We often speak of the enormous numbers of young people in the uKhahlamba area who have had their lives disrupted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
We have just received a report about the workshop held there by Vusi Maphalala and the VBLS team for the young people of the Emmaus community.
Emmaus is the location of the hospital for Zulu people, in which I lived with my family from 1975 until 1984.
I was superintendent of this hospital for most of that time and my children were able to horse ride into the local community and play with the local Zulu children in safety.
In recent times there has been a lot of violence in the area and it is difficult to hold the camps there. As funds were short they could not afford to travel to a safer campsite.
28 boys and 23 girls attended this workshop. Initially a survey was carried out to ascertain the perceived problems the young people could identify. They nominated pervasive violence, substance abuse, lack of respect for teachers and parents, the fact that most people practise witchcraft as things of particular interest.
11 topics were discussed with the intention of helping the young people value and respect themselves including their bodies and their homes. There was an awareness that many of the young people would never experience appreciation in their homes, in the community or at school. There was also emphasis on the need to be responsible
for their own lives and to value other people as well as valuing themselves.
What was the response? A pre course and post course evaluation showed a wonderful response to the teaching given to them.
The response was very good. This was evident when young people were asked to share what they have learnt and what they are going to do with all the lessons they have learnt. They have promised to apply the knowledge that was gained and they will share with other young people all the lessons they have learnt. They committed to bring a change in their communities due to the lessons they have learned.
The Philakahle team led by Vusi is committed to following up these young people. Thousands have already been taught through youth clubs and school visits. These young people will meet with our intern who runs the youth club and visits at the school. His name is Sphelele Madiba.
List of 11 topics
I am special and unique We are multi-faceted and valuable
You are valuable no matter what Our values influence our behaviour
Taking ownership of your behaviour Taking responsibility
Boys and girls have equal value If you are valuable then everyone else is too
Respect and boundaries Who is Jesus?
Make a difference
We continue to impact the lives of great numbers of young people through these special people and we remind you that your contributions enable this work to continue and hopefully expand as the need is great.