So, I’ve been telling you about my work in Red Hill, but I never really explained the story about Red Hill. During Apartheid the whites realized that Simon’s Town (a Navy, coastal town near us) was becoming to diverse and integrated. So, they forced all of the blacks out of Simon’s Town. A man living nearby owned a significant amount of land. He allowed the families, with no place to go, to rebuild their lives there. That’s how the community of Red Hill was established. The city government has never supplied basic utilities (power, water, sewage) because it is private property and it was never the long term plan for them to stay there. But they have been there for at least several decades. So, it is obviously a very poor community. However, recently things got worse. Right before we came, I think early February, they had some massive wildfires. Many people lost their homes. The community is broken up into 3 basic communities, the Top Camp, Middle Camp, and Bottom Camp. The communities are differentiated by how far up the Hill they are. The fire mostly only struck the bottom camp. It got right to the edge of the middle camp, but never got all the way there. Most of the families have been displaced. Some ministries are helping them to rebuild homes, but it will take a while to accomplish all that. So, it’s been a rough time for this community.
So, I’ve been doing some work there and my major task is trying to train and equip some of the older kids (pre-teens and teenagers) to be leaders in this community through the Holiday Club and hopefully long term with the Kids Club. I think I wrote about how that had been a challenge initially, but I think we may have gotten over the hump. These girls are really warming up to me and some are doing an excellent job leading. They all do a good job serving, but a few are really taking on the Leadership part. Today as we ate our lunch (shredded bologna sandwiches, yum) we sat and talked and goofed around. I was a bit gassy (shocker, I know), so that was giving them the giggles and sort of opened them up. We had a great time. Hopefully over these last 3 days of club I’ll really be able to draw out the leadership potential in them.
Here’s some pictures of the day. The other white guy in them is Steve from the UK. He’s out for 2 weeks and he’s just fantastic with the kids. He’s been an amazing help.