PPI Fellow Claire Perry updates us on one of PPI-South Africa’s busiest months.
February has been all over the place. We (as in coaches, Area Coordinators, and staff) have scattered throughout our seven different areas, 35 primary schools and four high school programs – to recruit participants for our new semester of activity. With limited vehicles available, the main form of transport used has been the public mini buses, where fares range from R5-R20 ($0.70-$2.00) for trips up to 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) each leg. Every PPI-SA staff member has put office logistics a bit on the back burner (or put in extra hours on the weekends) and joined the coaches as they host sessions of up to 150 kids.
The excitement brought by the coaches has easily transferred to the hundreds of kids we have spent time with. Even though our kids play in their school uniforms, some with worn dress shoes, some barefoot, and a few lucky ones in sneakers, everyone has endured the sweltering heat throughout these past two weeks. We cannot say thank you enough to all who have just dropped their to-do lists to run out in the field and work with our most important stakeholders.
As part of our weekly Tuesday staffmeeting’s “News to Me” section, where staff members are asked to lead a personal presentation for the team, our Life Skills Coordinator asked us to describe ourselves and to think about the characteristics we like about our own body and personality. As we went around the room, the majority of the answers were a simple, “Proud” – proud to be working as hard as we have been these past two weeks, and proud to work for PPI-SA to spread our message through basketball to over a thousand kids each week.
So bring the heat and unbelievable (yet very realistic) events with 150 kids, two balls, two coaches, and one court. We’re ready.