For most of us, holidays play a prominent part in our childhood memories, familiar destinations for an enjoyable meander down memory lane. But there are many children who do not have the luxury of holidays and who will have no fond memories to recall in later years.
Last term, Indlela took members of the Amaoti 3 Girls’ Club to Hibberdene Children’s Holiday Home on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast for a memorable night away, for many their first experience of a holiday away from home. The Girl’s and Boys’ Clubs aim to provide pupils with constructive and creative after-school activities as a positive alternative to the risky behaviour that is common to unoccupied adolescents.
A bus packed with young girls, youth workers from Indlela’s Learning For Life programme, and staff set off from Amaoti to the accompaniment of singing, laughter and a buzz of excited conversation. On arriving at their destination, the girls were allocated beds and divided into teams. A programme of fun team-building activities kicked-off with some of the girls venturing into the ocean for the first time. The evening was spent watching movies, chatting and strengthening friendships. The next morning, the girls enjoyed a walk along the beautiful beach and a refreshing swim before tackling more team-building projects.
It wasn’t a five-star hotel in an exotic foreign location, but for some of the girls it offered the unusual luxury of having a bed to themselves, instead of having to share with at least one sibling. In accordance with Zulu culture, these young girls usually go home after school and start a round of household chores. For once, they were free from such responsibilities and encouraged to experience new and exciting activities. They certainly returned home with a fund of memories to remember fondly in weeks to come.