This year, 5 of us – Stuart, Diane, Tim Sayer, Marion and Bill were involved in many different areas over our fortnight in South Africa. Before we went we all felt it very important to spend more time with the teenagers, teaching life-skills and spending quality time with them.
We were also asked to run a 3 day Psycho Social Workshop in the community. With the younger kids at the Childrens Home, we played games, did a bible story and craft work. We also went out to remote areas, to visit some needy families, with the chief Social Worker.
PSYCHO SOCIAL WORKSHOP
The Psycho Social Workshop was held at a school out in the community. It was about 20 miles away – half of which was off road. We spent the 3 days with 60 – 70 orphans.
The first morning we arrived, there was a bunch of young lads hanging around waiting. Stuart broke the ice brilliantly by just lobbing them a football. We spent our time, with groups of these kids, playing, laughing, talking and teaching them the Joseph story.
At the same time, LK staff led different groups counselling and helping them deal with the issues that they all face.
Bill had Group of older lads, for 1 session. They chatted about school, job prospects and unemployment and Bill was taken aback by how intelligent and mature they were. We still get text messages from one of them.
Stuart took a photo of every young person, both at the workshop and the home. We got them developed and gave everyone a photo.
At the Children’s Home, we played lots of games, did a bible story and did a lot of craft work with the younger kids.
Marion & Diane taught some teenage girls and boys to sew.Part of spending time with the teenagers was WORKING WITH THEM DECORATING
We had many teenagers helping with decorating the older girls’ houses. At several points, they were in all rooms and outside, all painting furiously. They weren’t keen on preparation but they learned. They did a good job.
WE SPENT LEISURE TIME WITH TEENAGERS
We took all teenagers out to a safari park. Two minibuses full – kids constantly wanted to change buses. Best part was a large hide by a waterhole where we saw many many different animals.
Then on for a BBQ by a lake – full of hippos!! I still don’t know what we’d have done if a hippo decided to come ashore. They certainly knew we were there and kept snorting at us. Apparently hippos can run very fast.
Rachel’s youth worker worked very hard and cooked up a huge amount of meat. We called them all together for a photo, at which point some monkeys stole the lunch of a couple of kids,
We also took them out for an evening meal, at a nice restaurant. For them this was a very special treat, which they talked about for days, before and after. Some of them were so dressed up. Some girls were barely able to walk in the borrowed and tatty high heels they were wearing. They all had various burgers or pizzas and generally something with ice cream for sweet.
Except Xoliswa who ordered waffle – he had no idea what it was and didn’t like it at all.
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One lad – Sandile – helped Bill put up or repair curtain rails in readiness for the curtains that the girls were making.
Also - Rachel had been given some TVs and wanted wall brackets putting up for them. Actually they were the wrong sized brackets and each one had to be adjusted slightly with a hacksaw, before we put them up. Bill showed Sandile how to do one and then got called elsewhere. Sandile did the remaining 3 or 4 brackets, unpacked all the TVs, clamped them on and tuned them in. This is a 21 year old lad who is supposed to be a bit slow!! This is a young man who, two years ago was very introverted and wouldn’t say goodbye when we left.
Rachel wanted 4 or 5 shelves putting up – Sandile did the lot!!
And he did them all very well. We think that is a legacy!!!!
There were also a few repairs to be made to the playground, interrupted only by some old idiot (Bill) falling out of a tree.
Except for the 3 days at the Psycho Social Workshop, at 4.30 pm all work stopped and we undertook a half hour of Bible study with the teenagers. We used a book from Scripture Union SA called Khula – which, in Zulu, means GROWTH. We split them up. Diane and Marion each taking a group of girls, Tim and Bill, each taking a group of boys. We all had our own corner, where we always met.
At the end of our time there, we were able to give each teenager a new Bible – most wanted English – a few wanted Zulu versions and just one wanted Afrikaans. We all wrote in every Bible and also stuck in a photo of the 5 of us.
We pray, and ask you to do the same, that they will continue using their Khula and their Bibles.
We made several visits out into the community, visiting families known to LK staff and having particular needs. We were able to deliver some food parcels and clothing.