Village outreach

We started playing football together with the guys.  We were so exicited to have a sunny day after a heavy non-stop rain that took us a week. Most of the boys in this group are at the beggining of their high school level. It is the most challenging stage in many Basotho boys who are living in rural areas. Many of them move to urban areas or change the environment they are currently living in. Therefore they encounter some different challenges such as choosing good friends, peer presure from friends and the environment itself. They drop from school because of various reasons such as pre-marital stage as they impreganate their schoolmates (girls) and many more. The parents and the chief from the community are worried about the future of their children therefore they trusted me to talk to their boys before the schools reopen.

After playing soccer we had a team talk where  we discussed about self control.
The boys were divided into to small groups according to their age class. In each group, the following questions were asked.

1. How would u define self-control?
2. When have you been filled with self-conrol the most?
3. How do you practice self-control in your daily life?
4. What are the benefits of self control?
5. What can you do to develop a better attitude of self-control?
6. Could a relationship with God help with practicing self control?
7. When have you been filled with self -control the most?
8. In what situation did you fail to have a self-control in which you should have?

The boys had different answers in reply to the above questions.
We read the story of Joseph from the bible. In the begining of the story, they were laughing at Joseph, making some Sesotho jokes out of  him. We read  his story further up to where they were impressed about Joseph’s life.

Furthermore we played the myth busters game. Some statements were making them to burst into laughter while some created discussions. Therefore I explained what is correct.
At the end I asked them some questions as to check their listening skill. The rewards for each  correct question was an exercise book.  This was to support them in their education and encourage them to work hard at school. We had prayer together and shouted good bye!

JTC

We watched the heartlines movie about second chance. It takes almost 20 minutes.

[ Film summary ]
Manyisa, released from prison, is given a second chance when a local pastor (Jacob) takes him into his home. This places challenges on Jacob’s family as they seek to help Manyisa forge a new life. Jacob’s wife especially struggles with these challenges and is concerned about the friendship that their young son, Sibusiso, strikes up with Manyisa. Jacob helps Manyisa to find employment, but Manyisa has difficulty fitting into his new environment. His past criminal life pulls back at him, and he finds himself exploited and eventually wrongly accused of theft at work. Pressurized into helping his old gang comrade to rob Jacob of the church’s offering, things go horribly wrong when young
Sibusiso is shot and wounded. Manyisa, instead of fleeing, goes back to help save Sibusiso. He returns Jacob’s family car making it possible to get Sibusiso to the hospital in time to save his life. Manyisa find himself back in prison, but with a new outlook on life.

After the movie we started the film discussion. During the discussion I shared testimony of my life whereby in 2010 I was doing Mechanical Engineering in one of the local technical schools in Maseru but I couldn’t pass. I had to leave the school and seek for a job. I couldn’t get a job for almost two years but during the third year I found one even though it wasn’t a good one. I worked for five months then I had to leave since I got sick. In 2014 I wanted to go back to school. I had no money to pay for my fees at all even my accommodation was a problem. I mom was not working to support me financially. My brothers were working but they just ignored me. Due to God’s grace, my friends had compassion on me and contributed money for my fees. I was so amazed by God’s love on me. I took this as second and last chance in my life to work hard and prove that I’m not a failure. I passed with flying colours till now whereby I’m doing my 3rd year (last year) in Fitting and machinery. The boys were so impressed and encouraged by my testimony and willing to follow the suit when ever they are released and within JTC. People from UNICEF were also around and they were also impressed by how we do our program. They were so impressed to an extent that they encouraged us to do more and want us to work in such youth projects and Juveniles together with them. Soon well have a way forward discussion with them as they promised. Our discussion will include some suggestions we want to make on how to start some projects or attachments for the Juveniles after JTC.

Litaung (lion) village outreach

Litaung is a small village found in Butha-Buthe district. It is about 20 kilometers away from Butha-Buthe town. There is a soccer field and a primary school in this village. The children from this village walk for more than 5 kilometers to get to high school. Therefore this leads to many students dropping from high school.

We were welcomed with open arms by the youth from this village. The chief was away but the arrangements were made with him about the outreach. We took a long walk to school. On our arrival at school, they offered us classroom to use. It was needy and clean. We had a prayer by one of the youth. We performed some energizers as to break the ice. We also played a myth busters game afterwards they came with many questions concerning the statements said. In many cases as we do this game many people argue about the statement like:
– From eating potatoes you can get STD’s.
– If you have HIV you will die quickly.

Some statements drove them to burst into laughter and diversities between the boys and girls. Furthermore we read the story of Joseph from the Bible ( Genesis 39:6-23) as to explain the elements of self control. The story shocked many of them and they were willing to read more, unfortunately the time was not on our side. I shared a testimony of a past stigmatisation in my family whereby my mother was sick and she tested HIV positive. My older brothers and sisters in-laws billed her and talked behind her back. I didn’t join them together with my other brother and two sisters but we gave back a support and love. I shared this testimony in the light to encourage and support those living with HIV/AIDS patients and they should stop fighting people with HIV but support them.

Philip also shared a testimony whereby he lost his parents at the age of five. He had some dreams like any other child but his dreams looked more dark by the time he lost his older brother too. There is still a hope for him to have successful life. He encouraged the youth to follow their dreams no matter what and keep on dreaming for bigger things. As we planned to watch a movie ( the bet), the classroom had too big windows so it was not easy to make it dark for the projector (beam). The kids were already waiting for me outside. I left the room and attended them. They introduced themselves to me and vice versa. They were not many as we always have many. We read “the crocodile in my body” book and explained more about HIV and AIDS. Only one out of nine knew about HIV and AIDS. I was shocked and learned that we have to do more of kids programs. We took pictures and let them play while they were happy enjoying the oranges and the snacks. I moved into the classroom. In the classroom we formed four small groups discussion. In our discussions the questions asked were as follows;

  • How would you defined self-control and what are the benefits of self control? Sesotho has a general word for self control that makes them to loose the meaning of what is meant by self control but we tried our best to explain for those who doesn’t understand English. One of the girls in other group said that self control is a key drive to a life free from STDs nowadays and avoiding unplanned pregnancy.
  • How do you practice self-control in your daily life and when did you have the most self control?
  • In what situation did you fail to have self control?
  • What can you do to develop a better attitude of self control?
  • Could a relationship with God help with practicing self control?

We asked 5 of them to participate for short questionnaire. We gave them a ball for a netball. They were so excited. They also enjoyed oranges and snacks (simba chips)

JTC

We started our program with the prayer. Sechaba played his guitar and we sang the worship songs. Furthermore we had an opening prayer by one of the boys. We read the bible from the book of Nehemiah 1:5-11 (Nehemiah prayer). This is whereby Nehemiah responded to problems with prayer. He recognized the problem, immediately prayed, and
then acted on the problem. We played a game whereby we had 4 different drinks namely cola, grape juice, oros and fanta pine. The drinks we named. Some boys were chosen to be cupbearer or ‘wine’ tasters. We blindfolded them and were to identify which drink is grape juice. It was difficult for the boys to identify but they enjoyed the game.

Link to the story: Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer. He was the wine steward who had to taste the wine first in case someone tried to poison the king. We divided the boys into four groups. In each group the boys were asked to identify anything that is a problem in their lifes. The boys were free to talk openly in small groups. Most of them testified about what brought them into JTC. In most cases they have been found guilty of rape. The claimed that they have done things that they are not proud of therefore they even think that it’s difficult for God to forgive them and the community they are living with. This was so sad but we gave them some encouraging words and prayed together. At the end we shared some chocolate bars with them. They asked us to arrange some soccer matches for them since they are now in school holidays.