Climbing

2009-05-24


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Soapkidz and MCSA Climbing in the Magaliesberg

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By Phillip van der Merwe

“SOAPkidz empowers vulnerable children by connecting them with nature where they learn to experience love and personal growth.” True to the SOAPkidz purpose and with the support of the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) Magaliesberg Section this is exactly what happened when 15 girls from the Tshwane Home of Hope spent the weekend of 30 May 2009, rock climbing, kloofing and hiking at Mhlabatini in the Magaliesberg.

An early start on the Saturday at the Home of Hope became a bit later as the Combi would not start but in no time Lincoln, myself and a load of excited girls were on our way. In the bus the ice was broken completely as we took turns to introduce each other. Fits of laughter ensued upon hearing the big and serious Lincoln introduce the person sitting next to him, “My name is Violet. I love putting on makeup and wearing pretty dresses.”

Upon arrival we were welcomed by Danie van Zyl from MCSA Magaliesberg and everybody busied themselves with the task of sorting food, rucksacks and giving directions to lost volunteers from Johannesburg. A short hike to the overnight spot, tents pitched, the group split into rock climbers and those that were going kloofing and then the fun began.

Fortunately SOAPkidz is about empowering children and not older folk because I could not do what I saw the girls doing on the rock face. All I could do was watch from the top and at the last difficult pitch I would see tears start, determination set in and then a look of absolute joy and sense of achievement as one by one they made it to the top.

These girls have been saved from the streets by the Tshwane Home of Hope and with the involvement of people that care have been strengthened and shown that there is another way. To the extent that many of them are now SOAPkidz volunteers and help care for other vulnerable children.

All our thanks and appreciation to MCSA and those members that gave of their time, patience and love to help make this possible.




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