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Leadership Conference

“Nothing ever happens if you don’t make it happen yourself. You are part of the ‘doing’ as a leader.” - Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

This year marks the 9th annual TRG conference. Workshops were centered on the theme, "Build Up the Vision" and structured around Maslow's Hierarchy of needs (Life, Safety, Love, Esteem, Goals):

  • LIFE: HIV prevention and treatment
  • SAFETY: Resilience tools to heal and cope from trauma
  • LOVE: Conference  "ground rules" to be supportive and show kindness
  • ESTEEM: Build your business *led by TRG alumnus Zophila Sikhonde
  • GOALS: Changing the community through government action

The conference culminated with a planning session whereby students used the community problems listed in the GOALS workshop to propose workshops for the 2016 conference. They identified the skills they need to Build Up the Vision!

Uniform Day

Some of us were born poor.  But, we never allowed it to define our future.” - Kenny Kunene

Thanks to the Bishop Gregory L. Dixon Uniform Fund supporters, TRG was able to purchase new school uniforms for students who have been in the TRG Leadership program for at least one year. Providing the uniform--which is required and expensive-- has been proven to increase school attendance.

Impromptu Trip to the Beach

Durban is located on the Indian Ocean, but many of the students had never been to the beach because they can't afford the $2 roundtrip taxi fare. After we arrived, fully dressed students jumped in the water to frolick with abandon. Even if just for an hour, the students got to forget HIV, violence, unemployment, racism and loss and experience the carefree joy of being a child at the beach.

Welcoming Ceremony Reflections from a 1st Time Volunteer

I was feeling somewhat nervous and wondering “will they like me?”  I wanted the students to feel connected to me and see me as one of them and not “other”. They exceeded my expectation. We were ushered into the classroom for the Ceremony and given seats at the front of the room in a place of honor. I would have gladly sat at the back of the room because it was my honor to merely be in their presence. The ceremony was amazing. It was evident much time and effort was put into the program, which included songs, modern and traditional dances, spoken word, and a motivational speaker. I was awed by how similar the TRG students were to their American peers, including their affinity to Whip and Nae Nae!    -Erin Thuston