We took a trip to the northern province of Limpopo as we had been receiving requests for our programme of HIV/AIDS education from the schools there. One of our part-time volunteers comes from Limpopo, so he was very enthusiastic that we visit his own community. He had also started a "Sport Against Crime" youth programme for which he needed our help with the sponsorship of sports equipment.
We are used to working in informal settlements and rural areas, so we are able to quickly adapt to less than perfect conditions. One secondary school had no hall and we conducted our programme without shade in temperatures of 40º C. Another school had only a makeshift ruined hall and the roof was blowing off.
The programmes went very well, and we received a very enthusiastic response from the students. The headmaster of one of the secondary schools said that so many different organisations had come and promised that they would do something for the school but had never returned, and that this was the first time an organization had kept its promise. We adapt our programme somewhat for primary schools, but you can see from the happy faces how much they enjoy it. The headmaster was also especially thrilled with the Christian education curriculum which we donated to the school.
In each school we were able to donate educational resources, and we also asked all the students to participate in our essay competition for the best reactions to the AIDS programme. We have found this a very successful way to make sure that the students really get the message. We give five prizes for the best essays to students in each school.
Originally Published in 2007.