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Autumn Workshops

Our second two weeks of workshops were inspiring and rewarding for our pupils. Gordon Merk reports.



Our second two weeks of workshops were inspiring and rewarding for our pupils. Gordon Merk reports.



Talks, Debates and Quizzes


Talks, debates and quizzes are integral part of our workshops. We seek to prepare our pupils well: coherent thinking and good articulation are important life skills.

Eugene taught about Communication Skills. These are crucial in any field of education and future careers. We seek to equip our pupils and give them confidence to express good, informed opinions and communicate them well.

Ernest taught about the dangers and negative effects of alcohol and drugs use. Our pupils are confronted with these in their compound and environment. We are helping them handle it well and not fall prey.




Peter taught, among other things, on basic good manners for life—another important aspect in shaping responsible, good young people.



Danny educated our pupils about health and prevention. This is a very important topic that can protect our youth from much harm.



The debates were about how to handle social media, smartphones and how to handle leisure time. Debating skills are important for life in general and careers in particular. I have myself witnessed such debates, and it was great to see!

Finally, quizzes were enjoyable and educational—and they always have fun doing them.



African Wisdom!


Racheal shared African proverbs with our pupils. At FCTrelief, we seek to teach wisdom and help our pupils to make good decision in life, especially decisions with the future in mind. Every decision has a consequence, and we better think twice before speaking and acting. There is much wisdom in old traditions and stories in different cultures. Africa has much wisdom to offer in these proverbs.


Racheal shared wise proverbs like, ‘Show me your friend and I will show you your character,’ regarding influence and peer pressure. A similar proverb is found in German: ‘Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.’ That revenge is never the answer is expressed this way in a Gambian proverb: ‘If a donkey kicks you and you kick back, you are both donkeys.’



One should not take revenge, nor lower oneself to the level of the one doing wrong. There’s a better way. ‘When a man is stung by a bee, he does not destroy all beehives,’ is not only a warning against revenge, but irrational revenge with generalisations. A Nigerian proverb states wisely and funnily, ‘No matter how hot your anger is, it cannot cook yams.’



In life, we must learn from our mistakes rather than do irrational things that cause more harm. ‘Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped,’ is the saying. We are to look at the cause of the mistake and learn.


As for living responsibly today in view of tomorrow, the African proverbs states: ‘For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.’ Sometimes one wrong turn can derail a whole life. Preparation is key to entering a brighter tomorrow. There is always hope for a better tomorrow, no matter what the present holds: ‘However long the night, the dawn will break.’ And finally, when we feel small or insignificant, two proverbs are comforting and encouraging: ‘The sun does not forget a village just because it is small.’ The sun shines on us all! No one misses out due to some ‘insignificance.’ Regarding being ‘small,’ another African proverb goes, ‘If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve obviously never spent a night with a mosquito’! This makes a lot of sense to me, because I spent several nights without a mosquito net in Zambia =;-) There is much wisdom we can, and should, learn to equip us for life and its many challenges.



‘Copper Queens’ at the Football World Cup


Gordon’s inspirational/motivational zoom input was again related to sports, but this time not about Austrian bodybuilders or American basketball players, but Zambian ladies competing at the women’s football world cup in Australia/New Zealand. The football ladies are called ‘Copper Queens’ due to the ‘Copper Belt’ region of northern Zambia. The ladies did not qualify for the play-offs. In fact, they lost their two first matches against Japan and Spain (the newly crowned world champions!) by five goals in each game—a tough start for their maiden appearance. But they gathered their courage and won their last game 3:1—a nice end to a tough start. What has all of this to do with workshops at FCTrelief?


Well, Gordon used it as an illustration that although life may give us a tough start, even defeats, we must not lose courage, but try again to win. He used quotes of Zambia’s team captain who was optimistic despite their initial setbacks. She admitted that at first, they were ‘really disappointed,’ yet asked for Zambian supporters to ‘continue supporting us.’ She reassured the supporters that ‘we are improving every day.’ Gordon pointed out that support by others after defeat is crucial in life and encouraged the pupils to support those who are going through a tough time in their lives. In life, defeat should not define us, but rather, we should learn, keep improving, stay positive and make the efforts towards victory. Determination is crucial in life! These are life-lessons we can apply to every-day life and the circumstances we face.



A Zambian Guest from the UK!


We also had a special guest visiting during the Workshops. Taonga moved with his family from Zambia to England at a young age. He visited our youth meeting and was delighted—and so were our children! He’s a semi-professional football player and showed them his skills—and they showed theirs to him! He brought some precious gifts with him, including Champions League balls. Thank you!



Sports and Nourishment


As during every workshop period, sports are an important activity at FCTrelief—both for health reasons and to have fun! Football, aerobics and bottle flip challenge were on the agenda this time. Much can be learned in team work that helps us in life. During the talent show, many could display their talents in front of everyone.


We also provided nourishing meals for the pupils and some of the girls even helped in the kitchen—and they seem to have had fun!



FCTrelief creates a safe haven and protected environment for vulnerable young people to learn and thrive towards a better future.


Support us to provide for them—it’s worth it!

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