Recently, the WhizzKids United staff received sad news that the daughter of a past volunteer, Charmaine Wheatley, had been tragically killed. Charmaine worked in the WhizzKids United Durban office as the Marketing Director as well as at the Health Academy, mainly organising the arts and crafts activities.
Charmaine was very creative and always thought of new ideas for the kids at the Health Academy to make during arts and crafts. She especially enjoyed helping the kids make cards, like the beautiful Christmas cards they made during the holiday season last year. In remembering Charmaine’s card making, we decided to honor her daughter by making condolence cards to send to Charmaine.
Last week, during the arts and crafts activity time at the Health Academy, the kids created four cards. The cards were decorated with stickers and the kids wrote sympathy messages. As part of their sympathy messages, the kids’ wrote that they hoped Charmaine will “see everything in the sun,” knowing that her daughter’s presence will always be with her.
Charmaine and her daughter are in our thoughts and prayers. On behalf of the entire WhizzKids United staff and kids, we want to send our deepest condolences to Charmaine and her family.
As June's Youth Month continues, the WhizzKids United Health Academy staff are also continuing their work to raise awareness and to promote our services throughout the community.
The HIV Counselling and Testing Campaign which we began in May is still in full swing and we are continuing to add our efforts to the government target of testing 2000 in the month of June (in partnership with the Department of Health).
As you know, WhizzKids United staff have gone out on numerous HIV Counselling and Testing and Male Medical Circumcision campaigns this month in order to allow those who may not be able to get to the Health Academy to still access our services. On Friday 24th June this campaign continued with HIV Counselling and Testing in Dambuza sports ground.
This location was chosen as it is between 3 schools, therefore the youth from these schools could come to the campaign after writing their exams. The WhizzKids United Health Academy staff worked tirelessly and we were able to test 70 adolescents on the day. This is fantastic as just through our campaign, 142 youths have been test for HIV and 24 have been booked for MMC appointments in the month of June. 6 of the 142 youths have tested HIV positive, which is still a significant amount, which is why we are always working towards the promotion of HIV prevention and education. During the campaigns we emphasised the importance of knowing you status (both HIV and STI), prevention, and of course the services available at the WhizzKids United Health Academy.
To make the campaign entertaining and youthful we held a soccer competition between the youths who attended to get tested along with some of the youths who are part of our mixed gender league.
June has been a very busy and stressful month but all the work has been worthwhile when we see the number of youths who turn up to every campaign to get tested. It makes us realise that our message is getting through and only makes us want to work harder to create an HIV-free generation.