Masiphumelele March Newsletter highlights…

Leopard Trust Camp

The Easter Holidays begun and to celebrate we loaded a bus full of the most committed Ikamvanites (most were platinum learners with 100% attendance) and drove to the Cedarberg wilderness picking up some young people from Mitchells Plein along the way.

Ikamvanites had expressed an interest in being exposed to more diversity, which spoke to Nico and my heart. We therefore jumped at the invitation from the The Leopard Trust and roped in a church group and Mondale High School in Mitchells Plein and headed off for a week of sleeping in tents, eating off laps, and having cold showers!

The programme was a perfect mix of social and personal development alongside conservation, environmental awareness, cultural history and leisure. As you can imagine it was a rather special week. Students were challenged with a 4 hour hike up to the Wolfberg Cracks, a solo hike, cooking for 30 people, and washing up for 30 people. Games were played around the campfire in English, Xhosa, Afrikaans and even French (so Nico didn’t feel excluded). Moreover it gave a chance for youth from different backgrounds and cultures to unite and find common ground and develop beautiful friendships.

With words like ‘Phenomenal’ and ‘Mind-blowing’ being used to describe the week it clearly had an impact on the learners. Various lessons were learnt over the week. Phumza Kibi realised ‘that as people we must look after each other and help someone if she/he needs help. There is no room for selfishness”. Many opened their eyes to the need for environmental conservation and committed themselves to recycling and saving water in their communities. The camp gave learners confidence, both socially and personally; “I will now never give up, I will always strive to reach the top!!” Okuhle Beyaphi.

Ladies Club Sleepover and Beach Day

Isabel Malone has been holding Ladies Club once a week for the past few months and decided to organise a sleepover and beach day in her final month. 20 ladies, including GAP volunteers ascended on Isabel’s house on the 24th March and tucked into spaghetti, snacks, popcorn, and chocolate whilst they watched chick flicks, and discussed all manner of issues and topics.

The Sunday was spent on Muizenberg beach getting rather windswept. Several were brave enough to tackle the ocean on a surf board. We now most certainly have some surfer girls on our hands!

Man Club hike and St James swimming lessons

Man Club is firmly up and running and March saw the men learning to swim, and hiking up local mountains. It is such an important project that emphasises what it is to be a man and the responsibilities and pressures that young men of South Africa have put upon them and how they can navigate these pressures and duties without jeopardizing their futures.