Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Archive for the tag “HIV/Aids”

Izandla Zethemba Teen Fun Day

On Saturday, 27 July, 20 Common Ground volunteers and four Khanyisa Church volunteers went to the Grand West Ice Rink for a day of fun with 34 teens from Izandla Zethemba.

Here’s what some of the volunteers and teens had to say about it:

Helping one another get the hang of ice  skating

Helping one another get the hang of ice skating

“I look forward to whenever there is going to be an outing with Izandla Zethemba because I know they never disappoint. When we go out we forget our problems and worries that we have back home. Everyone is treated equal and special. You feel you belong to a loving family. The fact that I don’t need to prove myself and I can be who I am, that is why I keep on coming to Izandla Zethemba. The outings are a bonus.”- Abongile, 17

“This was one of my best outings with Izandla Zethemba. Even though, I was falling on the ice most of the time, I had lots of fun!” – Sisanda, 16

Enjoying KFC for lunch :)

Enjoying KFC for lunch 🙂

“I enjoyed everything about the outing, especially the [arcade] games at Wonderland. It was good to bond with my sisters, to go out and be just our selves. Thank you to everyone who helped out. God bless you all.” – Nokuthula, 15

“I loved seeing the teens overcome their fears and learn to skate. I helped teach one girl who was scared in the beginning but after a few laps around the rink became so confident that she was calling out to her friends who were still trying to get the hang of it! It was so awesome to see their sense of achievement.” – Jess, Common Ground volunteer

Getting the hang of it!

Looking like pros already!

“I looked at everyone and I just saw happiness – all the teens were just being free and doing whatever teens do for fun. The joy was just written on their faces.” – Xolile, Izandla Zethemba teen coordinator

“I love the connection simple ‘fun days’ provide. Not only can teens connect with one another outside of their usual routine, but this is also an opportunity for them to connect with adults who can be potential role models.” – Marcienne, Common Good programme coordinator

A skating lesson in progress

A skating lesson in progress

About Izandla Zethemba

Izandla Zethemba is an NGO in Tambo Village, Gugulethu, which provides support care and peer education to those in the surrounding community affected by the HIV/Aids pandemic. For more info, visit their website.

Common Good partners with Izandla Zethemba’s staff and volunteers in the planning and running of kids and teen fun days once every 6 to 8 weeks. These fun days are a great opportunity to connect with the IZ teens and kids in a relaxed and fun environment.

Want to get involved?

If you’d like to get involved in helping out at Izandla Zethemba on a weekly basis, email us to find out more about volunteering at the IZ teen or kids support groups during the week.

Otherwise, keep an eye out for the next fun day!

Thank you to Intercape for kindly sponsoring transport for the teens to get to and from the ice rink!

5 Ideas for World Aids Day

What are you planning for World Aids Day this Saturday, 1 Dec? If you don’t have any ideas yet, here are a couple of ways you can get involved.

1. Host a video screening. There are some amazing movies out there that highlight the personal impact of the Aids pandemic in SA. We recommend Yesterday or Themba. (Do you have any other movie suggestions?)

2. Organise a visit to a children’s home where some of the children have been infected or affected by HIV/Aids. Spend time with the children at ThembaCare or Christine Revell Children’s Home, both in Athlone, giving the kids some much needed love and personal attention.

3. Get up-to-date on the latest news and statistics on HIV/Aids. We found this article on the UN’s latest report very interesting. (Click here to download the UNAIDS Global Report 2012)

4. Pray for those impacted by the Aids crisis. Gather a group of friends to spend a dedicated time in prayer or put aside some quiet time on your own to pray this Saturday. Click here for World Vision’s prayer points for World Aids Day.

5. Get tested! Tests nowadays only take a couple of minutes and most pharmacies or clinics do them without an appointment, but probably best to phone ahead in case.

Do you have any other ideas? We’d love to hear them!

Volunteer Q&A – Izandla Zethemba Fun Days

Full name: Jessica Granger

Congregation: Rondebosch PM

Occupation: Graphic designer/ photographer

How long have you been a volunteer at Izandla Zethemba? About seven months

When do you go and for how long? We have a kids or teens fun day on a Saturday, every six to eight weeks from 9-3pm.

Can you explain what you do while you’re there? We take some time before to prepare what has to be done (e.g. making sure the food for the day is sorted, transport sorted, there are enough volunteers etc) Then on the actual day, we take the kids or teens out somewhere fun. A few months ago, we took the kids to the aquarium, which was really nice. Last week, we also combined the kids and teens and took them to Muizenberg beach. We played games with them, built sand castles, played soccer, swam in the sea and had loads of fun! I also help take some of the photos for the fun days. (Click here for pics from the latest one!)

Can you tell us a bit about IZ? Izandla Zethemba is an organization that has various initiatives to help kids, teens and adults who have been affected or infected by HIV/Aids. Its based in Thambo Village (near Gugalethu). IZ runs quite a few different projects including the Izandla Zethemba AIDS project, a second hand clothing store, educational projects and also the kids and teens fun days. They are an amazing organization to work with and are very committed to reaching out to poorer communities. They bring hope and joy to many people in these communities. (I have seen this especially  in the lives of the children and teens.)

Many of the children in the programme come from very different, and often difficult, backgrounds. How do you connect with them? I think that by just showing them that you love them (building friendships with them) and care is a good way to connect with them. I try to be very enthusiastic and energetic during the activities (many of the activities involve teams/ groups) and encourage them to work together. It helps to build self-confidence and feeling like they are part of a team. By chatting to them and encouraging them to take part and work together, they feel more connected and more motivated to realize they can achieve things and be successful.

What are some of the challenges you face in volunteering? What keeps you going? I think sometimes the fact that some of the kids/ teens come from very difficult upbringings/ home situations, which makes it tough to really connect with some of them at times. For example, if some of the kids misbehave, its difficult to know how to handle those situations. Just knowing that I can be a part of making a difference in their lives by showing them love and care, and building friendships with them keeps me going, I would say. And also because this is what Jesus calls us to. Jesus said: ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10).

What has been the most fulfilling part of your volunteer experience? I think that realising my call to “live social justice” and responding to it, by volunteering for IZ, has been very fulfilling. Also realising that even though I am volunteering to be an influence in the lives of the kids at IZ, I myself have learnt so much, and they in fact, have influenced me as well. By being part of something bigger than myself where God is so evidently at work has been very fulfilling.

Why not share your feedback or encouragement with Jessica by posting a comment to her below?

-To find out when the next Izandla Zethemba Fun Day is taking place, email info@commongood.org.za

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