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Archives – January, 2013

Game for the World: The Adventure Continues in South Africa!

Zweli Monoametsi and AnneDriving a compact rental car from Cape Town to Johannesburg was an adventure for Alan and me. We’d been warned to be careful about speeding; South African speeding fines can be expensive. Distracted by gorgeous coastal scenery along the Garden Route in the Western Cape Province, I wasn’t paying attention to the speed limits and am sure that a flash went off, documenting my speed of 80 km per hour in a 60 km zone. It takes about two months to get the speeding fine, so time will tell!

We decided that it would be fun and interesting to stay in B&B’s and we were so glad that we did – it was one of the highlights of our trip, meeting interesting people with beautiful properties. Our first night was spent in the beautiful town of Knysna. The next night was spent in Jeffery’s Bay, after which we drove to Port Elizabeth, where we were excited to meet Zwili Stephen Mathiti, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Grahamstown District Mission Convener and Rev. Kamogelo Monoametsi, the District Youth Coordinator. We were honored that our meeting was arranged by Bishop Losaba, who is passionate about HIV/AIDS education. With no GPS, we traversed the city of Port Elizabeth twice, trying to find our meeting place. We’re deeply grateful to Zweli for having the patience to direct us by phone and then get in his car to show us the way to our meeting place. We’re also grateful to Rev. Monoametsi who drove all the way from Port Alfred with his young son to meet with us!

The Grahamstown District falls within one of the poorest provinces in South Africa, the Eastern Cape. It is an area with incredible natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage. Most of the Church’s work lies within the rural communities. The challenges in the District include alleviating poverty, HIV issues, unemployment, child-headed households and accompanying social issues. The Church’s ministery includes home-based care, soup kitchens, vegetable gardens, havens for abandoned babies, skills development projects and a church school, Kingswood College in Grahamstown.

We played Game for the World with Zweli and Kamogelo. Kamogelo said that he believed that the Game will be good for opening up the conversation about HIV with young people.

January 27, 2013

Game for the World to be Used at Cape of Good Hope District’s Youth Synod

Ernest Van Sitters is a Theology student and the Youth Coordinator for the Cape of Good Hope District. “The only time we talk about HIV/AIDS as a faith community is during ‘Compassion Month’ in August and on World AIDS Day. I think people believe that if we don’t talk about it, it will go away.”

Ernest has been looking for a method of teaching about HIV and AIDS that “doesn’t intimidate, scare or bore people.” Ernest is excited about using Game for the World and has many organizations interested in the Game, including a company that specializes in pharmaceutical supplies, two schools and his church’s women’s group.

He has played it with his family and says: “What an experience it was for me and for them. My cousin shared his thoughts after we played, saying,’ It’s very educational, yet different.’ Another family member said ‘I want one.’ One commented that she got to know herself while playing the game.” Ernest says “I’m looking forward to introducing this game to more and more people, especially the young ones. Just let me know what I should do to get more games… I’m running out of stock.”

We’re delighted to know that Ernest plans to use the Game at the 2013 District Youth Synod, March 15th-17th.

January 19, 2013

Game for the World on the Road in South Africa

Romeo & Anne good

Reverend Romeo Pedro is passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. “I’ve seen too many people die” he says. Eighteen years ago, when a 65 year old woman he knew died of AIDS, he committed himself to educating people about HIV. Romeo believes her death could have been prevented if she had been tested for HIV and taken medication which would have allowed her to live longer.

Romeo is the HIV/AIDS coordinator for the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Cape of Good Hope District. The Church has 12 districts in Southern Africa. My husband Alan and I want to visit as many of its HIV/AIDS and Youth coordinators as possible in order to provide them with copies of Game for the World. The games have been funded by a grant from UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Overseas Relief. The coordinators work hard to provide HIV/AIDS educational programs to their districts. Districts are often very large and contain many churches. The Cape of Good Hope District straddles two provinces: Western Cape and Northern Cape. it includes a town in Nambia and is surrounded by the Indian and Atlantic oceans. It includes the poor and rich, rural areas, cities and towns.

“HIV/AIDS affects our whole community. Children suffer the most when they are orphaned and raised by stressed grandparents”, says Romeo. His church runs many programs, including two feeding schemes, a food parcel scheme, and an educational program on sexual health. One of the other churches in his circuit hosts a clinic in partnership with an HIV/AIDS non-governmental organisation. “The programs can’t be branded as HIV because of the stigma”, says Romeo. Even though HIV and AIDS are prevalent in South Africa, people don’t talk about it, they call it “the big illlness”.

Romeo says he been praying for creative ways to teach about HIV and that Game for the World is the answer to his prayers. I was very moved to hear him say this, and can’t wait to hear how the game is making a difference in the Cape of Good Hope District!

January 18, 2013



January 2013
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