May 11, 2009
First day at Zonki!
Zonkizizwe is village located an hour outside of Jo’burg (the slang word used for Johannesburg, South Africa). “Zonkizizwe” translates to “Many Nations.” It is inhabited by people from various South African tribes.
It is considered a “shanty town” because it is poverty-stricken due to the negligence it faced during apartheid. This are is estimated at having a 40% HIV-AIDS rate.
Here we are working with VVOCF, Vumunzuku-bya Vana – Our Children’s Future, a community center for youth in Zonki. This center provides adult care and attention to youth orphaned due to parents dying of AIDS. South Africa has the largest percentage of individuals with the disease, and with insufficient health care and lack of knowledge about rights and resources concerning HIV-AIDS, many adults have passed, leaving their young ones to fit for themselves.
On the first day I arrived children came to the center to welcome us. They sang us a beautiful song and we had a little dance-off!
*This is a picture of the young people gathering inside the center