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Game for the World in South Africa’s Central District

February 17, 2013

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

 

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