We had the behavioral change program with the Juveniles on Saturday the 30 July 2016. I was doing the program with Malefetsane and Sechaba. We started with the energizers as our icebreaker.
We talked about forgiveness. We had a very limited time so we didn’t show them a film from heartlines as we were prepared to show them. We gave the boys few minutes to think of any people they need to forgive. When the time collapsed we divided them into three small discussion groups. In each group the following questions were asked. What can you do to show them that they have been forgiven by you? Some replys to this question were: I can help them where necessary and show them the love of Christ in many ways. The other reply was, I can be the same as before we had conflicts and be friendly.
I can give them a gift, this was also one of the reply. What makes it hard to take the first step to reconcile with someone who has wronged us?
Their reply was as follows:
It’s not easy to approach such people as they think such people may reject them. Is there any debt that cannot be forgiven?
This question was debatable from every group.
Towards the end of our program the boys were encouraged to pray and ask God to help them to continue to forgive. As said, the boys need to know that sometimes forgiving others often takes time and is a process. We also read Ephesians 4:32 ” Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” The boys were encouraged to memorise this Bible verse. We also read Matthew 18:15-35 for the boys to realize the steps to take while we need to forgive and to answer some questions they might have asked.
The sporting activities started on the 21 July 2016 until the 24 July 2016. It was soccer games and netball games. There were six soccer teams who were competing and two netball teams, each team had to register with M50. The games were organized by ‘Moteng Fishing and Tourism Association (MFTA). MFTA is registered youth club that was formed by the youths around ‘Moteng after going to some several programs offered by MMMI. The aim of these games was to raise the funds to build a toilet for a volunteer who will be working with the association and the community for two years.
During the games, the members were divided into 3 groups and given a task to sell the snacks, fruits and cookies to the spectators. Each group was given certain goods to sell within the expected time. Failing to sell within the expected time, there were some punishments made to that group such as cleaning the surrounding after the games as per day. It was more fun.This was meant to test the members how persuasive they are and to encourage them to carry such small selling projects on their own as to earn the living. The games also attracted some of the tourists going and from the Oxbow Lodge and Afriski as they played near to the main road. We welcomed them with open arms and smiling faces. We explained to them about the background of our community and the purposes we had such games. We watched the soccer match together and they had to knock off. During our discussion one of those tourists promised to donate a wheelchair chair to our community as to support us to make some changes in our community. We decided to give the wheelchair to one of the boys in the village who is lame from his birth. In the afternoon Today I was told that the wheelchair has been received. I will try to get the pictures when I get back to ‘Moteng.
In the last day of the games the prices were given to the teams ccording to their good performances. Such prices included soccer attire, netball attire, soccer balls and netball ball.
As we stepped in to JTC on the 16 JULY 2016, we were welcomed with open arms by the correctional staff. The boys were busy playing table soccer and pool outside their hall. It was warm enough to play outside. Within the blink of an eye, the boys were called in the hall. We started with the prayer then we watched the movie ( The Forgotten Kingdom). The movie takes 97 minutes.
The summary of movie
“Atang Mokena is an unemployed, aimless young man who spends his days idling in the inner city of Johannesburg. When his father dies, Atang must give up his selfish ways and fulfil his father’s humble last wishes: to be buried in the rural, mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho, a place they left 15 years earlier in the hope of a better life.
Atang feels like a stranger in the land of his birth, but finds an instant connection with one person: his childhood friend, Dineo. However, Dineo’s tyrannical father thwarts their budding romance and relocates his family to a remote village.
Try as he might, Atang simply cannot get Dineo out of his mind. He befriends a precious 11 years-old orphan boy, and together they make the arduous journey across the breath-taking, rugged mountains to find Dineo.
The movie is in Sesotho but translated in English language.
The boys were so excited as they were watching the movie together with the correctional staff. At the end of the movie we had the closing prayer.
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)
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.