The First Two Days in SA by Alana Haley

I am in school at the Capital Prep School in Bridgeport, CT and I’m an in the 8th grade. I am proud to be the William’s House Captain. I love to focus on my work and I am goal oriented. Once I set a goal, I am someone who can be counted on and I will not let anyone down. Math is my favorite subject because it helps me learn about money. When I get older, I want to be a computer engineer because I want to make a product that everyone around the wold will want to have. Although I do not know what it will be yet, I do know that technology has a huge impact on today’s society.

Alana Haley

July 14, 2017

On the first day in Joburg, South Africa we met Gogo’s (or grannys) and learners from Diepsloot.  Before meeting the families we were told that they all had been living in poverty for most of their life.  After meeting them it was hard to believe that they had lived in such conditions because they were so happy and so polite.  They sang songs and danced around the fire with us. When we went to visit Diepsloot and spoke with the Gogos, we learned that many of the families were in need of food.  Most of them were in desperate need of food because the amount of children/people living in one home.  One way that we can end this basic need problem is to go food shopping and provide them with long lasting foods such as rice and beans & tin fish.  

July 15, 2017

Today we stopped by two more family homes in Diepsloot.  We also went by a creche or daycare.  It was fun to see the babies laugh and share their toys and even to read to them.  It kind of reminded me of when I spend time with my little cousin.  I met this little boy who didn’t know how to pronounce his name yet.  He seemed shy but once I played with him I learned that he was very ticklish.  The other children were very joyful and introduced us to some new song games to get to know one another.  So today I had a really good day!

Reflections and Resolve in South Africa by Cynaiiluv Jacobs

I am in the 6th grade at Capital Prep in Harlem. I love English and when I grow up I want to b a detective. I feel that there are a lot of cases that have not yet been solved and I believe that I can solve them. I am really glad to be going to South Africa and I expect to learn how to be more grateful for what I have than I currently am now. I think I will also be able to see how our problems are different and similar to the children who live there.

 

Let me start off by saying today was a very harsh and long day. We visited homes in Diepsloot and I learned a lot of things about how tough life is in this township.  I asked a lot of questions to the grandmothers we visited, including “What’s your biggest fear?”  Some of the responses I received included that they didn’t want their kids to fall into sex trafficking or to do drugs.  Also, I came to realize that everyone’s basic need is important. What hit me the most is when I asked a young girl about school and her response was, “I am ashamed to go to school.”  This was because she lived in such extreme poverty. This broke me down because I realized that I use all the resources I have, made it almost seem like my parents are the richest people on earth and they are not.

These kids live in real poverty which makes me think why am I so ungrateful? Why do I argue with my parents when I can’t get the iPhone 7? This brings to me thinking about how bad poverty breaks down children in society mentally in a way no child should ever have to feel. I come from a place where people only care about themselves and forget the homeless because we think that they put themselves into the situation they are in on their own.  But now, when I think about the kids in Diepsloot who are struggling, I understand that sometimes unexpected circumstances can dictate someone’s future. So instead of worrying about what phone is going to come out next, I will appreciate what I already have more and I’ll never forget the hardships that other kids face. I will change my mindset and work to ensure that children everywhere have a better future.