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Nov 4, 2011

HIV Counselling and Testing Tournament

Even the little ones had fun
Even the little ones had fun

June 16th marks a very special day for the youth of South Africa; it is celebrated as Youth Day. Being an organisation that has as its primary goal the development of youth, United Through Sport SA held a HCT 5-a-side Tournament at a small town just outside of Port Elizabeth, Addo, home to the beautiful Addo Elephant Park. The point of this tournament was to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to encourage HIV counselling and testing.

The 95 children playing on the day comprised of 7 local soccer teams and one local netball team; which were all under the age of 16, with the senior teams being the South African Police Services (SAPS) playing against the local team, Addo Legends. Also taking part in the tournament were our School of Excellence soccer boys and netball girls. The local police and health department were very involved on the day, making it the success it was.

Opening the day before the games was a performance from local traditional dancers which had the crowd amazed as the little boys and girls showed off their talents to the beats of the drum. When that was done, the first round of the soccer started.

The community was really giving their support, with the old and the young cheering on. Being spectators was not the only way they were getting involved though; the queues for the HIV testing were getting longer by the minute. The added extra benefit with the mobile clinic at the field was the fact that the nurses were also screening for TB, blood sugar, haemoglobin and blood pressure, not only HIV testing and counselling. Olive Leaf was there as well, giving HIV counselling and testing. Some of the children were busy with our life skills guys doing activities from our curriculum, which promotes abstinence and educates about this deadly disease. Condoms were also made available to everyone, encouraging safe sex to the youth.

Our SSE netball team won the junior tournament beating their Addo opponents convincingly. The police team was starting to warm up now, knowing the masters game was coming up after the semi-finals of the junior team. With the HIV counselling and testing still carrying on in the mobile clinics, the day was getting even more exciting and the pressure on the local teams was building up. The SAPS team proved to everyone watching that once you join the force, you go through a lot of fitness training and used this to press home their advantage and win the master’s game.

The UTS SA boys faced the Buffalos in the final round and contrary to what everyone might believe, we really did not want to win this final match… but our boys just could not play down their talent! They were the winners of the tournament, with a 2-1 victory.

The post-match presentation had prizes for the following individuals: top goal scorer, goal keeper of the tournament, player’s player, player of the tournament and coach of the tournament. The senior team got a floating trophy and bragging rights!

With a total of 74 youth between 13 and 18 years old testing on the day, and 45 between 19 and 35 years old, the day was a success for our first HCT Tournament in Addo. The community of Addo was a pleasure to work with. The event would not have been the success it was if we did not have support from the Cacadu Health Department, Olive Leaf, the SAPS, the Sundays River Citrus Company (oranges were the order of the day!) and Zola, who co-ordinated all the Addo logistics for us. We look forward to doing some more work with this community, as their appreciation was very encouraging.

Of the 74 children, none were HIV positive and of the older youth, 24 % tested HIV positive. This just proved how programmes such as ours are needed to keep the young generation in the HIV-free zone. The community of Addo pleaded us to come back and get their kids more involved in sport. “We are happy when our kids are having fun and learning at the same time, as AIDS is a big problem” commented one of the parents.

Mbanie in action with life skills
Mbanie in action with life skills
masters
masters' game
our SSE girls against the local team
our SSE girls against the local team
community members getting involved in the testing
community members getting involved in the testing
traditional dancing opening the day
traditional dancing opening the day
youth queuing up to get tested
youth queuing up to get tested
our SSE boys made it to the final
our SSE boys made it to the final
Mar 9, 2009

When “thinking on your feet” took on a whole new meaning and Nick's Passion

A NOTE FROM GLOBALGIVING:

This is the second in a series of snapshots about project leader Nick Mould and his organization Umzingisi School of Sporting Excellence.

Thank you for your continued support of Nick and his tireless dedication to improving the lives of South African children through sport. We ask you to contribute again today! Feel free to tell your friends about Nick and his incredible work!

~

When “thinking on your feet” took on a whole new meaning

After studying Business Economics and working for a “ruthless” multinational food retailer, Nick Mould needed a career break. He packed his bags and headed for his father’s homeland of South Africa to spend six months giving back to the community.

An avid sportsman, Nick used his athletic inclination as an avenue to get to know the children in the small towns where he worked. Nick’s “sport as a tool” proved very effective. “I quickly saw the impact that spending just a little bit of time with the impoverished children of the township communities here could do and that with a little bit of personal care and attention, improvements in the children’s behavior, attention span, self esteem and general intelligence became apparent,” says Nick. Nick starting building up a volunteer program for like-minded individuals to come out and coach sports.

Now four years in the running, the Umzingisi School of Sporting Excellence has added life-skills program in addition to its rigorous sports training schedule with the help of funding driven by GlobalGiving. The curriculum includes topics such as HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness, crime awareness, career guidance, intrapersonal development, financial management, health and nutrition, and computer skills. With further funding, Nick hopes to develop a holistic educational program that includes music, art, and drama instruction.

Nick’s Passion

What motives Nick to go to work every day? “Many people look at the kind of work we do and think that we are selfless for what we are doing for other people,” says Nick. “I don’t see it this way at all.”

Rather, for Nick, the satisfaction of helping another person is more valuable than monetary compensation. “One of the best feelings you can have is when you do something for someone else and they really appreciate what you have done,” says Nick. “There is so much more reward in working to help other people rather than working solely to help yourself.”

With a degree in Business Economics and experience working for a multinational food retailer, Nick abandoned his successful corporate career to pursue more meaningful work in community development. “I don’t feel like I could be doing anything else,” he says.

The Umzingisi School of Excellence directly benefits from donations received through GlobalGiving and Nick has used the funds to expand the educational program and curriculum. Increased giving would allow Nick and his colleagues to add art, drama, and music classes.

Feb 23, 2009

A Day in the Life of Umzingisi Project Director Nick Mould

A NOTE FROM GLOBAL GIVING:

Please welcome Nick Mould. He is a new project leader here at GlobalGiving and over the past few weeks we have had the opportunity to get to know Nick and the great work he does for his organization Umzingisi School of Sporting Excellence.

Periodically over the next two months we will be sending you snapshots about Nick’s life and work. We encourage your feedback about this new form of progress update so that we can provide you with the most interesting and relevant information possible about the projects and causes you support.

We thank you for your contributions and ask you to consider donating again to Nick and the Umzingisi School of Sporting Excellence. Feel free to tell your friends about Nick and his incredible work!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A Day in the Life of Umzingisi Project Director Nick Mould

It’s difficult to describe a typical work day as each day can differ so much from the next. So let me describe today. I started off on my laptop at home at 7:30 a.m., responding to emails and typing up a letter and information form for a group of under-13 boys who we are taking on rugby tour to the UK in May this year. I then dropped these forms with our junior boys’ rugby coach to prepare for his meeting with the parents of the boys, which is tomorrow night at a community school. I will also be there.

Then I stopped at our soup kitchen at the School of Excellence to check that the ingredients had arrived for today’s meals for the 250 children that we feed daily at the School of Excellence. I also wanted to check that the two new local ladies that we have employed to prepare the food were okay as it was their first day.

After dealing with the usual teething problems of the first day feeding 250 children, I went to check on student registration to make sure that all of our new scholarships had all the completed paper work and were put into classes for the year. At this stage some children informed me they had not received all of their uniforms, so I went to the shop that we have our uniform account with to rectify the problem and pick up the needed uniform.

From here I went to our volunteer accommodation to assist with transport of our volunteers. We currently have 34 volunteers and our two minibuses only take 15 each, so I was needed to help with the overload.

After this I went to collect the school books that we provide for our children with scholarships, then I went back to the school to give the children the missing uniforms and give everyone else their school books, and also check that lunch had been served. (It had, although 30 minutes late.)

I then had a meeting with one of our new scholars who had been absent from school on Friday, and, as a result, had not received his transport money for the upcoming week. After this I went to visit one of our trustees who had helped organize the first module of our life-skills program on intrapersonal development, to check that everything was ready to commence starting next Monday, which he informed me it is.

Then, I fetched the volunteer overloads and took them back to our volunteer accommodation and office where I then met with the staff to organize a strategic meeting for Thursday. By this time it was now 6:00 p.m., so I came home, sent some more emails, and then started working on this update. As I say there is no such thing as a typical day here, but that was my day today.

 
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