Struggling kids enjoy a week at Hibberdene

2011-07-20 00:00

ONE Way Youth Outreach and Rotary, Just Footprints and The Mercury Hibberdene Children’s holiday home recently hosted 40 terminally ill and disabled children at Hibberdene beach.

Just Footprints is a non-profit organisation that takes children who have serious illnesses or who have suffered severe life challenges on adventures.

Mark Thornton-Smith, the events co-ordinator of One Way said, “Just Footprints brought 40 children from Jo’burg to the Hibberdene Children’s Home on a week’s sea adventure.

“We partnered with them and Rotary to treat the kids to a full day of fun and used the day to celebrate Madiba Day, as the children would all be at school on the actual day.”

The team devised a week’s activities and the children enjoyed a variety of beach sport, arts and craft and face painting.

“It was just lots of smiles and fun. And it was very inspiring to see young children who are terminally ill still have so much of fun,” said Thornton-Smith.

The young volunteers from One Way said they were inspired by the attitude of the children, who even in the face of adversity strive to make the most of life.

“Activities like these expose our youth to the real world, showing them that there are children out there whose lives have limits, but that doesn’t stop them from living it to the fullest and to inspire them not to throw away their lives,” said one volunteer, Mark.

One Way is a non-denominational, inter- racial youth group that has six branches nationwide with the aim of instilling positive values in young people.

The Port Shepstone group has youths from the high schools in Port Shepstone, Uvongo, Margate and surrounding areas.

“Youth in our country are very negative. The whole social emphasis of our youth has gone wrong, if you look at the night clubs, the alcohol and drugs and teenage sex,” said Mark.

Said another volunteer, Bester: “Teenagers are leading adult lives at 15 years old. We want our young people to see that there is more to life and that they are valuable assets to their communities.

“So we take them out on leadership camps and get them involved in serving the less fortunate so that they get inspired to live their lives in a more fruitful way.”

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