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Archives – February 15, 2013

Game for the World in the Limpopo District, South Africa

Alan and I had an adventure driving to eMalahleni to meet with Lerato Nombula, HIV/AIDS Coordinator for the Limpopo District of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. It took us 40 minutes just to get on the right highway and then we depended on the kindness of strangers and Lerato’s patience to guide us to the church where we met her. We’re constantly impressed with the courtesy and helpfulness of South Africans!

Emalaheni is 150 km east of Johannesburg in a coal mining district. The Limpopo District is a network of 40 circuits, including five in Botswana. Pretoria is the southern urban hub, with the town of Maun in Botswana on its northern side. It’s the only district that includes communities that represent all  11 official languages in South Africa.

With an honors degree in Psychology, Lerato is passionate about making a difference in her community. She’s a minister’s wife and is experienced in counseling and motivational speaking. She’s worked with children from broken homes and has given HIV/AIDS talks to children who are awaiting trial for serious crimes. Lerato believes ministers’ wives are key people for promoting HIV/AIDS education.

Lerato is also the provincial coordinator for the Global Fund projects in Mpumalanga province. These projects provide care and support to families which are affected by AIDS, TB and Malaria.  She has been an HIV/AIDS coordinator with the MCSA for a year and has organized workshops on HIV and HIV testing at churches.  Lerato says “Even those who have knowledge of HIV need a safe environment to talk about it.”   She believes the game could provide a safe vehicle for youth to talk about HIV.

February 15, 2013

Game for the World and Youth in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa

Rev Luxolo Mantini serves five churches and heads up the youth coordinators for the 12 districts of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA).  As the Connexional Youth Coordinator, he is responsible for youth ministry in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and Namibia.

Alan and I drove out to meet with him in Kwa Thema, an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. Kwa Thema is near the city of Springs, where Alan’s mother once lived and where we visited regularly when we lived in Johannesburg over 20 years ago. The drive out brought back many memories, though the area has grown tremendously since we lived in South Africa.

Having met three of his youth coordinators on our trip from Cape  Town to Johannesburg, I was eager to meet Rev Mantini.  His youth coordinators seem to have a great sense of fun and bring it to their ministry. Rev Mantini also has a twinkle in his eye and made us feel welcome immediately in his home.

Rev Mantini says there is enormous work to be done with youth ministry in Southern Africa. He believes the only way we can change the tide of HIV/AIDS devastation in Southern Africa is to reach its youth. The Kwa Thema area has been hard hit by unemployment caused by mines closing down. Unemployed miners have sought comfort in drinking and then having had unprotected sex, have become infected with HIV. “Most of the people I bury had AIDS. It’s rare to have families brave enough to say it’s AIDS, most of the time they say it’s TB or meningitis. People don’t want to talk about it”, says Rev Mantini.

He believes that Game for the World will help people feel safe to talk about HIV and to learn about ways in which their attitudes and beliefs about HIV can shape their future and the quality of their lives.

We were honored to be invited by Rev Mantini to hold a workshop on Game for the World at a  conference for all the MCSA youth ministry people.  The Game received great feedback from those attending the session.

Shown below are Rev Mantini and his church.

 

February 15, 2013


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