>> Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The Star for Life schools program began last week with workshops. Across KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Windhoek, Namibia similar workshops are now taking place and all our coaches and trainers are working tirelessly to make sure that all the schools are receiving the support that they need.
These workshops are aimed at inspiring the learners and teachers, and to encourage the learner to live an AIDS FREE life.
At Qhakaza High School in Empangeni in KwaZulu Natal, a comprehensive set of learners’ and teachers’ workshops took place in the school over three days. The most senior learners enrolled in the programme at this particular school had reached their third workshop (Grade 9-10), but there were also workshops for new learners and for teachers.
The workshop for the senior learners focused on their personal goals, their plans, and to be disciplined in the pursuit of their dreams. “Workshop 3 brings hope and determination to the learners so that they can fulfil their dreams despite the challenges many learners face in life. Hope and dreams become essential in anything they do”, says Jean-Daniel Kabati, Senior Trainer at Star for Life.
Pictured below are newly enrolled learners of Grade 8 at Qhakaza High School, attending their very first workshop. The learners were inspired to have dreams about the future; they wrote them down in their Dream Book and shared them with their friends.
The coach also emphasised the importance of education and how an unhealthy lifestyle might hinder their efforts to fulfil their dreams.
Jean-Daniel says that Workshop 1 is ”very important for learners because it tells them – it makes them see – that they are still important and that they can be whatever they want to be in life, irrespective of the challenges they face every day.”
The workshop continued by focusing on HIV/AIDS and spoke of the importance of values, self-esteem, and making the right choices. Though running for several hours, the students listened keenly throughout the entire workshop and absorbed as much as they possibly could.
Precious Dlamini, the coach of the school, describes the impact of the workshops: “Our kids are in high school, and some never get to speak about their dreams, however Star for Life provides that platform. For them to have dreams, against a backdrop of a whole lot of challenges, gives them a sense of direction and gives hope to a whole new generation.”
Through these workshops, learners are empowered to make the right decisions while teachers are encouraged to contribute with support and guidance. Indeed, the intense energy harnessed in the workshops constitutes a very powerful instrument for influencing the mind-set of students and teachers alike.