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Tag: Namibia

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

Game for the World on the Road in South Africa

Romeo & Anne good

Reverend Romeo Pedro is passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. “I’ve seen too many people die” he says. Eighteen years ago, when a 65 year old woman he knew died of AIDS, he committed himself to educating people about HIV. Romeo believes her death could have been prevented if she had been tested for HIV and taken medication which would have allowed her to live longer.

Romeo is the HIV/AIDS coordinator for the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Cape of Good Hope District. The Church has 12 districts in Southern Africa. My husband Alan and I want to visit as many of its HIV/AIDS and Youth coordinators as possible in order to provide them with copies of Game for the World. The games have been funded by a grant from UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Overseas Relief. The coordinators work hard to provide HIV/AIDS educational programs to their districts. Districts are often very large and contain many churches. The Cape of Good Hope District straddles two provinces: Western Cape and Northern Cape. it includes a town in Nambia and is surrounded by the Indian and Atlantic oceans. It includes the poor and rich, rural areas, cities and towns.

“HIV/AIDS affects our whole community. Children suffer the most when they are orphaned and raised by stressed grandparents”, says Romeo. His church runs many programs, including two feeding schemes, a food parcel scheme, and an educational program on sexual health. One of the other churches in his circuit hosts a clinic in partnership with an HIV/AIDS non-governmental organisation. “The programs can’t be branded as HIV because of the stigma”, says Romeo. Even though HIV and AIDS are prevalent in South Africa, people don’t talk about it, they call it “the big illlness”.

Romeo says he been praying for creative ways to teach about HIV and that Game for the World is the answer to his prayers. I was very moved to hear him say this, and can’t wait to hear how the game is making a difference in the Cape of Good Hope District!

January 18, 2013

African Adventure with Game for the World

Suitcases and gamesHere we are in Cape Town, South Africa! Hi, it’s Anne and Alan Harman with 6 suitcases full of copies of Game for the World to distribute to HIV/AIDS educators in 8 African countries. It’s an adventure that we want to share with you over the coming months through this blog. We’ll post photos and video, which we hope that you’ll share with your friends, family and colleagues. Let’s spread the word about how Game for the World is making a difference in Africa!

Our trip has been an adventure from the start. Tom Atkinson, our printer/ broker met us at Phoenix airport in Arizona to deliver the card sets for the games and help us pack 325 games into six suitcases, hoping that British Airways wouldn’t charge us too much for excess baggage. Kudos to B/A for their excellent staff, who treated us very fairly. Even our carry-on luggage was heavy! I only had to look at Alan’s face to see what he thought about all this weight. The two of us couldn’t lift our bags up into the overhead bin and so we enlisted the help of a well-built young passenger. Travel tip: always make friends with strong passengers!

Thanks to a grant from the United Methodist Church Committee on Overseas Relief, we’re distributing Game for the World to the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s HIV/AIDS educators. They’re using the Game to educate young people and adults and to help reduce the stigma and shame that often surrounds HIV/AIDS.

We’ve got a lot of traveling to do in not only South Africa, but Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland. Along the way, we plan to connect with Rotary International Clubs; I’m a member of the Tucson Sunrise Rotary Club and love the humanitarian work they do worldwide. We visited the Claremont Rotary Club in Cape Town this week and donated a Game to one of their members who is deeply involved with HIV/AIDS work, Dr. Paul Roux.

On our way home, we’ll be visiting our Game for the World Ambassador in Tanzania, Uswege Mwakapango. Uswege works with two international non-profits, Restless Development and Dance4Life, using the Game with high school and university students, as well as vulnerable communities. Uswege is connecting with many HIV/AIDS educators, including AMREF, the American Medical and Research Foundation, which received an award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their work. AMREF will use the Swahili version of the Game in their school program in January. This is a blessing and a challenge for us, we are raising funds to provide these Games. Your donation of any amount would be a wonderful Christmas gift! A donation of $25 will provide a game for this project. Our goal is to raise $5,000.

In Uganda, we’ll be visiting our friend, Sophie Morse, a Peace Corps volunteer who will use the Game in their HIV/AIDS programs. We’re deeply grateful to the The Zuckerman Community Outreach Foundation of Tucson, Arizona for providing a grant to supply these Games.

Stay tuned – more to come! We’d love to hear from you about your ideas on how we can expand support for the Game in Africa and around the world.
Happy holidays!
Anne & Alan

December 20, 2012


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