Not so long ago, I’m not going to give away my age that easily, I was born in Sleepy Hollow city also known as the City of Choice or more officially Pietermaritzburg.
I lived in Pietermaritzburg for most of my life but I’d never ventured into Edendale. I arrived at the main hospital building to meet my head supervisor. The hospital was filled with patients who looked like they had lost their patience. So many people needed care. Many people sat in queues with blankets wrapped around them. The wards looked overfilled and the severity of cases was apparent.
WhizzKids United Health Academy Clinic was a more pleasant site. The atmosphere was more cheerful and the staff wore a soccer kit making the setting less dull and clinical. I thought to myself, ‘what a liberating feeling this must be for the children to have their own space’.
Whizzkids United Health Academy is one of the main recruitment sites for the risk compensation behaviour study focusing on young males between the ages of 14- 24 years who are undergoing the medical circumcision procedure.
As an undergraduate student, I visualized the life of a researcher as an isolated individual in a laboratory. Someone surrounded by test tubes and caged rodents. In my post- graduate years, I thought of researchers as experts who presented their findings to an audience.
Social science researchers often make a concerted effort to understand the social dynamics of the context before the research begins. Working with the WhizzKids United Team has exceeded my expectations of the research site. The findings from the study will be released early in 2014.
The staff at the Health Academy is truly dedicated and made me feel like I was part of the team immediately. I have reminisced about my Primary School assemblies each team I have joined the life skills coaches during school visits. I’m one of those who found Maths and Physics tough during High School. It was a special moment when a patient at the clinic brought along Trigonometry homework. I smiled and agreed to assist. Children are an amazing gift. They remind us of the struggles we faced at some stage and found the courage to overcome them.
Winston Churchill said: "A Person Becomes a Person through Other People". I have been blessed to meet many inspirational at the Health Academy.
WhizzKids is a dynamic environment which is setting the pace for the future generation of globe trotters. WhizzKids invests in global networking to its advantage both internally and externally. The OVC’s (orphaned and vulnerable children) are exposed to volunteers who share their global experiences very willingly with the children in various fields of activities.
I’m glad to be a part of a cutting-edge study that is taking place in my hometown and to be a part of the vibrant team at WhizzKids United Health Academy.