Written by Lavinia Manea.
It was another cloudy day in Cape Town, but somehow we didn’t feel the gloominess that sometimes captures the European cities. When you wake up in a hostel crowded with Namibian students queuing for breakfast in the all-too-small eating saloon, you realize once again that you’re at the other end of Africa and the vibrant energy of those scholars ends up lifting your spirit.
Today’s morning program brought us once again in the city centre, this time for a visit to the South African Parliament, which many of us were awaiting anxiously. During our short visit we saw the rooms of the National Assembly, the Committees of Parliament and the Council of Provinces and we learned about the political history of South Africa from our guide, a middle-aged black man who at a certain point voiced –maybe unwillingly- the frustrations and traumas that still persist in people’s mind 15 years after the end of the apartheid.
South Africa is a nation that still aches; but the African people seem to look always forward, towards that “something better” that gives them hope and makes them smile to you whole-heartedly, even if one day before some went to bed with an empty stomach.
And smiling is how we were welcomed in the afternoon by the SCORE team, a group of Canadian and European volunteers and their trainees, young people living in the township nearby. Based in Kenya, Zambia and South Africa, SCORE is an NGO which aims at human development through sport and works with children and adolescents from unprivileged environments with a view to educating them as individuals.
And since “seeing and doing” is the best way of learning, we were given the opportunity to take part in one of their sport activities aimed at informing adolescents about HIV/AIDS. How did it work? The first game required some ball technique to receive individual letters, which we then had to arrange in order to obtain a statement on HIV/AIDS, leading to a short discussion. The second game showed how HIV can affect more and more people, who then had to answer questions on the topic in order to be allowed back in the game.
A slightly wider selection of images from today: