The Clubhouse in Soweto and the activities around this, is our main outreach work, and started during the Autumn of 1998. The Clubhouse is an educational place as well as a social meeting-place for the children in our program. They get some help with homework, tuition, participate in sports and games, and do various activities like arts and crafts, singing and dancing.
As many of these children are seriously affected by the poor sanitary conditions in the slums, we often have to treat them for ringworms or internal worms in addition to dressing wounds and exercising first aid. All the children – either they go to school or are in the “morning program” (new intakes being prepared for school) – are covered by this medical security.
The team in Soweto 2020 consists of (from left in picture) Fred, Beatrice, Jane, Florence M, Josephine, Karimi, Esther and the manager of Clubhouse, Florence K, who is also the overall social worker in Maisha Mema.
We support over 280 children from the Soweto slums – all of whom are in school!
Football and other sports activities make sure they use their bodies in a healthy and friendship building way. Especially some of the girls, who otherwise are more or less treated like dirt according to the customs in the slums, have seen their self-image grow considerably through these activities! And as the same activities also run in the school holidays, we hinder the kids in falling back to destructive habits like drugs, casual sex and roaming around. This way, the Clubhouse activities are definitely also a social rehabilitation program.
Some of the activities going on in Clubhouse:
Sports. We have several teams, both for boys and girls, and we also hope to have some light athletic activities and a volleyball team. See the article Shooting Goals!
Choir. The choir in Clubhouse is divided into a young and older, so that they can sing according to their level. Some time more professional people come to teach them songs, and also
Dancing. We have both young and older teams dancing. It is a very popular activity, also because they learn traditional dances in order to be proud of their cultural heritage.
Drama. When the children are playing a drama, it is much easier to understand – and pass on – a message. Popular topics may be about alcoholism, drugs, HIV, family-life and so on.
Art and Craft. In Clubhouse, the children are encouraged to do art and crafts. In this way, they get a better self-image when they see they can master this, and also get some skills for the future. All of them are talented!
Bible Studies. Through down-to-earth-level Bible-studies coupled with singing and other activities, we want the children to know the Bible in order for them to take a stand for Jesus and achieve good moral standards.
Outdoor Activities. Camping and other outings are on the program! These activities mainly go on during the school holidays, and are partly depending on donors to make a contribution towards this.
Environmental Care. Clean-ups in the slums are some times exercised. The children – but also their parents – are made to be aware of their environment and develop good attitudes. Ultimately, this is benefiting the whole community.
Check the article by Fredrick Oguttu where he reflects on “TEARS“. Well worth reading!