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Archives – March, 2013

African Medical Research Foundation Uses Game for the World to Support Its Program in Tanzania

Alan and I flew from Johannesburg to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where we were met at the airport by two of of our Game for the World ambassadors, Uswege Mwakapango and Adam Rubin. Uswege has been tireless in introducing the Game to organizations and schools, training staff and student peer educators throughout Tanzania. Adam had just flown in from the U.S. to help us expand the use of Game for the World.

We were met at the hotel by a Masai who took my bag and gave me his walking stick, a great honor. Barefoot and in traditional dress, he flew up the stairs with our heavy suitcases, containing 100 copies of the Game. There was no way we could even trudge up the stairs with them, let alone run!

Uswege, Anne, Alan & Masai

Uswege, Anne, Alan & Masai

We arranged for a car and driver for the week to drive us to organizations and schools which are using Game for the World throughout Tanzania. The morning after we arrived, we left at 5:30 a.m. to drive 500 km to Kikunde Secondary School, in the Tanga Region. Kikunde is one of 41 schools using the Game in a program which AMREF, the African Medical and Research Foundation is administering. AMREF’s Sexual and Reproductive Health  Education Officer, George Saiteu, drove with us to Kikunde.

AMREF has worked in Tanzania since 1957 when the Flying Doctors provided specialist medical services in remote hospitals.  We’re excited to be working with this foundation. It uses the Game to support its work reducing the stigma surrounding HIV, encouraging people to have HIV tests and decreasing the rate of infection.

AMREF's Land Cruiser took us over the last leg of rough roads to Kikunde School.

AMREF’s Land Cruiser took us over the last leg of rough roads to Kikunde School.

We drove on bumpy, corrugated roads through beautiful countryside and villages.  Eleven hours later, we arrived at Kikunde School and met the headmaster, Mbaraka Bwembwe and Rahalis Francis, a teacher, who introduced us to her students. It was the first time I had watched  the new Swahili translation of the Game being played. How great to see it working well! The students were clearly  confident in using the Game and proud to know the answers to the factual questions. I was especially moved to hear a student say she became a peer educator because she could see how she could help people dying of AIDS in her community.

Kikunde peer educators with teacher Rahalis Francis.

Kikunde peer educators with teacher Rahalis Francis.

Rahalis told us  the Game  makes a difference in how effectively she can teach. Her students’ awareness about HIV/AIDS has increased and they’re looking forward to teaching their fellow students how to play. In fact, the Game’s  effectiveness has been proven by testing 82 primary and secondary students’ knowledge about HIV/AIDS before and after they play: average scores have been 51% before playing the Game and 79% after!

At the end of our week, we met again with George Saiteu and with Henerico Ernest, AMREF’s area manager to discuss AMREF’s education programs and its need for Game for the World. Henerico said AMREF  regards the Game as an effective tool to teach young people about HIV/AIDS. In fact, he told us AMREF  need 93 more Games to use in their school program.

We’re excited to know how much AMREF values the Game. Our next step? We’re researching how it can be produced in Tanzania and  how we can raise funds to accomplish this.

Our work in Tanzania is supported by a grant from the Zuckerman Community Outreach Foundation in Tucson,  Arizona and by the generosity of family and friends. If you want to make a difference in the lives of young Tanzanians, please consider a donation at our web site, www.gamefortheworld.com.

Back row: Adam Rubin, George Saiteu, Rahalis Francis, 3 peer educators, Anne, Mbaraka Bwembwe, Uswege Mwakapango. Front row: 4 peer educators

Back row: Adam Rubin, George Saiteu, Rahalis Francis, 3 peer educators, Anne, Mbaraka Bwembwe, Uswege Mwakapango.
Front row: 4 peer educators

March 11, 2013

Game for the World Meeting at Emseni Methodist Retreat Center

The drive from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein and Bethlehem is long.  Alan and I were relieved and grateful to learn that we could meet the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s HIV/AIDS coordinators from those areas at Emseni, a beautiful Methodist retreat center outside of Johannesburg in Benoni.  We met with Rev. Sethulego Mosiako, the HIV/AIDS coordinator for the Kimberley, Namibia and Bloemfontein District and with Judy Makhubu, the HIV/AIDS coordinator for the Northern Free State and Lesotho. The Northern Free State and Lesotho are mainly rural. Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa. About 40% of Lesotho’s population of 2,067,000 live below the international poverty line of $1.25/day. Poverty and HIV/AIDS are often partners. Lesotho is severely afflicted by HIV/AIDS; in urban areas, about 50% of women under 40 have HIV.

It was a beautiful Friday evening when we met Sethulego and Judy. We initially started playing Game for the World outside on a table, then moved inside to have better light.  Sethulego and Judy had been in meetings since 6:30 am, and we were grateful that they still had the energy and attention needed to learn about the game and to play it. One of the gifts of the game is that it enables strangers to get to know one another quickly. We were laughing with and enjoying one another soon after we met.

When we told them that the game is being translated by the Church’s coordinators into a number of different Southern African languages, Sethulego told us he would like the games in Tswana, Sotho and Zulu and Judy said she wanted them in Sotho. Judy is the head of a childcare center and started a non-profit training center for pre-school teachers. She wants to use Game for the World with her teachers, HIV/AIDS coordinators and youth. Sethulego plans to use the game at a ministers’ retreat and with his congregation and youth groups. I’m looking forward to their feedback!

Anne, Judy Makhubu & Rev Sethulego Mosiako

Anne, Judy Makhubu & Rev Sethulego Mosiako

 

March 4, 2013

Game for the World in Namibia

Alan and I flew from Johannesburg to Windhoek, Namibia and met with Rudolph Rittman,  the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Namibian representative. We had never been to Namibia and were looking forward to meeting Rudolph, as well as Alan’s daughter, Tish Hanekom, a Church of England missionary in northern Namibia.

Namibia is west of South Africa and shares borders with it, Angola, Zambia and Botswana. Approximately half of  its population of 2.1 million people live below the international poverty line. Namibia has suffered heavily from the effects of HIV/AIDS, close to 17 per cent of children under the age of 18 are orphaned by at least one parent, mostly due to HIV. Tish and Rudolph have experienced the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS in their communities, with the loss of friends and colleagues.

Tish picked us up at the airport and drove us to meet Rudolph at the Central Methodist Church in  Windhoek. Though we didn’t have  much time, we were able to play Game for the World outside in the shade. Rudolph emailed me later to say that he gave a report on the game to his leaders meeting, where the Bishop was present. He planned to give a presentation on it to the quarterly meeting that weekend and to use it with the confirmation class, youth groups, society stewards, preachers and women’s groups.

We’re excited about the possibility of Game for the World making a difference in the lives of Namibians!

CIMG3429

March 2, 2013


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