Maun Teen Club: Sports and Teen Leader Elections!

*For more information about our 2009-2010 Fundraising Drive, please visit our Donations page.*

The following post is courtesy of Pavlo Bereas, Volunteer Project Assistant at the Botswana-Baylor COE, with contributions from Maun Teen Club adult volunteers and teens:

Maun Teen Club members warming up for another fun event! (Photo courtesy of Heather Huff)

Maun Teen Club: Sports and Teen Leader Elections!

Maun Teen Club participated in its second event of 2010. On the 20th of February teens took part in a full day of activities including sports as well as the annual Teen Leader elections. Many took part and some have chosen to share their experiences of the event for our blog. First is an entry from Registered Nurse Sophie Richard as well as one of our adult volunteers, Heather Huff:

My Experience Attending Teen Club

“I loved my experience with Teen Club. This is a necessary intervention for teens living with HIV. It’s an opportunity for them to connect and understand that they are not alone; to trade stories and share experiences. It’s a chance for them to learn about the best ways to take care of their own bodies in a safe and supportive environment. The teens are smart and engaged, and eager to express themselves and learn from one another. I hope that Teen Club only continues to grow and thrive!”

~Heather Huff, Adult Volunteer

“I attended a Teen Club event at Bana Ba Letsatsi under a big tree in Maun on the 20th February 2010 with the teenagers. It was my first time attending and it was wonderful. We participated in different activities like football and yoga which was very relaxing.

I found Teen Club to be very educational as it helped the teens build their self esteem and confidence as they interacted and shared their experiences. On that day they also campaigned for the Teen Leader positions which exposed them to team work and character building activities. It was so great watching these kids expressing themselves and feeling appreciated. It was also great to see medication adherence issues brought into the activities. They were able to interact and talk with others about the importance of taking their meds and treatment seriously.

In summary I would say this club was long overdue, as issues surrounding adolescence has long been neglected in our society. Adolescence is a stage in life where teens struggle with identity and they get confused on whether they are still children or becoming adults. This confusion can lead them to make wrong decisions or poor choices in life. Teen Club addresses this confusion as they interact and talk among themselves addressing their problems rather than having adults trying to solve their issues for them.

In conclusion I would say that this event came at a time when many care providers were in a dilemma on how to tackle adolescent problems. I therefore wish and hope Teen Club will be a success and continue to grow country wide.”

~ Sophie Richard, Registered Nurse

Obviously Teen Club would not exist if it weren’t for the teens that come out and attend each month. As Maun Teen Club continues to grow, more and more teenagers express how Teen Club is helping them thrive, mature and live a positive life. Here are some quotes from the teens themselves reflecting on their experiences:

Words from our Teens

“This Teen Club in Maun came at a time that I needed it the most. I needed a place to go for support and encouragement, basically a shoulder to cry on. Before Teen Club I felt low about myself and my self-esteem was way down. But Teen Club showed me that I am worth every penny in the world! Before I had problems with taking my medications and accepting my status. Today I feel great about myself and I no longer worry about what others say about me. Teen Club helps children like me to live positively and I am proud to be one of those benefitting from Teen Club. For me Teen Club is like a home away from home, another family with brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles. I have a new place to go when I have news to share, good or bad!”

~O.M., Teen Club Member

“I would just like to say thank your for the beautiful arrangement of the day. Teen Club is about having a lot of fun and sharing laughs with our friends. It is great that you help teach us more about what we should stand up for and how we should live our lives. Keep on being our rope to hold on to by your guidance.”

-M.G., Teen Club Member

With such a positive response from both the adult volunteers and the teens themselves it is great to see yet another satellite site thrive. The experiences shared at each event benefit all those involved and everyone is looking forward to do it all over again next month!