To be in a children’s home is bad enough but being stuck there over December holidays is even worse, especially when your friends are talking about going to the coast with their parents or when the majority of the children from the home are either going home to their parents or to their “holiday” parents. That is, unfortunately, some of the sad plights that these abused, neglected and forgotten children have to endure.
Thanks to an organisation called S.O.A.P (Sunrise on Africa’s Peaks), girls from 4 different children’s homes could look forward to an unforgettable camp over December. On Sunday morning, 11 December 2005, 31 young ladies arrived at the Groenkloof Nature Reserve. They were quickly baptised as “Bush-Babes” and the adventures began.
The girls were divided into 6 groups and participated in various group activities. One of the highlights was mountain biking. Some of the young ladies hadn’t been on a bicycle before and had some impressive falls, which definitely didn’t dampen their spirit.
Another highlight was the exhausting hikes – kilometre after kilometre after kilometer. The blood was pumping and if that wasn’t enough, one team had the exhilarating experience of meeting two snakes. Quite frightening for city girls!
The teams also played mini-Olympics and there was a lot of laughter when “Spiesgooi” was thrown with spaghetti and paper plates replaced javelin. Afterwards it was time for an enjoyable ‘treasure’ hunt, the treasures being worms and other insects that the girls had to find in the veld.
Some of the less active activities included game-drives, the making of spritzers, bug-spray, beading work and flower arrangements. The arrangements were beautiful and would have put any lady at a flower arranging show to shame. A sit-on meal where all the arrangements were displayed turned out a winner.
Motivational speakers gave the girls hope for the future. Each and every girl could walk away with the message that she was extra special and that she must take care of herself and her body.
There was plenty of time to express emotions. A drumming group gave every girl a drum and they loved it. A campfire and guitar provided provided background for some beautiful singing.
One of the most important aspects of the camp was the clean-up operations. Every girl got a rubbish bag and picked up litter. We have only one Country and we have to look after it.
What an unforgetable experience. May the work that SOAPkidz does, never stop. The life-lessons and experience was unbelievable for each and everyone of the girls – Jane Britz – social worker
From S.O.A.P’s side:
A Big thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the volunteers and sponsors who made our first ladies camp a huge success. It was awesome to see the volunteer’s give 110% and I can’t even begin to describe how the little ladies changed in the 4 days, and I’m not talking about the make-up! Their eyes were shining! Most of them overcame a fear – whether it was cycling, hiking at night, frog hunting, doing a belly-dance or even putting on make-up!
I realised once again that we all received a special talent - some of the girls excelled in cycling, some of them turned out to be gourmet cooks and then we had our budding artists and leaders. It was a privilege to expose the girls to the various activities and to see how they gained confidence in themselves.
The girls are all keen to attend our next “Bundu Babes” camp as team-leaders and they all suggested a week long camp.