Aids is still a taboo topic among many people.It is also a topic of great controversy and misinformation.

We therefore intend to raise the awareness of Aids in the Soshanguve and New Eersterust areas. This entails informing people about the physical, social and spiritual impact and encouraging them to talk openly about it. The increased awareness will hopefully contribute to greater caring for people infected/affected, as well as preventing the further spread of this pandemic.

There is also an annual summer camp for children from New Eersterust, where seminars and several sporting events provide a fun way of thinking about aspects of AIDS.

Awareness - Q2 2018

posted Jun 25, 2018, 2:29 AM by Elsabe Ros

We had 28 young people attending the conference at Kloofwaters from 7-10 December 2017. The attendance by most was made possible by a sponsor from the Free Reformed Church Maranatha and De Verre Naaste.

Khothatsong had five leaders in attendance, and Kloofwaters provided four leaders. The Kloofwaters leaders were responsible for structured outdoor activities.

We conducted an attitude survey at the start of the conference, which we intend to conduct again after the follow-up sessions in 2018. In general, the attitude towards people with AIDS are accepting and supportive. Regarding sexual behaviour, the indication is that approximately half the attendees have made the decision not to have sexual intercourse outside of marriage. For all, pleasing God does not mean that a person can do anything he/she likes because they will be forgiven.

Apart from the conference, we had our first follow-up session during the course of 2018 for those who attended the 2016 and 2017 conferences. This first session was held at the Mighty Apies (so named because it is next to the Apies River), a Christian conference centre north of Pretoria. This follow-up was an overnight, with attendees arriving on 2 February in the late afternoon/evening and leaving the afternoon of 3 February. The overnight was mostly sponsored by our generous donors.

We asked the attendees of the camp to report on their experience. This is what they said:

​When I attended to the camp, I came here to have knowledge and wisdom of solving issues that are very personal and very deep. The sessions in the camp were entertaining and educating. The way they were taught was so amazing. I learnt that whenever we need help we should ask for assistance, so that we are able to solve the situations we are in. I felt very happy to have such knowledge of helping others and supporting one another through good and bad situations. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK. Kgotatso Sere

The experience was mind blowing, both indoors and outdoors activities. Team work gets better when we give each member a chance to suggest / have a say and full participation. The good moment was when we played volley ball in the water and water slide. Looking forward to doing it again, learning about God and AIDS. Ntokozo

It was really awesome because we learnt a lot, especially on HIV. When I arrived at the dam, I felt as if my heart was going to stop. Neoentle

In my own experience, I honestly did not expect to have as much fun as I did. Learning about the things we learnt opened my heart. I felt motivated but foremost the activities we did were amazing than I thought they would be. Orefile

I did the tree activity, it was amazing. I enjoyed everything. Hope we get another sponsor. Amogelang

I was warmly welcomed at the camp. I really appreciate that. I got to know everyone who joined us at the camp. I was in Patience’s group, I loved the way she communicated with us (she is so loving, kind and generous) I learnt a lot about life and the choices that we make lead us to the future. Love and respect yourself. Sandra Muhlati

The first moment I got here I was overwhelmed by the Kloofwaters staff the way they treated us. We were treated like kings and queens. There was this wonderful staff member Lucy, oh that lady was so wonderful also Anna. The camp was so awesome thanks to Khothatsong for organising this camp. There was this game about trust issues, it showed us some weaknesses that we cannot trust each other we had to balance each other up to the end. We also had to climb a tree, eish the game was cool, It was awesome and the swimming part. The first devotion session was so awesome we prayed and it was so nice. About Khothatsong sessions I heard that everything you do is about taking good decisions. Prince

Since I attended the Khothatsong camp my life has really changed. I was ashamed to talk or discuss about HIV and AIDS. But now I think I will be able to talk about it in my community, so that people in my community maybe aware of the virus, how to prevent this virus by using protection during sexual intercourse. I was also inspired by the word of God. When we were climbing the tree I was so afraid but at least I made it and faced my fears. I really enjoyed all the activities at the camp, the food was good. This camp really changed my life. I will never be the same person again I have grown spiritually. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have changed my life. Khothatso Mbokota

I learnt a lot about God and that even if you do not receive love from people, God loves you every day. I learnt about the importance of God’s miracles. I also learnt how to communicate with people at the camp, the part I liked were devotions; it made me see how the world could be sometimes.I learnt about HIV and AIDS, how we get infected and affected by HIV and how we can prevent it. Koketso Mokwena

I learnt the importance of God and how special God is in my life. I also learnt that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, God is everywhere. I had lots of fun. I had amazing fun meeting new people. I also learnt that people living with HIV or AIDS are also important. Boitumelo Pearl Motsweni

The experience here at Kloofwaters was sponsored by Khothatsong and was an amazing one. Before I attended the camp I did not know what a bible was, but now I know why we have to read the bible. I feel like a changed person because I will stop doing all the wrong things. I met new people and friends in my life that made me feel happy. Mfumo Thabang Mashimbye

As children we do not get a chance to discuss or have conversations with our parents. At the camp we got to interact with the teacher and other campers and express more of what we cannot do with our families. Kgomotso Mashabe

 The experience of Kloofwaters accompanied by Khothatsong was amazing. Every obstacle that we faced was really interesting and enjoyable. All the leaders took good care of us and provided us with great services. I am thankful to be being part of this year’s camp and I hope it won’t be the first and last for me. Lebohang Dhlamini

Khothatsong is a non-government organisation, the aim is not to make profit they render services. During the Khothatsong programme we were taught many things e.g. the bible- what is the bible. I learnt about HIV and AIDS, what it is, how it can infect/attack people and how to protect and prevent it. I learnt more about choices in life, the choices that are good a bear results that you won’t regret ever. The activities we did were very exciting and challenging. They taught us how to work and help each other. Xolani Mahlangu.

 The best moment I enjoyed was climbing the tree, at first I thought I couldn’t do it but then I did and also knowing more about HIV and how God’s love is. I also learnt that in like you have to make choices that will benefit you in the future. I had great fun if the mosquitoes were biting us. We slept very late and woke up very early. When I listened to the elders giving us advices, praying for us and teaching us the word of God, I felt like God had sent some of his Angels to come and advise, teach and pray for us. We love you all, thank you for everything. May God Bless you. Monique.

When I came to this camp, I was a little nervous. The activities were so hard, these activities taught us that in life we need help; we need to swallow our pride. It was the best holiday ever in my life. I learnt about the bible that it is the word of God. I believe in God. Starting for today I am a changed person and every Sunday I will go to Church. I would like to thank the Pastors and leaders for taking care of us. I really enjoyed playing new games. The food was good. It was wonderful to see the beauty of the place; it was special to swim in the natural Jaquez. Bongani

It was a very nice experience at the camp, the outdoor activities, the food and the service provided by our Kloofwaters and Khothatsong leaders. I’d really like to come again next year and hope the program to continue and prosper. Memphis.

I enjoyed the camp. We got more knowledge on the bible. We played awesome games and enjoyed swimming in the river. Thomas Madala

Being at Khothatsong camp really encouraged me. I learnt more things from people. The tree climbing was really nice and fun. It encouraged me that in life there are a lot of bad and good things, so I was encouraged that there is still a long way to go, it takes time to climb a long tree but if you are serious you will succeed. Vusumuzi Hlatshwayo.

The follow-up session was held at the Might Apies. It was simply heart-warming and Spirit driven. We had intense and thought provoking Bible study sessions. One focusing on respect, leadership and God’s love; another on God’s love, in the context of sin; another on answering the question: “what silly God judges a soul based on a seventy years lifespan”? These topics were all addressed with seriousness and wisdom. The difficulty, as for all of us: God’s grace. We are saved through the blood of Jesus Christ, not by our works.

We did an obstacle course and problem solving games. We swam! And saved two children who could not swim. They were from the Seventh day Adventists who shared the site with us on Saturday. We are forever thankful for our rescuers’ speedy response!

All in all a wonderful day. These attendees will not be part of the December Camp, because we need to expose what we teach and learn to new recruits. We have, however, agreed to take them on a tent/cave camp weekend to experience God and His Creation. In September. They will bring the food and arrange the taxi. But, we seek sponsors for the hike/camp and volunteers to join us. Please consider sponsoring us!

Awareness - April 2017

posted Jan 24, 2018, 11:12 AM by Elsabe Ros   [ updated Jan 27, 2018, 6:15 AM ]

A total of 32 young adults from Soshanguve Block XX and New Eersterust F4 attended the HIV/AIDS Awareness Conference at Kloofwaters from 8 to 11 December 2016. The ages ranged from 15-23 years, with about as many males as females. Six leaders attended the conference, two of which were male, four females. Each was responsible for leading small group Bible discussions.

Another four leaders from Kloofwaters joined the conference, and were responsible for outdoor activities. The activities were focused on developing problem-solving techniques, physical capabilities, teamwork, self-knowledge and stamina – on physical, emotional and intellectual level. The conference members approached these activities enthusiastically.

The conference started on a Thursday and ended on a Sunday with a church service lead by Rev George Mnisi. We added an extra day to the conference in order to have additional sessions, over and above the six structured sessions taken from the Better Choices course by Crossroads. These extra sessions focused on the structure and layout of the Bible, as well as the history of salvation throughout the Bible.

The main goal of the conference was to expand the young adults' knowledge concerning HIV and AIDS, within the context of God's love and guidelines given in the Bible. The following topics were covered:

  • Identifying dreams
  • AIDS transmission
  • Living with AIDS and how to avoid infection
  • Making life choices
  • God's amazing love
  • Making an impact

God was worshipped at this conference. Members sang His praises before and after formal sessions, during free time, and around the campfire. Most of the songs that were sung were English.

Fifteen members were completely sponsored by Khothatsong. We asked R400.00 per person.

We are grateful that this Awareness Conference could take place, and that the Lord has once again blessed us richly. We thank our sponsors and leaders who gave their time freely. We look forward to 2017's conference!

Awareness - Nov 2016

posted Jan 24, 2018, 10:59 AM by Elsabe Ros   [ updated Jan 27, 2018, 6:15 AM ]

The Awareness team arranged one contact session for the second quarter of this year. The day consisted of structured games and Bible study sessions. We used material from the Bible curriculum “Behold your God”, which was developed by Positive Action. The aim of the study was to discuss and answer questions posed at the first contact session of this year. We discussed the identity of Christians, holiness, and what it meant to know God.

Our new CEO, Unathi Twale, and the reverend George Mnisi joined us for the session. The group consisted mainly of youth from Nellmapius, although the contact session was held at Khothatsong’s offices in F4. A lot of photos were taken and shared amongst each other.The next contact session is planned for August in Pretoria. The intention for the session is to raise funds by showing a movie. This will be the last session of the year. The camp arrangements for December will be finalised in the last quarter.

Our new CEO, Unathi Twale, and the reverend George Mnisi joined us for the session. The group consisted mainly of youth from Nellmapius, although the contact session was held at Khothatsong’s offices in F4. A lot of photos were taken and shared amongst each other.

The next contact session is planned for August in Pretoria. The intention for the session is to raise funds by showing a movie. This will be the last session of the year. The camp arrangements for December will be finalised in the last quarter.

Awareness - 2016 (1)

posted Jan 24, 2018, 10:50 AM by Elsabe Ros   [ updated Jan 27, 2018, 6:15 AM ]

During 2015 we worked hard to make arrangements for the annual HIV/Aids Awareness Camp. A number of people were involved with the planning and introduction of the camp, which included: ordering Bibles, recruiting of young people, collection of registration fees and indemnity forms, organising transport, communication with Kloofwaters’ management, and preparation for the workshops.

At last, with all the preparations completed, Khothatsong’s annual Awareness Camp commenced on 4 December 2015. The two busses packed with young people arrived at noon, with one bus with 15 young people from Nellmapius, and the other bus with 18 young people from F4 (New Eersterust). Nellmapius is an area east of Pretoria, whereReverend George Mnisi of the Free Reformed Church (FRC) of South Africa has the calling to build a congregation and F4 is Khothatsong’s focus area for home based care. The luxury busses were provided at a special rate, with the compliments of Baobab Tours.

We had the usual six formal educational sessions in the chapel on site. The topics that were discussed included HIV transmission, interacting with people with HIV/Aids, planning for the future, making life choices, God’s amazing love for sinners, and opportunities for personal involvement with people impacted and/or affected by HIV/Aids.

These sessions were , once again, attended with enthusiasm and interest. As usual, the roleplays were a highlight, and resulted in commentary, laughter, and respectful silence. Apart from these six sessions, we also had a session to introduce the Bible. In the past we noticed that not all the attendees know the Bible, and that it was therefore necessary to explain the way in which the Bible was compiled and to practice finding books and verses in the Bible. This year was no exception: some attendees knew the Bible well, and others did not know it at all. By the end of the weekend everybody was more comfortable with their Bibles. We have also identified the need to explain the content of the Bible, which we will include in the program this year.

Each leader was responsible for one of the six educational sessions. Each leader also had a small group to lead and to guide during the course of the weekend. A young assistant leader from the FRC Pretoria conducted the “Introduction to the Bible” session. He also introduced Christian hymns and songs, and the group chose two songs to learn during the course of the weekend. God was praised with enthusiasm through these songs! This collection of songs was electronically downloaded by a number of attendees, and some played these during recreational periods. Another assistant leader from Pretoria joined us on Saturday afternoon, and the game the two young men taught those who wanted to stay up later that night, was very popular.

We employed a young lady from F4 to assist us with the camp preparations, the recruitment of young people in F4 and general administration during the weekend of the camp. Her confidence and skills grew over the period, and her administration was impeccable. The assistance of these three young people was invaluable.

Four employees of Kloofwaters organised the outdoor adventure activities, with Khothatsong’s leaders watching with appreciation how these experts involved every youngster to complete every challenge in a satisfactory manner. It was inspiring to see what was possible with teamwork, encouragement, and the expectation that everyone should participate. These activities illustrated the concepts and behaviour we discussed and explored in the workshops. Examples are the importance of making the right choices, planning, time management, working together, determination, as well as the value of teamwork, giving and receiving support, and correcting wrong decisions.

I don’t think there was one person not changed by the weekend we had the privilege of spending together. To say farewell after the sermon on 6 December was difficult. God in His infinite wisdom brought us together, and we pray that He stays with these young people as they move on and are exposed to situations where they have to apply what they had learnt. The HIV/Aids survey we conducted before and upon completion of the six workshops generally showed an improvement in knowledge and change in attitude among participants; but whether behaviour will change especially regarding sexual behaviour and biblical valuescannot be guaranteed.

We look forward to meet with this group of young people again in April to continue discussions and to share problems and challenges. During the follow-up session we encourage the sharing of differences in opinion, and the debating that follows as a result is usually stimulating and interesting. Please remember this follow-up session in your prayers, that we address the right topics, and that the Lord shall give us wisdom.

We need to expand the team, in order to be more involved with the young people who attended the camps. We want to inspire people to become involved in the camps and follow-up sessions on a personal level. It would be a good thing for believers of the same age groups as the camp attendees to help with this work. We needyour support in this. Should you be interested in doing the Lord’s work in this way, you can contact me: Anita Bron.

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