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Archives – February, 2013

Game for the World in the Grahamstown District

We arrived in Peddie, in the Eastern Cape in the early evening to meet  Ms. Wezeka Matomela, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Grahamstown District HIV/AIDS coordinator.  Wezeka introduced us to a group of talented women of all ages:  Nonkosi  Mkiva, Black Methodist Consultation Secretary; Catherine Mvubu, Circuit Steward; Nosphiwo Matinise, Secretary of the Women’s Guild and Sunday school teacher; and  Angelina Figlan, Women’s Manyano Chairwoman.

We played the game for an hour, with lots of laughs and insightful comments.  The group members were lively and well-spoken. They plan to use the game in workshops and retreats. Alan took photos of the group, church and community shown below.

The District’s HIV/AIDS programs include caring for people infected and affected by HIV. It has had a voluntary counseling and testing program since 2006. In 2012, they launched an Orphan and Vulnerable Children day and presently have 20 children in the program.

Children are the innocent victims of HIV and AIDS. I was moved by the following quote from the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information and Dissemination Service:

“Turning a blind eye is a response mechanism we all do consciously or unconsciously to difficult issues. Too often we have seen traumatized children behave as if they or their reality do not exist and too often through our own behavior, we support this view.

“Our own humanity is in question and we need to face up to the realities affecting orphans and vulnerable children. We are living in a time of profound contrast. While overall growth and development is improving the lives of millions, the self- destructive greed of a few undermines whole economies. While many of us enjoy incredible scientific progress, a substantial part of the global population lives in medieval squalor. Life expectancy is increasing for most of the world, but in Africa we continue to bury our children long before they are able to reach self- actualization.

“We have to take a look at ourselves and honestly ask how much are we, our communities, and our governments contributing toward the poverty, suffering, pain, loneliness and disease affecting vulnerable children and orphans. Borrowing from Khalil Gibran.. ‘our children are not our children, but the sons and daughters of life’s longing for life’. We have a duty to provide the shoulders for all children to stand on so that they can exceed our horizon and reach beyond our reach. How we treat these most vulnerable members of society defines our humanity.”

Please help us make a difference in the lives of children by supporting Game for the World in whatever way is possible and meaningful for you.

 

February 3, 2013

Game for the World and Youth in the Queenstown District, South Africa

After spending the night in King Williams Town, we drove through mist and on winding roads to the small town of Butterworth to meet with Rev Mthi, the youth coordinator for the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Queenstown District.

The vision of the MCSA’s Queenstown District is to be a place that provides refuge and relief, that makes a difference and adds value to the lives of its people. It strives to be a center of healing and transformation for its communities.

Rev  Mthi had travelled earlier that day to Butterworth  to hold a strategic planning session with his committee. I knew right away that he had a sense of humor when he introduced his secretary, Msimelelo Qumntu as the Reverend, so our meeting started out with lots of laughter. I was honored that he took time from his first strategic planning session to meet with Alan and me and to play Game for the World.

Rev Mthi and Msimelelo told us many people don’t want to know their HIV status.  “They don’t know the power of getting tested and managing their virus.”  The District plans to have HIV testing at every youth gathering they have this year, along with testing for other health issues such as blood pressure and diabetes, so that there is no stigma around the HIV testing.

Game for the World enables people talk about the value and importance of being tested, and so we hope it will make a difference in the Queenstown District. The District plans to use it at their Youth Synod on March 15th and at their Sport Weekend, April 26th – 28th.

Show in the photo along with Anne  from left to right are Msimelelo, Rev Mthi,  Anelisa Jaji, Assistant Secretary and  Mduduzi Mzanywa,Executive Member. We’ve also included a photo of Butterworth, the town where we met.

Rev Mthi and group good Butterworth street

February 3, 2013

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