Life Skills Camp

untitled-9402-2We held a Future Leaders Life Skills camp last week. I will let two of the Future leaders share their experience versus their expectations.

I am Mary Dube from Izingolweni. When we were invited to camp as Future Leaders there was a sense of reluctance as some of us are primary care givers in our homes and some of us have small children and elderly parents to look after. There are many of us since psychosocial groups emerged who longed for camp and extended contact with our peers. We yearned to hang out and unify the group for a collective learning experience. so there was a divide in eagerness.

Mary  and Phakamile on wheel barrow.. I will be your legs if you will be my arms.
Mary and Phakamile on wheel barrow.. I will be your legs if you will be my arms.

Camp panned out to be an exceptional experience. Even those that were not too keen on camp put down their guards and embraced the experience. I as the adult in my house hold enjoyed the chance to reboot my self-esteem with peers who understood and others who could relate to my situation and pressures. It was so energizing, so revitalising and refreshing. It was like breathing fresher air, maybe the ocean had much to do with that.

The life skills course content was relevant and not excessive. I personally reflected a lot to conflict management and even more so to the phenomena known as internal conflict. I identified patterns that I could personally relate with and how that possibly hindered my communication in general.

Self-esteem activity facilitated by Sthembile Gavu.
Self-esteem activity facilitated by Sthembile Gavu.

I look forward in improving myself on a daily basis, not just for those around me but for better personal satisfaction. I am excited about my life and my potential.. Hahahahahah Zola hates the word potential, in the Goal Setting session she facilitated she took 10 minutes to discuss her discomfort regarding the word. She was hilarious but had a point. But yes I am ready to transform my potential into a visible and tangible achievement thanks to sessions lead by Sthe, Nosipho, Zola and Nompumelelo ranging from topics such as Communication to emotional Maturity.

I am however glad that we have psychosocial meetings, that way when hope begins to fade we can come together as brothers and sisters and reboot.

Nkululeko Luna after relay.
Nkululeko Luna after relay.

My name is Nkululeko Luna. Hahaha, well I don’t know what to say hahaha.. Ok so I am shy, no, let me rephrase, I was shy but camp slapped the silly out of my shyness.. It all came to me during Sthembile’s session about self-esteem, though she did not infer it, it occurred to me that my shyness was a defense mechanism and mask, protecting the fragility of my self-esteem, so I figured the less I said the less a chance people would notice me or think little of me. I was hiding in the shadows. There are shy people or quiet people and that is ok, but I am not shy, I was just ruled by what others would say about me. After that session all of that fell away and I made conscious decisions to voice my opinion in a group and speak up when spoken to. It feels so good to be real and unapologetic.

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The wrath of load shedding during dinner prep time

As for the activities, can you say Wet and Wild. Seeing our sisters run and fall for the team was just moving and I cannot imagine a more bonding experience. Carrying each other to the finish line. When we were physically falling apart our team found strength with each encounter with the ground and helping hand. So much accountability was in play through-out the whole camp, from keeping time to working together as a team in the kitchen and activities to the evening choir sessions. Zola got upset with us a few times because we did not always get it right. We ran late, we served food late, we came to sessions late but she made sure we were aware that it was unacceptable if we desire respectability in the real world.

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Sthembile Gavu in action

We are still not there. But we are definitely as a group and individuals acquiring more and more strengthen and confidence and the will to desire.

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Lean on me or fall with me
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Mary for her team
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Hesitant Sizwe feeling up the water before he fills up.
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Nomusa racing to the finish line
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Birthday treats for Nkululeko junior
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“There is no better way I could have spent my birthday”
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Sane taking leadership and unavailing her talent to the group as a song writer.
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Hoola relay… They came in last …… But they sure had a good time.
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Relay , Gcinile and Sphumelele
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Nomfundo searching for candy in flour.
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Went to the beach without intention to be wet.. but we followed our hearts.. Thapelo, Zola and Sizwe.
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United we stand.. Group pyramid.