving picture is a great way to tell your story. It is much easier to get someone’s attention by showing them a video instead of handing out a piece of paper. I think videos about what we do will help us to reach more members of the community, especially teenagers. During the workshop we learned to understand video structure. When making videos you do planning and you have to imagine the scenes even before you film them. At first, you have to decide what kind of video you would like to make, for example an awareness video or a marketing video. You have to ask yourself what you hope to achieve with the video and who will be your audience. Then, you have to decide who should be the main character of your story and you chose the location where the scene should take place. We decided to make a promotion video about our Life Skills Training and the Health Academy in Edendale and we want to show this video to the youth at schools to tell them about WKU.
Concerning the storyline, we learned that a video has three acts: At the beginning you tell where the story is set and what it is about. In the middle act we introduce the characters who then tell their story. All results in the end act where we tell our main message, that for us is ‘GET TESTED’.
Another session was all about filming: Type of shots, framing techniques, the golden rule, wide angle and close-ups and how to hold the camera without shaking your hands. We had a lot of fun filming at the Health Academy and around Edendale and we took some really nice shots.
After learning about editing a video we presented our first self-made video to Oxfam Australia and other organisations that also took part in the workshop. They loved it! Now, we will keep on taking shots and produce videos ourselves to show people what we do. And we will make our first marketing video even better by adding some more scenes.
I would like to thank Oxfam Australia, Jetty and team, Pumla and Nthateng for giving us this opportunity even though we encountered some problems during the process. We will use the tools we learnt to market WKU and our Health Academy and to raise awareness among the adolescents. Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues Johanna and Neli for the great team work. Keep it up!
In our blog we will introduce the wide range of services and activities that are being offered at our Health Academy. Every week one of the WKU team members gives you an insight into why the Health Academy is so popular and successful in Edendale.
On a 3-monthly basis we do a sexual risk assessment for all who are between the ages of 11 and 20 years, who come to the Health Academy. In the sexual risk assessment we check if the young person has done an HIV test before and if so when that was and what the results had been.
If we find a boy or girl is already sexually active, we try to get more details about their sexual behaviour. We want to know how many sexual partners he/she had and what gender and age they were. The ages and number of sexual partners is often related to the young person's socio-economic situation. In these assessments we often experience that young people tell us very heart-breaking stories about their lives.
Last year, a 16-year old girl came to the Health Academy who had four boyfriends at the time. She really liked one of the boys. The other three were because she needed a place to sleep. She figured if she has many boyfriends she is guaranteed a bed every night.
This young girl has two siblings, her mother's sister passed away and her family took the aunt's four children. The father's brother also passed away and left two children behind. The girl's family took them, too. This made a total of nine children (under 18 years) and two adults living in a one-bedroom house.
The kids sleep in the kitchen on the floor and the adults in the bedroom. The house is built on a sloppy mountain. Whoever gets home early will get a nicer spot on the floor to sleep. The girl's solution was to have boyfriends so she can sleep on a bed and also have more delicious food (instead of cabbage which they often eat at home).
After the girl had visited the Health Academy and we learnt about her story during the risk assessment, we then referred the family to the social workers to assist these parents to start receiving foster care grant so that they can be able to take care of all the children.
The sexual risk assessments are important for all the youth. We hope that we can get more of them to come and visit us at the Health Academy. It is the best way for us to find out who is at risk and needs our help.
What we do is not only a job for us. It simply feels good to be able to help the people. And when we see people like this girl, who we have helped for a better future, then this is a good reward for the hard work.