Mpilonhle just completed it’s week long camp at Vezobala High School, which is on the way to St. Lucia. We brought out our three mobile health units with H.C.T. nurses and social workers. We also had health education, computer training, GrassrootSoccer program, netball, and soccer/games. We had expected 600 kids but for most of the week there were only 200-300 kids that actually showed up.
Thokozani Hlophe was the Camp Director. Mpume and Khethiwe were in charge of registration. Nathi’s job was to make sure all the kids had food in their bellies every day. We opened our camp on Monday with about 200 kids. We sang our Zupe song and then divided the kids into three teams; Ugalakajane, Isiqalo, and Sisonke. Each team had nine different colored groups, so all together there were 27 groups. We assigned one peer educator (coach) to each group. The groups would then rotate through stations each being an hour and a half.
Every day the kids would start with one session of activities and then we would have breakfast. The ladies in the kitchen prepared fruit, bread with butter and jam, and juice for all the kids. Then they would have two more sessions of different activities and that would lead us to lunch time. For lunch, the ladies prepared a full meal every day for all the kids. Our peer educators did a great job of controlling their groups and making sure they waited patiently for their turn to eat. It all went smoothly and the kids were happy.
Soccer/games was run by Lorrie and Jason. They taught soccer techniques and also had other fun games for the kids including team building exercises and ice breakers.
The GRS peer educators did their 11 skill practices throughout the week.
The H.C.T. nurses and social workers were offering counseling and other services to the kids in the mobile health units.
Computer training was run by Sakho, Mpi, and Sifiso. They taught basic computer skills.
Netball was run by Jomo and taught basic netball skills.
TOMS Shoes were generous enough to give us a shipment of donated shoes, which was distributed by Nathi at the end of the last day of the camp to all the kids. We were able to provide 332 kids with a brand new pair of shoes.
So at the end of the week on Friday, after we distributed the shoes, we had kind of a closing ceremony. The kids were singing and telling us what they learned throughout the week. Our skillz coaches were doing energizers and Tim even stepped in to lead one of his energizers (one coffee, two sugars). All in all, the camp was a success and the kids had a great time. The kids were asking us to come back on their next holidays. We will miss those kids because of their enthusiasm and participation. We couldn’t ask for better campers. We hope to do more camps like this in the future.