Hi all! We are back in the swing of things after an amazing trip to South Africa; we didn’t want to leave! We were fortunate enough to visit our friends at the Kliptown Youth Program. We’ve been working with KYP since 2014 and it was awesome to see their work in person. Kliptown is a community of Soweto, located outside of Johannesburg. It is mostly residential- tin shacks with communal outhouses and without running water or electricity. Super easy to get your homework done and study without electricity, right?
KYP is a community center supporting around 400 children. They use education as a means to lift oneself out of poverty. To be a member, you must commit to attend school. The children go to various schools throughout Kliptown during the day and spend their afternoons at KYP. There they are tutored, learn how to use a computer, can opt to participate in sports or performing arts, prepare for University, and they receive a hot meal – for many of the children it is their only solid meal of the day. Below we were put to work in the lunch line!
Despite the many obstacles these children face, they are just amazing and have their sights set on bright futures. ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ we asked:
- A pilot
- A gynecologist
- A surgeon
- A social worker
LOTS of kids want to become social workers so they can help children navigate their way through some of the unpleasant things they see or are themselves encountering – domestic abuse, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, death of a parent, the list is long.
We visited Florida Primary School and were instantly ushered away by our unofficial hosts! They held our hands, our legs, our waists, and paraded us around the school yard, proud to share their school with us. They wanted to know if we know Justin Bieber or Chris Brown? Do we like Donald Trump? Could they touch our hair?
These children are just precious and we were so impressed by their work ethic and dedication to their education. They thank us profusely for changing their lives by providing a uniform; but they will never understand how profoundly they have changed ours.