HERITAGE DAY 24th September 2015

All our ‘to be a child again’ youth clubs celebrated Heritage day in fine style. As you know, in all our Youth clubs English and only English is to be spoken by the children and their leaders. The reason for this rule is simple, when we started the clubs 5 years ago, we were soon very aware of the children’s inability to converse in English. The children are taught all their subjects at school in English, yet they rarely speak English outside of the classrooms. At home, many of the parents cannot speak English, so only xhosa is spoken. How can you participate or learn any subject when you do not really understand what the teacher is saying?

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Hence, this rule of ENGLISH ONLY was implemented. Not a popular decision amongst the children I can assure you, until they realised how it was helping them at school. At the club meetings the children are often asked to stand up and present a subject that has been researched and it is always in English, they battled, but now are becoming quite accomplished.

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In implementing this rule, of only speaking English we feel it even more important, that the children are aware of their own heritage and what better way to celebrate their culture than on Heritage day

What a wonderful day it was for all our children, I spent the day traveling from one club to the other to join the children and share their celebration, it was fabulous. Children and leaders alike dressed up in traditional dress and sang and danced and ate the same food that was prepared by their forefathers so many years ago. Our Phillipi club decided to celebrate all African countries heritage and dressed appropriately for each country presenting to the rest of the club members the different traditions and cultures of their African brothers and sisters.

Khayelitsha club celebrated together with other projects in the Kuyasa community in Khayelitsha, everyone dressing up in traditional style having fun together.

Hout Bay club joined their entire Imizamo Yethu community on the sports field and spent the day joining in with all the activities.

Masiphumulele, spent the day celebrating in their own club house, the children performed plays that they had created themselves, singing and dancing and remembering with pride where they came from.

The traditional food of the day was Samp and gravy, spinach and potatoes, chakalaka and the famous Tripe..As a guest all their celebrations, it was expected and I was honoured by sharing their meals…well there is only so much food you can eat and by the end of the day…… to say I was full to bursting ….was an understatement.

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What a wonderful day it had been for these children, an escape and safe for the moment from the realities of a child living in the townships.

There is nothing in the world that can take the place of the smiling faces of happy children singing and dancing, it really was awesome…Hope you had as much fun on Heritage day as I did….