My name is Tremayne Garrett and I am in the 10th grade at Capital Prep Harbor. I would describe myself as a humble young man who is self-motivated, determined, and focused on my goal. My goal is to be successful in life and to have a little fun at the same time. I would like to pursue a career in physical therapy for athletes because I love sports and I know how it fells to have to sit out of games because of bone breaks or muscle tears. I want to help athletes get back to their sports faster I also care about my community and the empowerment of others. While in South Africa, I look forward to learning about a new culture and having the opportunity to help those in need.
Tremayne Garrett Jr.
July 9, 2017
My name is Tremayne Garrett. Today is Sunday July 9th, 2017. The Capital Prep group who came to South Africa early for the African Leadership Academy program travelled to Sun City. We went to community a church and also a few nearby homes, day cares, and even an orphanage in a tribal preserve. We did something very simple as giving gifts and necessities to the citizens, and though we may feel that we could have given more, our gesture was dearly appreciated by the kids, men, and women. This is because what may seem small to us in America is huge and very important to them and are some things that we take it for granted. And while they were poor, they still had smiles on their faces and did not take out all of the negativity or anger on the world. I learned a lot on this day, but one thing for sure is that your situation doesn’t define you, you define your situation.
Tremayne Garrett Jr.
July 14, 2017
My name is Tremayne Garrett. Today is Friday, July 14. Yesterday the second cohort arrived and settled in. We were then shown 3 presentations on HIV/AIDS, on an organization that helps South African kids, and a presentation about the African Leadership Academy. We then met the GoGos (grannies) and some of the Journey For Change children from Diepsloot. We socialized, got to know each other, and then had a campfire outside where we sang songs, danced, and just really had fun with both the grannies and the children. From yesterday I learned that wherever you come from, when people are the same age, there are going to be similarities that bind you. From the children I interacted with, we had a lot in common such as favorite colors, hobbies, sports, and even in the songs we like. And believe it or not the only thing different is our surroundings and where we live. And there were other similarities about poverty. In South Africa, one person may be poor but not as poor as someone else. And if one person in the neighborhood doesn’t have something and someone else is able to provide for them, then they will help. It is similar in South Africa. So all in all yesterday I was reassured to not judge a book by its cover and that no matter where you come from you can always find something in common if you really dig and ask questions.
Now today we actually went into Diepsloot and gained information from three families or GoGos and really tried to get to know their situation so we can figure out how to help them in the best possible with the money we are allowed to spend. For the most part the grannies moved from their rural home village to Diepsloot because where they lived was even more poor than Diepsloot and there was no food. They barely get to go home, but maybe just once a year and sometimes not for the best reasons such as funerals. They all would go more but they cannot afford it. The three grannies I met all had similar problems, such as they could not get work because they were “too old.” Since some of them are from different countries they are not able to get grants or pension which is terrible because some of them were there for over 30 years. Two of the grannies barely had anything because they were not receiving grants for caring for their orphaned children and that is a real life changer. It can be the difference from having food, water, kids going to school, having a stove to cook on, and having none of that at all. The things I saw today in terms of what they did not have were so simple and basic to us at home, but literally makes their life unimaginable and difficult. I have to thank God and my parents for providing me with those basic needs. Those of us who can say that they do not have to worry about their basic needs are really blessed and sometimes we don’t realize it. I truly learned today that I can easily be in their situation if I don’t get the right education. So education is the path out of poverty.
Tremayne Garrett Jr.
July 15, 2017
My name is Tremayne Garrett. Today is Saturday, July 15th, 2017. Today we were scheduled to volunteer at a daycare and they had not had electricity for the past week so cooking has been difficult for them. So to help them, we purchased food and some of the students made sandwiches for them while others played and read books to them. One of our SDGs is that there should be No Hunger and making the sandwiches, plus chips, apples, bananas and a juice falls under this goal because we gave these children at least one more meal so they don’t go to sleep hungry. Also during our home visits that day, it was great that both of the families had electricity so they had working refrigerators and were able to store fresh foods and fruits making it easier to eat healthy foods and maintain a healthy life. Today I learned that No Hunger and Good Health and Well Being go hand in hand because you can’t be healthy if you’re hungry. Also being hungry takes a toll on school and also physical and mental growth.
Tremayne Garrett Jr.
Sunday, July 16th 2017
Dreams are huge for children. Some dream big some dream small but we all have dreams. But it hurts when you realize your dream is nothing more than a dream and will never become a reality. For a child to fulfill their dreams they must have a strong education and today at the Hector Pieterson Museum we learned that many South African learners fought for their education to be taught in their native tongue so they can fully understand and actually grasp what was being taught. As they began to protest this law, some were even killed for it such as Hector Pieterson who died during the famous Soweto Uprisings. Students in the U.S are so privileged in so many ways it’s unbelievable. In most schools we have translators if we need them, AIDS if kids need help, most of our public schools are close to transportation so it is not an issue, and many private schools give financial aid to those who need it. With what I learned today and yesterday going to school is their privilege. Most schools are miles away from the gogo’s shacks and they can’t always afford taxis so they stay out of school or walk for hours, some of them them barefoot. And if they’re late they’re kicked out for the day. So now you take away their education and their dream is also gone. They are now so much farther away from getting out of poverty and more than likely will stay in the shacks they live in today. Most U.S students take education for granted. I know I do at times but after seeing the kids we partnered with in Diepsloot soak up the information at the museum and at the African Leadership Academy, I know for sure they would literally kill to be in our positions and would actually take advantage of it to make their dreams come true .
Tremayne Garrett Jr.
Monday, July 17th 2017
Last day of visits and I believe it may be the best visit yet. My group met a granny who actually is the grandmother of Ntombi, Ms. Compton- Rock’s daughter. One of her children told us because she is a girl it was more difficult to get a job than a male. She even said for women it “sometimes isn’t what you know but who you know”. The granny was just so nice, generous, and proactive. She once lived in a shack like the other grannies we visited but with the money she saved from the income generating program she is in and visits to the dump she managed to collect bricks and built a house, bathroom, shed, and potentially an addition to the house. She really inspired me in a way that money isn’t everything and it does all start from a dream. But sadly to say because of her age she was jobless and did not have aid from the government. When I asked a granny why so many grannies worked in domestic workplaces she said “With the low quality or no education at all the better paying jobs were too difficult mentally for them and washing dishes is easy” so that was where their income came from. We also asked what were their dreams and aspirations for the young girls in their lives who they take care of today and most said that they want them to get an education, obtain the job they dream having and get out of Diepsloot and poverty altogether. Gender inequality happens all over the world, but it is particularly horrible in Africa and worse than in America. The only way these girls and women will get out of poverty is if this SDG, gender equality, is achieved.
Tremayne Garrett Jr.
July 18, 2017
I swear each day gets better and better here in South Africa. Today was Mandela Day and being in South Africa it is a big deal. In the country on this day it is known for everyone to dedicate 67 minutes to community service because that is the amount of years Mandela dedicated to service. So we started the day off with going to a daycare in Diepsloot and played with the kids and painted a mural on the front wall of the house. It made the house look more colorful and bright because it was just a plain wall before. But the characters and bright colors brought it to life. Then we went to a community soccer game that we Journey for Change sponsored which was also in Diepsloot and actually played with the kids. There were over 450 kids in attendance and we had lots of fun. Some even made us look foolish because they were so good. But so far throughout the trip the best feeling I have had is when I made someone smile by doing something so little, such as just giving a granny a long hug or giving high fives to the kids. Now today was all about serving others on Mandela’s birthday in which he would have been 99 today. But to me at times I feel community service should be everyday and can be both a big or small gesture. If you can just make it so a person forgets that they’re in a bad situation then that’s a good start. Service is something that we should all do all of the time.