Fanele, who is now 12 years old, found our program through our Asikhulisane Club in her neighborhood. In September 2016, she attended Camp Sizanani.
“I started attending Asikhulisane because I heard kids singing and playing, and I came to join," says Fanele. The Asikhulisane Club in her neighborhood meets every other Saturday. Children there participate in camp activities that develop life skills, empowerment, and basic health understanding that is age-appropriate for 5- to 11-year olds. The children are often the younger siblings are our former campers, who attend our camp follow-up program, Youth Clubs. But we do not turn any child away from our community-based programs.
Fanele says, “I enjoyed the club because I learned new things. I learned what HIV is and how it can be prevented. I also learned about my rights and responsibilities. I have the right to go to school, and my responsibility is to read and learn. I have a right to shelter, and it is my responsibility to keep it hygenic. I can do that by washing dishes and sweeping. My sister and I do those chores together.”
Fanele's mother encourages her to attend the club meetings. Fanele says, "My mom says she likes the club, because we learn more, and we respect her more."
Young children like Fanele in the townships around Johannesburg need programs like Asikhulisane and Camp Sizanani. These children are the seeds of our shared future, and with your support, they will blossom into educated, empowered, healthy young people who are equipped to be the change agents of their communities.
At camp, I had fun, because we learned how to swim, and how to plan a story in theatre. I learned what is a choice and a decision. I can decide to do things for myself.