Today Kliptown, Tomorrow the World.
By: Kathryn Henning
Over the past few months, the Netzer Madrichim have been volunteering in Kliptown, Soweto, as a part of Netzers Ideology of Tikkun Olam (Repairing the world).
Netzer has five main pillars of ideology that we base many of our activities around. A youth movement is nothing without its unique ideas and beliefs. These “Pillars” range from our Jewish identity to our responsibilities as humans and South Africans. Tikkun Olam is the main pillar where we can do practical activities in the Madrichim Body as well as with the children of our Movement. With this we learn about other people, the world, and the importance of community. Social outreach projects are important for the comunity and other comunites to unite people and educate people at either an “education level” and a social level.
We’ve been to many places to volunteer in the past few years, but none have been as sucessful as our frequent trips to Kliptown. The enthusiastic Madrichim spend the afternoon helping children from all ages with things like, reading, writing, drawing and maths. While our main intention is to spend time with the kids sharing our “book knowledge” the real prize is that we’re all learning about different cultures, backgrounds and people.
The older children in Kliptown are really welcoming and helpful when we’re there. They enjoy asking us questions and answering any of ours. The younger kids are a bit of a challenge due to us being strangers and having a language barrier, but with perserverance and help from the older kids everyone has a good time.
After spending a few afternoons with these kids, they’ll really change your perspective on your own life. They really make you think that you can do anything you want. Anything that you put your mind too can be yours. Young ladys who aspire to being Doctors to help people. Boys with amazing artistic talent. The next police chief. Mathematicians. Scientists. You name it!
These kids are filled with passion and determination, and you cant help being inspired by that.
We’re not superheros, and we shouldn’t expect any praise for what we’ve been doing. We’re just kids interacting with different kids.
We’re just inspired by each other.
You should be too.