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Tag: Swaziland

Game for the World in Swaziland

Mbongeni Magugla’s passion is people. He has a generous heart and has reached out to help people since he was a young boy. I met him two years ago at a Methodist Church of Southern Africa conference for HIV/AIDS and Mission Coordinators.  I remembered his enthusiasm and his networking abilities and was excited about reconnecting with him in the Church’s Johannesburg offices.

Based in Swaziland, where the HIV infection rate is the highest in the world at 26%, Mbongeni is the youth HIV/AIDS coordinator for the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. This ministry includes HIV prevention and care support. Mbongeni looks at what youth want and how the Church can tap into it. Mbongeni says that the Church’s challenge is meeting the needs of all race groups.

“Young people switch off when you say you want to talk about HIV”, says Mbongeni. “We need a new approach. Games engage young people. They want to know what’s in it for them. They want to be mentors and make a difference in their community.”

Mbongeni believes in training champions of initiatives and so it makes sense to train youth leaders in using Game for the World so that they can train their peers. “It would also be good to train teachers. The Church has schools in Swaziland and Lesotho, mainly in rural areas. We could create Game for the World teams.”

We’re excited about this approach.  My dream is for Game for the World to be used in schools around the world.

 

CIMG3351

February 11, 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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