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A spotlight on Cape Town’s kids

Safari Stories

A spotlight on Cape Town’s kids

I’ve been living in South Africa for almost three months now and I have experienced the beautiful nature, Cape Town’s amazing vibe and I have met so many wonderful people living here. But, besides all of this, you must not forget about those people, who suffer from poverty and who aren’t able to enjoy life the way we do. Especially children who are born into poverty – they often don’t have the chance to get out of it. They need all the help they can get…

I didn’t hesitate when my flatmate asked me to join her volunteering – at a youth day in Langa, a township in Cape Town. This youth day was organized by LoveLife, South Africa’s largest national HIV prevention initiative. LoveLife combines a sustained campaign with nationwide support programs to promote healthy, HIV-free living among South African teens. LoveLife launched in 1999 is a joint initiative of leading South African non-government organizations and the South African government, in partnership with several private foundations, with one shared goal: to turn back the tide of the HIV/Aids epidemic, and the associated epidemics of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. The programs are implemented by young volunteers, known as groundbreakers, with the help of several community-based organizations, schools and clinics across South Africa. These programs reach many young people every month through direct face-to-face interaction. LoveLife provides training and support services in order to provide comprehensive sexual health as well as HIV/Aids education to ensure a generation youth who have the tools to stay HIV free.

The youth day was about to take place in Langa’s youth center and so we went there in the morning… All the LoveLife volunteers were happy to see us and that we came to help them – we came with four of us – and we were of course happy to help. Even though the event was supposed to start half an hour later, they hadn’t prepared that much yet. So we started arranging some chairs and built up a small stage as some of the teens were supposed to show their singing and dancing talents later on. We sometimes stopped our work in order to play with the small kids… There have to be priorities! The kids were so happy about our visit and they followed us everywhere we went. After we had arranged everything inside, some games took place outside on the football field. Besides we played basket ball with the little ones. I had mixed feelings seeing them so happy but on the other hand knowing that they are so poor. They tried to grab our bags and were asking for “Dollars” and “chips”… Of course, we would have loved to give them something to eat but, the other girls told us not to do, because we didn’t have enough for everybody.

After the football match it was the girl’s turn! They had a netball match – red tigers against blue lions – and again we cheered them on as much we could! Afterwards everybody went inside to see the kids’ performances. First of all a group of young guys showed us their rap talent, and afterwards a young girl presented a nice poem. Everybody was cheering and clapping! Last but not least there was a dance contest between two boys, which was decided by the audience. Of course, both of them won…

All in all it was a really nice day, with a lot of impressions and the possibility to see the country from a different perspective. I can highly recommend visiting such an event to get to know those people in the country whose lives are so much different from ours.

– Jessica (Our German Intern at Jenman Safaris!)

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