SILETHUKUKHANYA HIGH SCHOOLS HOLIDAY CAMP
27 June 2011 to 28 June 2011
Camps…! Oh yeah! Schools holiday camps, wonderful!
One may ask why camps?
Camp is a great learning and social system for learners, this is one of the good ways of having relevant teachings to the youth that is still at school, because schools holidays sometimes becomes a gap that is not properly planned for by most parents to do something with their children at homes. And now Mpilonhle is really there for those learners to tackle some vital issues that are hanging in their lives, like making good choices in life is not just an easy channel to tune into and you can keep on searching for it in most days of your life, some end up in herbal rehabilitation centres because they sometimes didn’t get the chance to talk in their peer group openly, facing realities of life under full support of Skillz coaches. Talking about issues touching drugs abuse, domestic violence, Gender based violence, gender norms and also stigma and discrimination to those affected or infected by HIV/AIDS.
So all the support to kids in our day camps come from Mpilonhle staff such people are Life Skillz Coaches, Health Educators, Health Counsellors, Nurses and Social Workers in one site and having Computer Basic Education alternating with superb fun in team building exercises with the help of professional soccer clinics rendered by Mpilonhle soccer team players.
Ntokozo in the centre leading the team building exercise and Mxolisi as an assistant outside the circle
It is truly a wonderful event for learners to undergo such activities because they also find themselves engaging in topics they never thought that they- themselves can have an insight to those topics, these things are sometimes shocking when you listen to the kid’s “hot stories”- sometimes the facilitator pretends absent to let the conversation flow without formal conversation norm. So it makes them to show their true colors in their beliefs; and myths and in that way it becomes easy for a person leading the activity to tackle those things.
Your guess can be good as mine; Mama Sbongile is cooking for the camp participants “Nice ne?” Mpilonhle normally serve fruits and healthy full meal for lunch with juice for participants in the camp.
its my third year being at Mpilonhle and i must say its real great and i enjoy working here with learners.it has actual thought me a lot of things that at first i didnt know about the social discourse .our daily life its about going to high school and do the job .theres a day that i will always remember my entire life .it was in may and i had a task to do at Nkosana high school ,when i was in that school ,i was approached by an educator who told me a story about a girl child who was experiencing sexual assault and physical abuse and that made me to realise that gender based violence is rife in our homesteads and that violence against women is the most pervasive yet least recognised human right abuse in the world and it actual perpetuate male power and control .and when i was talking with that girl child i could see that violence is sustained by a culture of silence and denial of seriousness of the health consequences of abuse .i must say i feel strongly about this social ill and it is everybody’s responsibility to adress this socail ill .how can we adress gender based ? we can adress it by having empowerment programmes ,women need to be empowered economical, educational and political we also need to involve men in the campaign .we also need to do public awareness where we will teach people how to identify that they are being abused , what to do when you are experiencing violence we also need to have local organisation where women and girls can go to and break the silence without being judged.we at Mpilonhle have started doing that in our health education curriculum there is a part that deals with gender based violence and skills curriculum there is a part also that talks strongly about this issue we called that part women summit and men summit its very interesting and informative.i would like to close by saying women who are in abusive relationship are particularly at risk of exposure to hiv infection due to further violence abandonment or loss of economic support if they attempt to negotiate safer sex or refuse sex and it reflects and reinforces inquities between men and women and any of the abuses can leave deep psychological scars,damage the health of women and girls in general.
Mpilonhle is playing an important role for moral generation in school, because of the behavior change. Starting from skills couches to health education, counsellors, nurses and social workers, kids were there to get services from Mpilonhle because they knew that they get impact in what we are giving them.
As health counsellors we do pre-post counselling. We are proud of what we are doing at Mpilonhle and I think we can do more for the kids because most of them they are orphans and others have single parent.
Today, 29th June 2011, we had the first ever meeting of field assistants from the 12 high schools we work in. The meeting was quite an eye opener. The meeting was opened with a prayer from one of the senior( in years) field assistants. The Mpilonhle accountant gave an overview of the IDT Grant including the new grant. This was followed by a lengthy session of question time. Much was revealed in the session and the Accountant did a fantastic job in responding to all the questions. There were many suggestions on improving the working relationship with the schools. These will certainly be implemented. All in all, a good meeting in which to clear the air and inform everyone present which resulted in a better relationship between Mpilonhle and the Field Assistants.