I wanted to share with you another story I wrote before completing my internship year in Soweto. It was amazing getting the parental perspective!
On a Friday afternoon at Shomang Primary, Nompumelelo Semelane proudly looked on as her daughter Mbali stepped to the stage to receive her certificate from her “Skillz” coach. As a seventh grader, Mbali was graduating from Grassroot Soccer’s Skillz 1.1 Holiday Camp, a programme centered on teaching about life skills and HIV through the language of soccer.
Nompumelelo spoke highly about her daughter’s involvement in the programme. She had a good understanding of the daily activities, explaining, “Every time when Mbali would come back from school, she would tell me [what she was learning in the programme] and she would do what they did—some of the activities, the songs they did, the names of the coaches.” Nompumelelo was pleased to share that her daughter had been awarded a “Build Your Team” certificate during the week for her support of her peers.
Nompumelelo spoke further about the benefits of the programme in a message of thanks to Grassroot Soccer: “Me, as a parent, I see the programme as very entertaining and very educative. Our children enjoyed it and I did enjoy it when I came here to attend [the graduation]…It was excellent because it was keeping [the children] busy. They did not go to the streets. Children now-a-days go to the streets and do drugs...This was a good way to help them. It was a good way to teach them about HIV…It was beautiful. Keep it up!...Thank you so much.”
Caption for photo above: Nompumelelo (right center) and her daughter Mbali (right)
Caption for photo below: Mbali’s GRS team receiving certificates during graduation