Friday, March 18, 2011

Photo Walk in Kliptown

Last weekend I went on my first Photo Walk. The destinations of these walks are different each time and you walk with a group of photographers. This time it was Kliptown, the poorest side of Soweto township.

First stop on our trip was the Freedom Charter and the Walter Sisulu Square. In 1955 the Congress of the People, who met here to draw up the Freedom Charter, an alternative vision to the repressive policies of the apartheid state.

(Just click on any of the pictures for a bigger size)

After that we went to Kliptown and stopped by the KYP, Kliptown Youth Program. KYP's mission is to eradicate poverty of mind, body, and soul and to fight against the disadvantages imposed on the children of Kliptown, by providing educational support and positive activities to engage in after school.

In the street where the center was, all the women where outside, I guess the weekend is saved for washing, since all the women were doing their laundry and hanging their clothes over the fence...

I was mesmerized by all the children at KYP, look at these faces!! Meeting these precious faces... these cute little girls, who brake my heart. To see them living in these poor conditions, but such a smile on their faces, or sometimes these very serious faces... already opposed to such dire circumstances... and you know it will not get much better... Being a girl living here, chances that you will get raped is higher than going to school!!

KYP seeks to develop young and dynamic individuals who are willing to contribute effectively for the betterment of their communities. KYP’s tutoring, athletic, and arts programs provide a life to the children of Kliptown defined not by survival, but instead by the ability to be active community members, to have dreams, and most of all to create hope about the future. You can find them on FaceBook as well. Become a friend and help with donations, these kids deserve it!!

So this trip was on a Sunday and normally the center is closed and the kids are off but for us they came to welcome us and to tell us a bit about their lives. A friend of mine, Karen had talked about KYP on her blog before and got so many donations in Singapore that she was bringing that day. She even got a brand new computer from a reader of her blog. She went to Singapore to collect all the donations and last Sunday we went with the Jozi Photowalkers to give all these donations.

You should have seen the faces of these children, it humbles you!! These kids have almost nothing, but NO begging or asking for things, so well raised. And when we gave them some sweets their faces lit up, but even without the sweets, just us being there made those kids day! We took lots of photographs and I can't show you all, but go to my FB account and see more if you like.

Thulani Madondo KYP's leader showed us around at the center and around Soweto half of the day. A trip like this you won't find anywhere else! We visited people's homes, we talked to residents of Kliptown and other parts of Soweto. It was a day to never forget!

The boys did a gumboot dance for us, but I didn't take a video, so I used one from Youtube, but they are the same boys in the same classroom. The gumboot dance originates from the railroad workers during the gold diggers time in Africa. This was a dance to communicate between each other and also to get some relaxation from the hardship of working all day in the blaring sun, digging and working on the tracks.

Here they are all posing for us after the dance! Such a fun bunch of kids!!

It hits hard when you visit these townships, and you see these innocent cute little faces. I want to help more, do you want to help me help them?? Please contact the KYP and donate, so these precious little children have a chance for an education.

See what your money can do here!! ~ WHAT YOUR RAND or $ CAN BUY FOR KYP (to make it easy: from R to $, just take off 0)
So R100 is about $10 ~ give and take...

From R0 to R100
R30: Whistle
R40: Dancing sneakers
R65: Netball sneakers
R70: Netball ball
R80: Gumboots

From R100 to R1000
R100: One hour of tutoring by a professional tutor
R130: Soccer ball
R170: School fees
R250: Soccer boots
R450: Internet for one month
R500: Electricity for one moth
R500: Full school uniform for one child
R800: Jembe drums used for dancers

More than R1000
R1500: Fabric for traditional dancers
R15,000: College student for one year
R12,000: Travel to dance auditions for entire company
And most important of all....
School fees: R50-R700

All donations are much appreciated by KYP and no donation is small!
For more information you can email Thulani Madondo at

The longer I am here in SA, the more I discover of this beautiful country and the more I appreciate to see all the different areas, the rich and poor side... and you know what these kind of areas are so much more interesting, the stories are amazing!!
The people are fun, friendly and so welcoming!! Go and see them, they will open the doors for you!

Have a Fantastic Friday!
I am off tomorrow morning to INDIA!! (I am not sure if I can update my blog this coming week)

Ciao, Mireille

1 comment:

Leah and Maya said...

What wonderful photos. I love to see all their brightly colored clothing. Those are some precious little faces.


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