Last Friday, the WhizzKid United staff from Durban joined the Health Academy staff for a team building event to beautify the Health Academy. The day began at 9:00am with three large buckets of paint, a dozen paint brushes, five paint rollers and paint trays, masking tape, and 18 staff members wearing old clothes and ready to paint!
When this event was first mentioned, I was a bit puzzled. I thought team bonding events were supposed to be fun adventures, not work! Not to mention, most of us had never painted so we thought it would be difficult especially since we lacked any experience.
After we got started, I think everybody began to see it could be a fun day afterwall. We split into teams and painted the walls inside of the Health Academy with shades of blue and white and the picnic tables outside with brown. We were all designated a job. I was a painter outside helping paint the picnic tables while others were rolling, masking, edging, and cleaning (only a few minor paint spills!) We worked all morning, took a break for lunch (and a bit of football of course) and then finished up the job by 4:00pm. In the end, the day really brought us all excitement and a feeling of satisifacation. It certainly was not an easy task, but we all worked hard and shared a few good laughs.
Now the Health Academy has a fresh, bright new look to maintain its vibrant, youth friendly environment!
On behalf of the Health Academy staff, we owe a huge thanks to our boss, Mr. McGilvray, and the rest of the staff that added a helping hand!
It was a once in a lifetime experience being a part of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) in Doha, Qatar. I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to travel overseas and represent WhizzKids United and South Africa. It was late last year when I sent my application to the United Nations Office for the camp and I was so excited to get the news that I was accepted. Prior to this trip, I had never travelled outside of South Africa. In Doha, I received a warm welcome from the Aspire crew, Mr. Wilfried Lemke (Special Advisor to the Secretary of United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace) and all the facilitators and fellow participants.
It was an honour to spend the week with Mr. Lemke, the facilitators from Right to Play and other participants from different sub-Saharan African countries and the Palestinian Territory.
During the week we focused on the 8 Millennium Development Goals and learned great information on how to use sport as a tool to achieve the goals. All of the participants got a chance to present our respected organisations’ practices and how we deliver our message using sport as a tool. I gained a lot from the other presenters, especially about including people in our programmes who are blind and disabled. I also gained some tips on how to write a proposal and how to solve conflict in our communities. Most of all, I enjoyed the sharing of ideas with the participants who came from different backgrounds in sub-Saharan Africa.
Some of the highlights from the week included running football drills with the Liverpool FC players, exploring Qatar, seeing camels, riding in sand drifting cars, going to the beach, and spending time in the incredible Aspire Zone venue. Through these fun activities, I enjoyed the opportunity to experience elements of a different culture (something I never dreamt I’d do!).
As we know, WhizzKids United uses sport to deliver our message and works to achieve two of the eight MDG's. I look forward to applying what I learned at the camp with the youth here in KwaZulu-Natal. One immediate lesson I want to put into practice is engaging the youths’ parents more often and further promote WKU and the Health Academy’s services.
Thanks to UNOSDP, Aspire, and everyone who made the camp a truly incredible experience!