Supporting and empowering people
affected by poverty and HIV/AIDS in South Africa

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A new take on things

Posted by Martin Keat

It is the beginning of spring in South Africa, things are blossoming and our Safe Park Participants feel that they have achieved immense progress in the past couple of months. Having various activities taking place, the Safe Parks have become a favourite place for young people to come together to share common interests. 


Ncedo Thuso Safe Park


Our number of beneficiaries has increased as well and it has been quite a refreshing experience to meet other young people who each have their own unique talents to share and use in different ways. We are taking things a step further, getting the youth to advocate and tackle issues that are being experienced by them as well as other safe park participants and not the community at large. As the film making workshops with the Youth Committees were all themed around social issues that they experience their communities .



Leth' Ithemba Safe Park 

Structure is good in every environment, but sometimes we can get a lot more done if we bring in a free flow to things. With that said, we have established a new working method that seems to work quite efficiently and the progress is visible. The purpose of developing Youth Committees in Safe Parks was to get young people to take action on social issues in their communities. Not only do the Youth Committees lead the young people in their safe parks, but they are also leading their Child Care Advocates by bringing different information and perspective to things. 



Having spent more than 6 months with the Youth Committees we have grown closer to them. With relationships formed between our facilitators and the young people, we are starting to see a different side of the young people as they are now letting us in on their lives outside of the Safe Park facilities.  In what was a mini tour in the communities of Katlehong and Vosloorus, the young people gave us a glimpse of what how they spend time in the township streets. 

One would argue that it was an ordinary township visit, but it was the gesture of the young people giving us a chance to get to see who they really are at their essence that made the experience a significant one. It was heart-warming to see the Young Committee members doing simple things that bring them joy such as taking walks with their younger siblings, interacting with fellow community residents and helping out at the local car wash. 


        

 

It has been a priceless experience to be given insight into their community participation and we will be sharing more of what these young people will be doing in the coming weeks. 


By Lerato Mofokeng


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A big part of our work here at the Bishop Simeon trust is committed to assuring that children and young adults in South Africa are able to challenge and conquer those obstacles in their lives that prevent them from accessing education and assuring that they can  make the most of the potential they possess to thrive and build a positive future.