With schools out for the next three weeks, my adventures in South Africa have undergone a little bit of an adjustment. While I’m currently in Cape Town and will be back in Port Elizabeth next week, I wanted to write a little bit about the last week of United Through Sport with the current group. We hosted a holiday camp for the children out of school and it was an incredible experience.
The first few days of holiday camp were spent getting to know the kids who came from all over the townships and went to many different schools. In the morning, they were split into different age groups. I worked with the older children and we spent the mornings doing Life Skills. We’d play a bunch of different games and then use the games to have discussions about relevant issues that they are facing or will face as young adults. For example, in playing the game Pass the Ball (where two teams line up passing a tennis ball behind their backs and the other team has to guess where it is) we illustrated that you can’t tell if someone has HIV/AIDS just based on how they look, which is why getting tested is so important.
The holiday camp also serves as a feeding program, so each day at lunch we would line up and hand out hundreds of sandwiches and fruit. It was an exhausting process, but thankfully our kitchen team was up to the task!
In the afternoons it was time for some sports! We played netball and soccer and had a great time cheering the teams on and getting to know the kids. On the final day of holiday camp we held a tournament and were able to give out some pretty amazing prizes like Nike RED laces, jerseys, and sports equipment. Even though we had only known these kids for a few days, the impact that we were able to make on their lives was incredible and they were so happy to have the opportunity to do something outside of school.