Sfiso Zulu and Mbhekeni Mhlongo
A week after the FIFA World cup final had been decided and Spain announced as Champions. We hosted our very own Mpilonhle Football Predictions Awards.
This was a brain child by Musa Khumalo who came up with a concept also assisted by Jonathan van Niekerk.
We had 2 World cup predictions competitions. We had a nice function for the winners on the day and everyone got a piece of cake. Sifiso Zulu and Mbhekeni Mhlongo were the 2 overall winners of the competitions.
“It’s hard to believe it, Hey! I was there at Mabhida stadium. My dream came true, gratitude’s to Sony for donating world cup tickets including meals to us at Mpilonhle”
Having camps was indeed a superb experience. All the camps were basically great but the one that has a different experience for me, was the Maqhama Camp. WHY? Because on the 22nd of June, 2010 we went to Mabhida in the game of Nigeria vs Japan. We were all on top of the world, coaches and kids that earned ticket to attend the game. Our work pretty went beyond limits though because during the day we had a camp running amazingly, afternoon we were chaperoning the kids to and in the game. That became a serious full time responsibility looking after kids of which it gave us a nice experience and tasted our real compassion of working with kids.
On our way to the stadium we were engulfed by the power and spirit of world cup soccer tournament, we were overwhelmed other kids were crying because of joy and shock of the offer given to them- they couldn’t believe what Sony did for them. Other coaches didn’t sit down in the buses until we reach the stadium at the travelling distance of 175KLM they were singing, blowing vuvuzelas and shouting kilos. That made a mark and became the history to us. We enjoyed the game and there were no challenges.
We went back home and reached our places in the early morning hours 2h00am, at 7h00 everyone was up and ready to meet the kids again at 8h30 we reached camp sites and got to normal duties with full excitement, vuvuzela’s were still blowing in my ears I’m telling you.
The last day of the Richards Bay camp for three sites, Maqhama- Ilembe and Dlangezwa. These sites were at Ilembe primary at Esikhawini on the 5th day of the camp for kids graduation purposes, WHY? These camps were sponsored by Castrol, RIO TINTO, Richards Bay Minerals and implemented by Mpilonhle in partnership with Grassrootsoccer. There is a lot happened on that day I’m telling you, when we were arriving on site there was a big white tent erected in the soccer field at Ilembe the amazing sound system everything was strictly formal and well organized, the certificates of attendance for the kids made by Castrol were so nice, I felt overwhelmed tears filled my eyes looking at all this and kids being excited and at the same time I felt so shy and confident at the same time Thokozani Hlophe(Camp President from Mpilonhle) and Zinhle(GRS M&E Officer) were running around busy putting us in-charge of the program Nkosinathi Xhakaza (Camp Director at Dlangezwa site from Mpilonhle)was a program director, Khethiwe Madela (Ilembe Camp Director- hosted the whole function) and Mom Dudu(Health Educator from Mpilonhle) thanked everyone for support with a very nice and professional speech. There was a speech from one of coaches, one from kids and other special speeches from community leaders.
I like to give everyone a great gratitude for making these equipping events possible and successful.
Ya ne! The camps was one of the things that I will never forget in my life. It was a wonderful experience and it taught us lot of things like being a caring adult and way of overcoming problems. So we had camps in different sites like Kwa Mduku, Dlangezwa, Skhawini, Kufezekile and Phaphasi, so we had openings for our camps where we pray sing our “ZUPE!” song and give kids name tags, divide them into groups and give them food. We also had closing for the camp where we ask kids what they learnt and gained during the camp.
Nathi used the vuvuzela to signal the end of sessions.
As you all know that we hosted world cup and we decided to use a horn (VUVUZELA) for change of sessions, which made our participants so excited since there was this soccer fever .The support that we had from the participants it made me forget that we had to eat and rest because we had to be at work by 5:00 am in the morning, collect coaches and go to the camp. During the camp we had to give services like Health education, Health counseling, Social services, Skillz activities and Computer training for the community.
After the camp we had to escort them (kids) to the world cup games and that is also a thing that kids will never forget in their lives and we would come back late at night 2am and we had to go to work at 5am. Wow for me I will never forget camps and world cup.
This Holiday Camp was organized and prepared by Mpilonhle team namely: Gugu Zulu, Beni Williams, Annastacia Ngidi and Chris Kaimmer.
The camp took place in the Makhasa Sport Complex with help of local Mayor Mr Khumalo, who gave Mpilonhle a wonderful experience in working with Mduku Kids and adults in furthering and advancing the vision of Mpilonhle in equipping the community with health based information leading to behavioral change, bringing about the vital conversations to kids and adults- talking about those things people don’t want to talk about in their homes, churches or even those who are in relationship don’t talk about.
We had all Mpilonhle services in place running as ever, Computer education, Health Education, HCT and Skillz practices- new curriculum 1.1 it was a wonderful experience for our skillz coaches because it was their first time to perform the 1.1 guide after their training which led to attention to people of GRS who are our partners in this mission.
GRS VISIT- We had visitors in the site that came to see what we were doing: Derik from GRS- trainer and overseer of the curriculum that we are using, He was overwhelmed by the energy and the way our skillz coaches are delivering the practices. The promise he gave to coaches is since we’re the first site to train and perform the 1.1 curriculum in African sites. Our pictures are going to be featured in the third addition guide.
Maputo FM- We were also visited by the media from Maputo land FM and requested to have some interviews with our staff it went well and they were impressed seeing what we are doing and kids are enjoying it. They also promised to broadcast our interviews on their station on the 18 June 2010 at 18h00 to 18h30 on the famous program called Ezishisayo(current stories), and they are also looking forward to have us on their radio station for the live broadcast interviews
DOH-We then had Department Of Health that came with a nice brief session talking about MMC, HCT and TB lessons to kids that were attending Mpilonhle programs.
And everything happened accordingly, kids tested got health education, adults tested and went through health education and computer basic education.