We Still Have a Long Way to Go by: Jayda Gonzalez

I attend the Capital Prep School in Harlem and I am in the 6th grade. My favorite subject is English. I want to be a pediatrician because I want to help other people, especially children. Since I am still a child, I can relate to them and I feel I will be a compassionate doctor because of this. On this trip to South Africa, I expect to discover new things and learn about a different culture and come back home with new perspective.


Jayda Gonzalez

July 14, 2017

Today we went to Diepsloot and visited Granny’s homes to see their problems to try to help them solve their situation as best we can. The first granny we saw was Martha and she was 56 years old, with 2 kids ages and 25 and 26. Martha’s lived in a shack and had many problems, including a leaking roof, no electricity, no access to water near her, and her kitchen was outside. One of my ideas for a solution was to build a shed for her stove that connects to her house so she won’t be able to inhale the gas and can still cook when it rains.  Also we were all thinking to buy some aluminum or a tarp to cover her roof so when it rains the water doesn’t get in her house. I felt a connection with Martha because I saw her yesterday at the meet-n-greet and when we saw her again I recognized her and I actually remembered hugging her when the gogo’s arrive. So when we came back she remembered me and we took a picture together and shared a very special moment together. When we took the picture together I felt loved a lot when she told me me.  Of course Itold her that I loved her too because I really do love her.  I respect her so much for how much she has to fo for herself, her kids, her grandkids and basically her whole family without any income at all and in extreme poverty.

I also made a friend named Precious Mphahlele who is 12 years old in 6th grade and she goes to Musengavhadzimu primary school.  She likes to sing and I honestly think she is really cool because she is funny and she likes going on her phone taking selfies, looking at memes, playing games, and screenshotting messages. There are a lot of ways that we are alike. The difference between us is that her clothes are different brands and worn and the shoes are not brands we wear and are old.  I know this is because they are poor. Of course, I don’t know their language and there are 11 official languages that you hear. I realized life for everyone is hard but there is still a lot of love and laughter and a lot that we have in common.

Jayda Gonzalez

July 15, 2017

The first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) we discussed today was No Poverty and the second SDG we talked about was No Hunger.  We thought about these goals on our journey through extension 9 in Diepsloot.  All of the families were very poor and most did not have electricity.  The first granny went to meet was Nompumelo and she was 63 years old and worked 10 years as a domestic worker. I was thinking that we should get her a refrigerator so that she can get more types or fresh and nutritious food but she has no electricity.  It is so sad because they deserve to eat meat and fresh vegetables to get the nutrients they need to have healthy and strong bodies and skin to keep out illnesses.

Jada Gonzalez 

July 16, 2017

Today the Sustainable Development Goal we discussed was Quality Education which is number four. It was a good goal to have because we went to the Hector Pieterson Museum and this SDG really relates to where we went today. It is important for all children to access the human right to an EQUAL education because we all have the right to knowledge that will make us smart and to know things that will help us to gain jobs and live a life out of poverty.  It is also important for girls to stay in school and not be forced to quite when boys stay in school.  The only way we can end poverty is if just as many girls as boys go to school.

Jayda Gonzalez

July 17, 2017

Today we focused on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of GENDER EQUALITY. All of the Gogo’s sat outside in a circle and we sat around them and Malaak asked them questions about gender equality and their hopes and dreams for their girls.  If the gogo’s did work when they were younger, the all did domestic work such as washing dishes and making the beds.  This was because they did not get the education in the rural areas that would allow them to have better work and because they lived when there was apartheid.One of the gogo’s said that they thought the boys had a better education than the girls and that the girls were allowed to fall behind. It’s really not fair that boys around the world still get a better education than girls who are forced to clean the house and wash the clothes. I learned that in Egypt boys and men will not even say their mothers name because it is an embarrassment.  She is called the “Mother of Eldest son.” She is no longer called her birth name and has no identity.  Girls are also forced to marry early and they get bossed around by their husband that they are supposed to love even though they just want to be a kid.  Gender Equality is still a work in progress in the U.S too because President Donald Trump talks about women in a disgusting way.  It’s sick to know that our president talks about women who are literally are mothers and independent strong women who are trying to live their as they are getting disrespected by the leader of the United States.

Jayda Gonzalez

July 18, 2017

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela. All South Africans and other people around the world appreciate your Presidency in South Africa and influence to make people better and encourage them to do volunteer work. Today we went to two different daycare’s to paint murals so the outside of their school will be decent,cute, and nice. It was hard to be honest because half of the time I got paint of myself or I would have to do the whole section again and that is just too much work for me, especially because I am very little and the wall was very tall.  We then went to a soccer match for hundreds of kids in the community which was fun and made me feel good that so many children had a nice day. Service work can be hard but at the end it’s all worth it to see a smile, give a hug so people feel loved and help them with their troubles.

Author: journeyforchangesite

Journey for Change 4 is collaborating with Steve Perry's Capital Prep school in an exciting global service program. Students from 6th grade to 11th have traveled from New York to South Africa for the experience of a lifetime. While the kids get to take leadership courses and enjoy the country sites, they also are doing volunteer work within the impoverished area of Diepsloot.

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