“Has anyone here been on a journey? I asked. For most of the children in the after-school programs for orphans and vulnerable children in Tembisa a trip into the city of Johannesburg would be an adventure. One boy tentatively raised his hand.
“Where did you go?” I asked him.
“Your life is like a journey,” I explained. “The choices you make will determine where you go and how enjoyable your journey is.” The theme is similar to what I used at Kingsridge Senior Primary. Taking responsibility for choices seems to be the key to stopping the AIDS pandemic.
I’m using the Today for Tomorrow curriculum developed in Zimbabwe a few years ago. In Zim it is used in after-school programs like the ones I work with in Tembisa. Here it is being used as Sunday school curriculum in the Africa Evangelical Churches (once associated with our old mission, Africa Evangelical Fellowship.) It is a three-year Bible-based life skills program designed to prepare children to resist the kinds of activities that make them vulnerable to HIV&AIDS. I’ve seen other programs that are essentially a Bible verse and a one-page sermon to read with the advice that you should “sing some songs and play some games” with the children as well. This program is FAR more child friendly.
“The Bible is like a guidebook for the journey," I told the boys and girls. "The best part is that the Author of the guidebook promises to go with you on the journey.
Not all the children were confident reading aloud in English, and their caretakers stepped in to read for them more than I would have liked. But I was glad the caretakers were there to see that learning can be fun. I’m hoping that after my four weeks here, they will be excited to get training from Today for Tomorrow and continue teaching on their own.