Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nandos, Embassies, and Tennis

Team up began the day with work to prepare for our community service project at the end of the week- the Team Up kids will go teach different Grassroot games to middle schoolers.  We will also be making videos about the importance of decreasing stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.

After a morning of hard work, we set out to have a crazy and fun-packed afternoon.  We frequented the US Nando's in Dupont Circle for lunch, before heading to the South African embassy.  It was quite a scene- all 15 kids sitting around a conference table with four members of the embassy, to inform them of all we have been working on since our meeting last year in South Africa.

Next up, we headed NW to Leggs Mason for a tennis tournament, where one of Tspence's best friends, and a founding boardmember of the Grassroot Project, was playing in the match.  The kids loved meeting a professional tennis player who is so dedicated to our cause!

As we write this, the kids are dancing to the "Michael Jackson Experience" on Wi at Diamond's house!

Signing off to lead a debrief of the day!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Team Up 2011 Takes over Georgetown!!

We met up with Skillz coaches for Grassroot Soccer Malawi.

And took over Georgetown!

Team Up 2011: Why are we here?!

Team Up 2011 is underway!  Yesterday morning the South African kids arrived in America, and we reunited last night at Ms. Balogun's for dinner with the DC kids. Today, our first full day, we began by playing soccer.  We are in our first TakeAction session of the week, where we asked the kids to share their expectations, and also give insight on why we are here!

Natasha: We are here to spread the word about HIV/AIDS, we are here to know the game.  We are here to build our team.  We are here to make the move.

Koby: I came here to catch up with my friends from South Africa.  I really missed them and I wanted t see how they were doing.  I also wanted to find out what they were doing to help prevent HIV/AIDS.  Together we plan to spread the word about HIV/AIDS. 

Hopwell: We came here from South Africa to DC to spread the word about HIV and AIDS and stop stigma and discrimination and to learn more about the Project.  we also came to see our penpals and learn about USA and Washington DC.


What are you hoping to learn, and gain? Share your thoughts:

Natasha: My expectation is to see the home of DC and to respect our friends.

Hopwell: My expectations are for we to learn more about what we came for, not just to enjoy the trip.  I expect when we leave here, I hope that people have learned from us.  (Deidra chimes in with an AMEN!)

Siya: I expect to learn more from the DC kids.

Xolisile: I expect to become a leader.

What to think about all week?  We plan to meet with leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS throughuot the week, and we want to question:

the underlying causes of HIV: choices people make.

Keep reading to see what happens all week!

-Tricky Vicky

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Update from Coach Kani


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Update from Soweto

Hey guys this is Numfundo.

I am in high school now and my new school, it’s rocking. I have spread the word to my classmates that AIDS is a disease that cannot be cured, but that HIV/AIDS does not mean the end of your life. After we educate our friends, we have to also talk to them about discrimination and stigma. The six of us, we are talking to teenagers about what we learned in Team Up, and they are always interested. What are you guys doing in DC?

I just want to say I miss you and we will see you in July. Shay Shay (Tuziah), Liz, and Emily I really miss you. Hi Mr. Rob, Mrs. Balogun, and Mrs. Young.

Hey guys, I still remember you! We are planning to make a presentation to our community meeting. We are going to also go to the biggest hospital in Soweto and give our presentation. We now talk to our parents about these things, and they came to our last meeting. They will help us accomplish our goals.

You all are a big thing in my whole life. Tuziah, my penpal – I’ll never forget when we won the soccer game this summer…3 to 0!

Peace Up Guys,


Guys, its me Hopwell. I would like to say I miss you so much. I dream about you always. Anyway, I have kept my promise to spread the word about HIV. We are going to be working on our next Team Up project during our school holiday, April 4-8. It will be gr8.

Just wait, I will see you soon. “Coming soon,” like in the movies. LOVE U.

Hopwell Mguni

Hi guys it’s me N-dukes. I just want to say I cant sleep I always think about you and the things we have done together. You are so lovely and caring to other people, and my favorite day was when we shared our time at the Nkosi’s orphanage.

Kani and MJ have been coming to our school and helping us work on our projects.

Don’t worry, we will be together again. Love you.

Nduduzo “N-dukes”

Hey guyz – I want to say I miss you and wish you were here with us. We are working on our action plan. Our next step is:

1)      Make a presentation to grade 8, 9, 10, and 11 at 3 schools.
2)      Visit community meetings so adults can know what we think.

I want to say to my friend Ahmed when I come to DC I will make sure that I buy you some thing and I want to say happy birth day to Liz. We love you guyz.

Sibongile (Miyya)

Hi guys I cant wait to see you again. I really really miss you. To my penpal Diamond – I miss you too! I cannot forget our time together during World Cup. Remember our action plan guys, we are keeping that promise by visiting a community centre meeting with people infected and affected by HIV.

I love all you guys.



Friday, September 10, 2010

Jordy Wordy

Hi everybody it’s me Jordana I miss you guys so much. You guys were so much fun and made the day better when ever we were sad. I can’t wait until you guys come to D.C. I know you’ll have so much fun but I guess the only bad thing is that it’ll be crazy cold. And it’s nowhere near as cold as South Africa. I hope that you guys are doing great and that you still miss us. Right now we are working on a presentation that we will be giving to Grassroot Athletes and, hopefully, a famous radio show here in the District.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuziah back in DC at the BBQ

My thoughts has changed since I been back. I thought Africa would be how it is on TV. But it was beautiful. I remember the penpals. I really miss them. I hope they can come to the United States and we can show them how the United States looks, and they can learn about Grassroots here. I told my class about South Africa. They were asking alot of questions. It was fun telling them about South Africa. Hopewell was funny (I miss you Hopewell!). I learned from him and he made the trip more exciting.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Medy at the Team Up DC Braai

Yes, I feel changed after the trip. The way I communicated and shared with the Soweto people was the best thing that happened to me in my whole life. I feel changed because I gave respect and I was given respect, which never happened to me before by people that I just met. I realized that I have the ability to communicate with people that I don’t know.

I have always thought that I have no ability to speak out or thought that people might not understand me. When I came back everyone kept asking me how was the trip, and I had a lot to say. I would start by telling them, “The trip was the best trip ever.” For real the trip was great. Then I would say “We saw a World Cup match, one of the biggest games, which was Brazil vs. Ivory Coast. Then we met the most wonderful, caring, funny, and respecting pen pals ever. They are like my brothers and sisters to me. We spent great times together. We fought AIDS and worked together to get rid of myths and misunderstandings.” Then this part was the fun part to tell people which is “I went through the caves, went to a safari, played soccer every single day, went to the constitutional court, and went to Mandela’s house. Then the most interesting part we met and spoke to a famous judge who lives with AIDS, Justice Edwin Cameron.” I conclude by saying it was the most wonderful trip.

Ahmed aka "Medy"