A pre-term camp has taught a group of Grade 9 Vision AfriKa learners to understand the value of planning in order to achieve their life goals – and to have more faith in themselves.
The theme of the three-day camp, which took place at the end of January at the KanonKop wine farm in Stellenbosch, was ‘life mapping’.
The aim was to help students see the value of charting a clear path through their lives in order to provide them with sufficient direction to achieve their dreams.
A further goal was to create a team-building event that would assist the students and programme facilitators in getting to know each other on a more personal level so as to enhance trust.
After arriving at the big hall on the Friday evening, the first task was to discuss the agenda and jointly set up a list of ground rules and code of conduct.
The group was subsequently divided into four teams, which all competed with each other in a series of traditional ‘Boeresport’ games such as three-legged, sack and egg-and-spoon races as well as bobbing for apples.
Everyone was then invited to participate in a hot supper, but the teams again had to compete with each other for the food that they most wanted to eat to further encourage team-building between members.
Next day, all of the learners took part in small group sessions to discuss the camp’s key theme of ‘life mapping’ and goal-setting under six key headings:
1. Dreams – everyone has them
2. Potential – each student has the potential to become anything they want to be
3. Responsibility – every learner has to take responsibility for fulfilling their own dreams
4. Targets – they need to be set if individuals are to achieve their short- or long-term goals
5. Obstacles – some will inevitably come along to deflect you off course
6. Support – what Vision AfriKa is there for.
On the final day, an emotional discussion took place about some of the main challenges that the learners faced in their everyday lives, which were holding them back from reaching their full potential.
These issues included low self-esteem, peer pressure, alcohol abuse and inadequate financial support.
But many of the students also said that the camp had helped them to have more faith in themselves and their abilities, not least because they had been chosen out of lots of others to take part in the Vision AfriKa programme.
They likewise added that they had gained a much better understanding of the support that Vision AfriKa was able to give them and to trust that the organisation had their best interests at heart.