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Archives – February 17, 2013

Game for the World Played at Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Youth Conference

It was an honor to be invited by Rev Luxolo Mantini to present a workshop on Game for the World at the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Youth Ministries Connexional Conference, held in Magalies Retreat, 100km from Johannesburg. As we drove up a dirt road to the conference, we saw a graceful giraffe – our first sign of wildlife in South Africa!  The Retreat is set in a game reserve, right against the Magliesburg mountains.

It was great to reconnect with some of the people we had met on our road trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg: Rev Kamogelo Monoametsi from the Grahamstown District, Msimelo Qumntu and Annelisa Jaji from the Queenstown District and Rev Mbuso Kubone from Natal West. A lovely surprise was seeing Moagi Sekejewane, the former Connexional youth coordinator.  Everyone made us feel immediately welcome, with lots of laughs and photographs.

We had a lively session with the youth ministry team; 42 of them played the game at 7 tables. It was an effective way for the group to talk deeply about HIV/AIDS in a safe environment, within minutes of starting to play the game. We donated 8 copies of the game to each district youth coordinator, and wish we had copies for each participant, as everyone wanted to know how they could have one.

We told the group that it isn’t sustainable to bring the games over from the U.S., and that ideally, they should be made in South Africa, if the church can find a sponsor or some funding to produce them locally.

We are very grateful to the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund which provided a grant for us to supply Game for the World to Youth Coordinators and HIV/AIDS Coordinators with the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. The Fund supports education, prevention and care programs for people living with HIV and AIDS around the world. It currently supports over 200 HIV/AIDS church oriented and Christ- centered ministries in 37 countries, including the United States.

February 17, 2013

Game for the World in South Africa’s Central District

We met Rev Vuyelwa Legwale at her church, Bryanston Methodist in Johannesburg. Vuyelwa is the HIV/AIDS Coordinator for the Central District of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. Her district is located in 3 provinces: Gauteng, Northwest and the Northern Cape. It serves the affluent and the poor in the cities, suburbia, rural and informal settlements. Its ministry ranges from pre-schools, feeding schemes, prison programs, assistance to refugees and unaccompanied minors, literacy and skills development programs.

Vuyelwa’s church initiated counseling courses and support groups in Diepsloot, an informal settlement north of Johannesburg, where unemployment and poverty are rife.  Many people in Diepsloot live in shacks assembled from scrap metal, wood, plastic and cardboard. Some families lack access to basic services such as running water, sewage and rubbish removal. Bryanston Methodist is making a difference in the lives of Diepsloot residents impacted by HIV/AIDS by providing food parcels, home-based care and assistance with medical referrals and transport.

The Methodist Church is active in community outreach in many areas, including Pimville, Soweto and in Meadowlands, where youth groups are involved in care-giving and orphan support.

Vuyelwa played Game for the World with Alan and me and answered the question “What animal do you think HIV/AIDS would be if it were an animal?” with an unforgettable reply. She said it would be a dog, “because it can either scare and bite you, or it can be your friend. We can be scared by it and run away, not wanting to know our status and not taking medication, or we can make it our friend and live a long life by knowing our status and taking care of our health.”

Vuyelwa believes young people remember what they learn through games and sees the Game being used with youth groups in her district.

Vuyelwa Legwale and Anne

 

February 17, 2013


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