First off, I think I should better explain what an intervention is. I have mentioned it in earlier blog posts but I don't think I have gone into much detail about it. Interventions are the bulk of what Kick4Life does. Since I have been with Kick4Life we have run interventions at Primary and High Schools, as well as, at a juvenile detention centre and at the kick4Life field with street children and volunteers. Local Basotho coaches run all of the interventions and they are delivered in Sesotho.
An intervention is a series of 10, one hour long practices. Each practice starts with an energizer, a re-cap of last practice and a game of agree-disagree, where participants are given a statement, usually about HIV or gender relations in Lesotho and are asked to form two groups (agree and disagree). After the groups are formed participants will debate for a few minutes about the statements. After that a large portion of the practice is spent on the activity. Find the Ball, HIV Attacks, HIV Transmission Tree, Red Card and Choices are a few of the names. I'm am trying to upload a video of a Red Card skit which happens in the last practice. The class will break off into small groups and be given a scenario that contains risky behaviour (ie. behaviour that would put one at risk for contracting HIV). Each participant is given a Red Card and while the group is acting out their scenario the group is asked to hold up their Red Cards when they see this behaviour. Its a fun activity to watch because even though we always give the same scenarios out, the kids usually come up with something creative.
At the end of the intervention, if a participant has successfully completed 7 out of 10 practices they are considered a Kick4Life graduate. We hold small graduations ceremonies and hand out certificates to those kids who graduated. At the ceremony some coaches will perform raps or dances and participants are encouraged to perform as well. I have uploaded a video of one young boy performing a poem that he wrote. I particularly like this video because at the beginning he struggles to remember his lines and looks extremely shaky. However, as the video goes on you will see the encouragement that the coaches and other students are giving him. One of the things that we preach at Kick4Life is creating a safe space for kids to feel free to be open and honest. You can hear snaps in the background which is our way of agreeing, congratulating or encouraging someone.
I hope that you enjoy these videos! (I can't upload them directly onto Blogger so I am in the process of putting them on youtube and will post the like) As I write this I am sitting in the airport in Johannesburg waiting to fly out to Tanzania for Christmas vacation. I'm heading back to Morogoro tomorrow morning, which is where I stayed when I was in Tanzania two years ago. I can't wait to see all the youth again from the programming that I did.
I know I say it every time but I really can't believe how fast time is going. I only have 8 months remaining in my internship and while that may seem long for some of you, it doesn't seem long enough for me. This past month I have really started to feel like Lesotho is home for me. The first few months were extremely challenging and it is so refreshing to feel at ease now. I have stopped looking at the calendar to see how long I have and am now thinking about how I can stay longer. I have a lot more to share with you, including the ground-breaking ceremony for our Football for Hope Centre, a week-long road trip to Cape Town (which is one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to), numerous street league tournaments and test your team events and a week long, very eye-opening visit to a regional hospital in Bloemfontain with one of our coaches who broke his arm. It ended in something like 13 screws and two metal rods being implanted in his arm. I will take a photo of his x-ray post surgery and post it up here for you.
I hope everyone is having a lovely festive season. It feels a little strange here because I will be in the grocery store in shorts and a t-shirt sweating while they are playing Jingle Bells. Doesn't quite feel like Christmas but it's fun anyways.
Keep checking back!