On Sunday, 30 September 2012, I met with many children in Market Square as we waited for a bus to take us all to camp. The travel was nice. We eventually came to a bed & breakfast called Mountain View. As we entered we were welcomed with warm hands. During a tour of the premises we found all of our essentials along with a swimming pool – where we would spend most of our spare time. We concluded the evening with supper and then we all went to bed.
As soon as we woke up the day began busily. The first task was to wake everyone and ensure that those who needed to take their medication precisely at 6:00 am had done so and then again at 7:00 am for the others that needed it at that time. Once those tasks were completed we moved onto breakfast at the kitchen.
Following breakfast was our first lesson facilitated by Sbonelo and Mrs Moya from Onjengami Support Group. This lesson consisted of a person on treatment and the children were asked how the person may feel about being on treatment. The lesson also included the advantages of taking the treatment correctly, eating healthy foods, and attending their doctor’s appointments. Everyone seemed to enjoy the lesson. Sbonhelo conducted a small study regarding the children’s ‘treatment taking habits’. All appeared to be doing fine and showed promise in keeping good habits to consistently take their medication.
Afterwards everyone broke for lunch and we all spent the rest of the day playing games, taking pictures, swimming, and making new friends. We all took time getting to know each other. The second day’s lesson was about ‘The Feeling’. Mrs Moya explained the difference between the many types of feelings. She spoke about disappointment, sadness, and happiness. The children also shared their views and feelings.
One boy shared a story with us, saying that one his granny called him in front of his HIV negative friends reminding him to take his treatment. He said he felt bad because his friends wanted to know what treatment he was taking and at that time he was not ready to disclose his status with them. We also motivated the children to be proud of themselves at all times, forget the bad things that happened in the past and constantly aim towards the future. The final lesson was about teaching the kids to be honest and open to speak about their feelings and what is on their mind. Most of them were grateful to have the WhizzKids United Health Academy for being there for them.
Afterwards I was given the chance to talk about WhizzKids. I explained that the Health Academy is there to take care of the youth and that we play a big role of being parents to the children during the daytime. I also spoke about the services that take part at the Health Academy such as the Mixed Gender league, Homework Club, Spa10z Hip Hop Dancing, Family Planning, Choir, and traditional Zulu dance.
In the end all of the children were happy about the workshops and everything they took part in. They really enjoyed the time they spent with their ‘spirit parents’ such as myself, brother Sbonelo, Martin, and Mrs Moya. Every child was also given gifts. The first gift was a Duduza doll for when they have stress they must speak to their dolls. The second gift was a Memory Box to write everything they face whether it be good or bad. The final gifts were sponges to relax and a blanket to always keep them warm.
We thank WhizzKids for giving us such an opportunity to learn and we also thank the WKU team and other support clubs. We enjoyed ourselves and learned so many things.