Jasmine Brown, Age 15
Yesterday, August 20, 2010 we went to the Constitution Hill.
I learned that this prison was separated by color. So all white stayed together got better food, non-whites stuck together and was treated worst. This rule went for both man and woman.
We also saw the Hector Peterson Museum. Where I learned how they killed teens. I thought about it a lot, because it’s like in New York a lot of teens are killed, teen that were killed in South Africa were killed for standing up for what they believed in. I personally think that was a little mean.
We visited Nelson Mandela House. I saw a lot of stuff like the table he sat at to eat dinner. The bullet holes in the side of the house. From when the soldiers were shooting at Mr. Mandela’s wife. Mr. Mandela was a political activist. He was thrown in jail for this.
One that excited but also touch that day was when we went to Soweto to just see how some of them live. We saw this one family and the lady who lived there said that she lived with no electricity there were a lot people living in the house. For me to see so many people living in a very small house and still be somewhat happy made me cry. I complain about space when there are people who don’t have it.
Today, August 21, 2010we visited people who lived in Diepsloot. We went to like several homes to find out what they needed. Most families need food and some kind of light source. The first family that we visited had eleven people living in a house that only have two bed and not a lot of space. The older sister who is in charge of the house hold took care of all of them. It’s shocking because even though its hard they stick together. Most families in New York, I mean they might have maybe on parent and older sister/brother, but they don’t help out at all.
I enjoy walking around Diepsloot because I see all these families with children walking around with job just having fun. There were kids around our age walking around taking care of the little kids. Maybe I saw a couple of them sing and dancing. Absolutely everything about there culture makes me so happy inside.
The last thing we saw was the daycare that is under the angel rock project. The little kids and adults sang songs for us. I really enjoy how well these kids who had to be about 4 or 5 could sing their national anthem. There some people came and danced a little for us which was cool because I didn’t expect it. I got a chance to take a lot of pictures with some of the kids.
I hope that I will go home with thing on my mind so different. I also hope that I make a huge different in someone’s life.
Shakirah Brown, Age 14
My experience about the Constitutional Hill was how it was built as jail for people who was separated by their genders/racist and status. When the tour guy had told us about the women was separated by their racist and when he should us the women jail cells. But there were 4 rooms with different crimes. When we was walking and looking around at the cells and the women’s profile was amazed me about want they was going though. An how it went from a jail to a memorial had made me think about want they did.
My experience about Soweto is when our tour guy was showing us around and the children were so friendly when they came up to us. I was scared to going into their house because I was emotional about going into their homes but I felt prepared by watching television shows about different countries in Africa. I also felt very supportive with my emotions. Then we went to Wandie’s and they had great food there. I felt comfortable, happy, and fun. We also went to the Mandela’s house and I was inspired by his wisdom and courage to display his achievements. I was feeling good about learning and hopeful about work in Brooklyn.
My experience was that I was scared about being too emotional. I was also brave because everyone was going into homes together “ Group Support ‘’. I was nervous to ask questions to them but I was encouraged by others questions and everyone was doing good. I didn’t feel direct support but I felt the support by being with my group. When we had went to the GOGO’s garden I saw everyone doing good and I felt supported by them when I did work service with them too. Want made me was when they was making jokes and we was laughing, having fun while cleaning up and helping out. I felt warmth and happiness from friendly and loving children’s.
Maria Nunez, Age 14
Yesterday and today were very interesting to me. Yesterday we took a journey to a part of Joburg called Soweto, visiting Soweto was very interesting to me because I heard and saw for myself how connected the community is. The rest of The Team and I visited the Shanty town in Soweto and visited three historic museums.
The Shanty town made me feel like I should be more grateful, but even though I was a little emotional because they had so little, I was happy that the Shanty town was a “big ol family.” They connected with each other, watched each others’ children, and, most importantly, they supported each other. I can also say that I was so shocked by the determination parents had for their family. They really would go an extra mile for their children. Our visit to the first museum was at Constitution Hill where Nelson Mandela was held in prison. I was very emotional at that museum because of the torture and cruelty that was going on. It also inspired me because some became very successful in life, such as Nelson Mandela.
The second museum was a museum called The Hector Peterson Museum. That museum was in honor of a young South African teenager who was killed by The white police officers because he was a leader. What makes this museum so special is that he wasn’t the only teenager. There were many more after him and that museum is a tribute to all those young leaders. The Hector P. museum was a huge inspiration because seeing how young and how brave they were to speak up for what they hoped and believed in was just incredible. Also, it showed me that back at home some teenagers are getting killed and killing for negative reasons. When it’s not positive they’re fighting for. The last museum was called Mandela’s House.
That was the house were Mandela actually started his family. I really enjoyed taking the tour through his old home because it’s real and I was actually walking and touching all the things Mandela walked by and touched.
Alysia Robert, Age 14
Yesterday JFC2 went to Soweto to go to a few museums. The 1st museum we went to was Constitution Hill and I was shocked to find out that in the area there was a jail. As our tour guide explained to us how the people in the jail cell lived it made me think about the Holocaust and how if the Jewish people had to carry around passes to show their identity and whether they were Jewish or not and if they was Jewish or not and if they was Jewish they were arrested and if they didn’t have a pass they would be arrested. They same thing applied to South Africa. Although I do think some people deserved to be in prison I don’t think they should be treated so brutally, such as, not taking a shower for 3-4 months because the bosses (head people in charge) only gave over 200 people to take a shower in 30 minutes and the bosses took up most of the time and if the prisoners were happy about taking a shower they would get beat. We also visited Nelson Mandela’s house in Soweto and it was crazy to me that the president of Africa is living in such a small house. That was just a really crazy, interesting day.
Taijah Jones, Age 14
On August 20, 2010 we went to Soweto. While we were there, we went to the Hector Peterson Museum and the Constitutional Hill. At the first museum, we learned about how Hector was the icon of a shooting. The second museum we learned about people who were tortured in jail. Some of the things that made me feel like it was unfair were when people had to shower outside. (That‘s wrong because people should have privacy.) Later on that day, we went to Wandie’s Restaurant and the food was delicious.
Shari Clark, Age 13
The experience today was good. We Went into Diepsloot. We broke up into different groups A, B, C, D, E and F. I saw one of the shack’s roof had holes. Also there were lots of bugs flying around the light bulb. This lady named Elizabeth I ask her do you need clothing? Elizabeth said they need enough clothes to wear at night? While I was on the charter bus there were children waving to us. Young people were walking barefoot or some of them had footwear. Like some of the shacks I saw weren’t that bad. Others looked like they really need help. There was a ceremony where children would sing songs to us. It surprised me that the lady in one of the shacks told us that she was happy that we came from NYC just to help people in Diepsloot. Here are some of the questions we asked:
1. Do you need school supplies?
3. How many children do you have?
4. Do you need food?
Tomorrow we are going shopping for Diepsloot. Just to help them out and make life easier for them.
Rochelle Chambers, Age 13
“Knock knock wake up,” Captain Valerie said. Who would have known that I would have woke up to just that wake-up call because usually when someone trys to wake me up I don’t move. So it was surprising. Our first visit was to the Constitution Hill there we learned how prisoners life was also how they were treated cruel and wrong. Some of the things that I found wrong was that punishment was striping their clothes and being soaked down with hoes in front of everyone for embarrassment. Other things scared me too, for example when our group the “Zumbanas” went in one of the cells there was a lady who was accused for killing her own son without any proof and was hunged. The scary part is that at the end of the biography it said that her ghost is haunting the prison cells. The next place we went to was Soweto, this was our first visit to a village which I was very surprising to see for the very first time how a shack is. Seeing how people live and grateful for what they have is heartwarming. One thing that was very friendly is that if children are walking alone on the streets it would not matter because everyone looks after each other. If I was to experience being in a neighborhood such as that one, I will feel very comfortable because I know there are people watching my back. Eating time!
Arriving at Wandies was delicious you can smell the food from coming out the bus. Once we got inside we were asked if we would like a drink our was just day dreaming at the food and someone called my name to make me pay attention. I was so impatient because I was staring. I chose white rice, fried chicken, salad and cake with vanilla frosting. O didn’t realize until while eating we were entertained with someone playing Bob Marley which was nice. After leaving I wanted a doggie bag to carry the food because it was so good, but sadly I couldn’t. When we came back to the bus we learned a song that was made up by Kelly the mentor and we sang it on our way back home. Today was very new because we got to see a village and see how people in the shacks.
Myah Lynch, Age 12
Today we did home visit. We met a lot of GoGo’s that took care of their grandchildren, but they were very grateful for their little shack. I think it was very sad because it was like 10 ppl in a shack but they had 2-3 shacks. It was happy too because they were very happy to see us. I want to go back but we are going shopping for them tomorrow. I hope we have fun, and I hope they enjoy what we buy.
Nia Bey, Age 13
Dear JFC followers,
I’ve been in South Africa for three days now and I’ve experienced a lot. We went to constitutional Hill and learned about their rights and government. We also visited Nelson Mandela’s old house, which was made into a museum and learned things I’ve never knew about him before. For an example that his real isn’t Nelson. The name Nelson was put onto him by his teachers because his teachers couldn’t pronounce his real name. Another thing I’ve experienced was the famous “Wandies,” a African restaurant. The food is good and rich. The restaurant also opened my mind to different foods and spices. We also visited the town of Soweto. We saw the nice big homes and as we went further we started to see one room shacks. My emotions suddenly changed from happy to gloomy because I feel that it doesn’t if you have lots of money or none you still don’t deserve to live like that. Another shanty town we’ve visited was Diepsloot. It was even worse than Soweto. In Diepsloot we went to homes and asked people what they needed and I realized that almost said food. That really hit me in a emotional because I seen homeless people but I’ve never seen poverty like I did in Diepsloot. Well that’s about it, but I would be doing more blogs to cover the 13 days I’ve got in South African.
Laquan Dickerson, Age 13
Yesterday I had a good experience. What touched me was when we arrived at the old prison that was turned into a museum; and hearing stories and seeing what men and females had to go through in prison. I was really emotional but I tried not to show it. It made me feel dirty inside by hearing the stories about what people did to the inmates. I felt terrible.
Also, we went to Nelson old house, it was very interesting because I never really knew about Nelson. We took a tour all around his house including his family tree. It was a good experience to visit his old house. I will be happy to tell my school about. I hope we do more fun stuff J.
Kristian Capers, Age 12
The thing that kicked off our morning yesterday was going to a museum. We (Journey for Change) went to Constitution Hill. That museum has real artifacts. Artifacts that were not moved from the exact place they were centuries ago. There we also learned about women’s prisons.
I learned a lot for that day from the women’s artifacts. I learned that sometimes two or three women had to stay in the same cell. Women who were still awaiting the decision of their trials stayed in special cells. They were called communal cells. The grounds which we walked were very nice. As if they’d been cleaned every hour.
Keion Staton, Age 13
Keion Day Two Blog from the perspective of Day Three
Yesterday I was kind of sad because when we went to Soweto and we say very poor people. Some people didn’t have anything on their feet. After that we went to Constitution hill and learn about history. We went to nelson’s Mandela old house and learn even more about Nelson Mandela.
After Nelson Mandela house we went to a museum and learn a lot about wars in South Africa. We also got to look at pictures and almost everybody has a story for the pictures. For dinner we went to Wandy’s back to Soweto. The restaurant Wandy’s has great food and was very classy. We also listen to music in the restaurant.
Today when I woke up I felt very tired. But, when we got on the bus to go to Diepsloot I saw things so shocking that I actually started tearing. They didn’t have regular house like in the US. There house were made out of scrap metal.
We visited a couple of houses and took down notes about what they need. I felt sad because I have never experienced something like what I saw. After that we went to a school and had lots of fun.
Keara Sheppard, Age 14
Yesterday was a very exciting and interesting day. We visited the constitutional hill museum which gave a lot of information about South Africa. We got to visit Mandela’s cell which for me was my favorite part. We also traveled to Soweto yesterday and saw a community. The conditions of the community weren’t that great, but the people there didn’t let that get to them. The last part of my day was when we went to a restaurant called Wandee’s. The good was great. Today we went to do home visits in Diepsloot. My group and I visited 3 different homes. This was basically a poverty struck community, but the people were so nice and welcoming. Though, it made me feel bad to see some of the homes, I was also excited because I knew that tomorrow we will be providing them with some of their needs. It warmed my heart to see and hear how excited the people were to see us. One other exciting thing today was when we went to the day case and handed our gift bags. There were so excited and that made me excited as well.
Kaela Jones, Age 12
Over the past three days, I’ve learned a lot about South African history and culture. History in South Africa is very interesting to me because life in the US is very different from life in Africa. The second day when I got comfortable, we first went to a museum called “Constitutional Hill.” I thought it was so overwhelming how women were treated differently from men. I also learned that they used communal cells to separate the boss and the maids. And I think that was horrible. We took pictures at the museum and I related to something that was very powerful and personal.
Later on in the evening, we went to Wandie’s. Wandie’s is an African restaurant. I sat with my friends and ate delicious food. I ate potatoes, chicken, vegetables and rice. After I ate, we went home and took a shower and went to sleep. Today we went to go help the GOGOs, who are the grandmas of the household. Group C went to visit four households and ask about their lives. Then children and adults had a celebration. After we cleaned a garden and made it nice. It was a wonderful journey and I hope to see more.
Jordan Griffin, Age 12
Yesterday we went to constitution Hill and learned about conditions in jail. They got tortured by like getting torches shoved up girls private parts. We was able to see how women and men slept. They white people had way better conditions. They sometimes slept outside.
There was a punishment chamber and it was steel café but had openings. They sprayed cold water at the person in there every hour and let them free during the night. Also the punishment chamber has ghost in it.
We also went to a restaurant in Soweto. The food was great. I had three things rice, beef, and some type of meat that was great. Out table was funny because the mentors kept comparing this girl and I to a movie. That’s because of the way that we acted.
Gabrielle Bradley, Age 12
Today is August 21, 2010 our third day in Africa. It has been an enjoyable trip so far. Yesterday we went to The Constitutional Hill, Soweto, Mandela’s home and Wandies.
The Constitutional Hill is a prison. I felt very said about how people were treated and punished. It was a cruel punishment to the women because when the had their period they had to show them that she was pleading. Also when they had there periods they would have to try and still shoe laces to keep up the pads because if it fell the would get beat. The thing that I thought was cruel about the men’s punishment is that they had to do chore like activities for the gang leaders to get cigarettes and other things. But the most mean thing that they had to do was during the strip search they had to show all their private parts to everyone as discriminations.
In Soweto it was very exciting because we had a tour. When we got off the bus in Soweto we were greeted by little kids and other people. It made very happy because with the little they had they were so appreciative to see us. During the tour we went into a lady’s house and she showed us around. It was very moving because she lives in a small shack with only two rooms. Also, the children there was very nice to talk and friendly.
At Mandela’s house we saw everything. Such as there beds, tables, picture and many more. Then after that we went to Wandies it was very fun. The foods that they had were rice, this grits like food, curry chicken and beef. For dessert they had cake and ice-cream. For dinner I had rice, curry chicken and beef. And for dessert I had vanilla ice-cream.
Emani Hears, Age 13
Today we visited ‘go-go’ households. When I saw the states of how the shacks looked I felt sad. The way how I complain about my room compared to their shacks, I get forgetful about how others live. When I saw the insides of the families’ homes, I couldn’t stand the sight because of how small they were living and the things they didn’t have. I heard that they don’t have food and electricity. This kind of stuff you wouldn’t hear about in New York, other than the homeless, but living in shacks here would be better than people living on the streets of NY with nothing. So it’s like I woke up from the selfishness I have.
To get daily updates of my trip in South Africa please read more of my blogs on Karito Kids® at http://ow.ly/2sTUh
Douglas Williams, Age 14
Yesterday, we were on a tour and saw a lot of different places and people. We went to three different important places. Those places were Constitutional Hill, Hector Peterson Museum, and Nelson Mandela’s old house. The three places we went to were surprising and fun because I learned about new things regarding Africa’s history. I learned more about Nelson Mandela and his family. Constitution Hill was a jail and I learned about the conditions the inmates had to undergo there.
Dorian Anderson, Age 13
On the 20th I learned a lot. I visited memorial things in Soweto. I visited shacks. I wanted to help those in Soweto, but I couldn’t. I felt bad for the living conditions.
Constitution Hill was a very harsh place to live in back in those times. The meals were good, the days were great but long.
Dijore Harris, Age 12
Yesterday was a frightening day. The reason why it was a frightening day to me is because the lady was taking care of five kids with little food and no heat. I wanted to cry but I didn’t. She looked hopeless and cold. After we were done with the tour we went to Wandies. Wandies is a place that we ate at. I had rice, sheep, and a sprite. We also had entertainment. After we had dinner, we had ice cream and cake. When we were full we got ready and went back home. That was the day.
Devonte Wilson, Age 13
Day 2 in Johannesburg was another fun day. I went to Hector Peterson Museum. I also went to Constitution Hill. This was a prison and was intended to be temporary. From 1902, the Johannesburg council had urged the government to regulate the prison because it did not want a jail in the middle of the city. Prison regulations demeaned prisoners in every aspect of their lives. This was so particularly for black women.
Until 1976, all black prisoners were forced to remove their shoes and panties upon admission into the prison. There were showers and toilets at the back of the cells. Pregnant women were trained to take care of their babies in prison. When they stayed in the cell for too long, they thought about killing themselves. Whites were a better race and thus had better cells. I went to the Constitution Hill that was built on March 24th, 2004. The colors on the African flag are red, white, yellow, green, black, and blue. Red stands for the bloodshed, white stands for peace, yellow stands gold, green stands for agriculture, black stands for people, and blue stands for water and climate. I also went into Nelson Mandela’s house, and the last thing I did was had a great dinner at Wandies.
Dara Hutchinson, Age 13
Well on Friday 20,2010 everyone went to Soweto two look at the living and visit a little bit of people and their homes. I felt a little sad because I most of the things I want from my family and here in South Africa they don’t have that much. Also we went out to eat and the food was ……. WOW so good I just wanted two take the people back to the USA with me. We also went to some other places like the old jail and when we was there I felt like wow the people were in different groups like: blacks, whites, other, men, women, and the men & women had to do a dance and that made them feel real bad. Now today Saturday 21,2010 we went to go see our go goes and I was happy because wanted to see their house how they live and sleep but when I went in … I was quite like a baby I just look and wow I never knew that this is how they live I wanted to cry out but I just well after talking with them I hugged one of the go goes
Bria Henry, Age 12
Yesterday we went to a museum by the name of constitution hill. Constitution hill a segregated jail not only by race but by gender. During our tour around constitution hill went spent a lot of time looking around at very famous objects we were hearing about Nelson Mandela a very famous Advocate to allot of young and old women and men we were hearing about how he spent 26- 30 years in jail just for trying to persuade people that black and whites being separated was wrong and that everyone should be equal. We also went to the Mandela museum which was also his house that they made into a museum it was very extraordinary experience to hear about how he lived. Before we went to the museum we went to visit lots of people in Soweto and saw their house I was very sad that we could not help them with anything I was very sad to know that went we left a shack and a person and couldn’t help but we help so how with love we showed them. At the end of the night we went to a restaurant named Wandies. It was a very fun and the food was great and amazing I had a very good experience at the restaurant.
Brenden Archer, Age 12
Yesterday we went to Constitution Hill. We learned what Black and White men and women had to do when they went to prison. We also went to the Hector Peterson museum. We learned that he got shot at the age of 14 because he was protesting for the rights of the Black students to speak their native language and not the language of the white oppressor. We also went to Nelson Mandela’s old house, which was also in Soweto.
Aneudy Taveraz, Age 13
Well, in these past days I realized the goods and the bads, like the difference. Well we visited the Constitution Hill, which was a prison. Trust me, it was not like a USA prison, it was terrible prison. You had to take number two’s in a toilet that was in the ground. But the good thing about the prison it had an exact replica that really look real, and all the details were interesting. When we visited Soweto, it was harsh that the poor lady had to take care of 5 children by herself without electricity, can you imagine that!!! That will be sad, even a girl of the JFC Program started feeling sad, some of us had to make her feel better. Now, I enjoy myself, because I played Casino with other African people. I t was fun. And the African people know how to go green, like they will find garbage and make it into something useful like toys or building houses.
Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service uplifts the lives of inner-city youth through global travel, volunteerism and advocacy work. More information on the program can be found at www.angelrockproject.com.