GROUND BREAKERS PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING OTHERS
By: Sihle Brian Makhowana
‘Nuk’an’twal’ ku ama’ means “helping each other to do well,” in Lil’wat the language of the First Nations people of Mount Currie in British Columbia. This phrase describes the intent of partnership and that is exactly what the ground breakers from Love Life are doing.
With the youth of today, it very rare to find a young person catering for the needs of another.
Ground breakers have dedicated their time to helping, advising, educating and mentoring the youth of Pinetown about numerous social issues with one being HIV and AIDS prevention.
According to the Love Life website, the Ground Breaker (GB) programme was established in 2001 as a community service programme targeting 18 to 25 year olds, who showed commitment to volunteering in their communities.
The aim of the programme is to assist young people who display commitment, leadership qualities and a willingness to be involved in their communities by developing their skills, networking opportunities and leadership potential through community-based voluntary service.
Nomshado Lynet Ndwandwe (20), a ground breaker working at the Pinetown district said that being involved in this programme has shaped her life and taught her things she wasn’t aware of.
“We work in pairs and each day we face new challenges.
We visit schools where we teach both girls and boys about prevention and not only prevention but abstaining as well. We do
condom distributions and we also work closely with our local clinics.
We have youth festivals to keep them busy, active and moving them away from temptations,” said Ndwandwe.
“I’m studying teaching at UNISA. I love teaching and I’m very passionate about it.
This is a very good initiative by Love Life, engaging the youth in such programmes.
It brings out the inner caring person that many of us have lost touch with.
I enjoy what I do and I wish that during my school years there were people who visited our schools to advise us on issues such
as teenage pregnancy and many other things that my peers and I were battling with,” added Ndwandwe.
Nobuhle Mhlongo, a community member said, “We are grateful for what Love Life has done to our community, teaching kids and tackling the issue of HIV and AIDS. It is not a lie that we as parents are battling to teach our kids about sensitive issues like sex.
Having a person almost the same age as our kids, advising them against sex is really the way to go.”
Love Life ground breakers continue to prove that it is possible to do something for someone without expecting anything in return.
“People shouldn’t only lend a helping hand on days like Mandela Day, but we should adapt this attitude on a daily basis. I believe every person should live by the Zulu saying that says ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ which means a person is person by other people’s help,” said Siyabonga Zondi, a ground breaker.