Now is the time in South Africa, when the candles bend and the daily prayer and longing for rain clouds are heard. Another year has gone by with many impressions and a lot of work and in Tsibogang with big changes.
On December 1st, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day and came together as an organization. This time there were a lot of children present ; those who have joined several children’s groups due to our new partnership with “Soul City”.
There was a lot of singing, gum boots dance, drama performed by the children’s support group (A Re Tshamekeng Bana). Touching were the personal stories of individuals who told us how they were helped and encourage to accept their HIV status and as a result their quality of life has improved.
A highlight of the day was a presentation of how our organization is doing in the light of the National Health Strategic Plan(NHSP). Dr Wolfgang Hermann pointed to some objectives of this strategic plan and how we comply with it. One goal of the National Health Plan is to significantly reduce new infections in South Africa through information campaigns in schools. In Tshepanang this is also our focus: In 2018, our 52 peer educators in 29 schools reached 5946 students.
What does a Mathematics test have to do with HIV prevention? That’s what Dr Wolfgang Hermann asked Tsibogang members in his presentation. The answer came quickly and promptly from a teenager: ”If you’re good at Math, you have self-confidence and you do not have to be pressured by your peers to put yourself at risk.”
In our After school programs Maths tests and an HIV tests were written. 121 children 10 years and older have written the test. The average was 64.15%, the best result in the last three years. In the Math test, the 226 children improved by 69.9%. That’s a good motivation for our coworkers.
We are approaching the New Year with hope and a little bit of fear. Will we be able to continue all programs? Will there be enough money after US AIDS / the South African Bishops’ Conference has dropped out? We were happy to receive promises of donations from several friends, communities and our family members for the coming year. We are grateful for all the donations we received. The people we serve know that these donations also expresses God’s goodness and generosity.
The motto of 2018 “I want to give the thirsty from the source of the living water” and the motto of 2019 “Seek peace and pursue it!” embrace our own gratitude towards God and raise our expectations what the coming year might hold for our work in Tsibogang. Have a blessed time of Advent and Christmas!
Christel & Wolfgang Hermann