Today, as the program comes to an end, I can feel a mixture of emotions of happiness and sadness that fill the hallways as we all pack to leave Stay City (our home away from home while living in Johannesburg).

The past six weeks have made us all experience something that cannot really be explained. The most amazing of all is the passion we were able to feel throughout these six weeks.

As we were heading back from our final day at PUSH, I was filled with an inner feeling of satisfaction – knowing that even though it was just a presentation of our recommendations, we were able to help people at PUSH look at things in another perspective which will help the organization take big steps to develop and grow its operation and reach out to the needs in the community of Soweto.

Working at PUSH for six weeks was one of the best experiences of my life. My first few days, I couldn’t grasp the fact that we will be surrounded by people and children who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.  But today I see a story behind each child, each caregiver and each individual at PUSH. And with all the harsh realities they live with, they still face everyday with a smile, with an aim to live and laugh their troubles away.

I will miss our rides to Soweto every morning, the colorful fences and umbrellas that wait for us at PUSH, the great lunches that were cooked for us and most importantly the children who arrive one by one to have lunch and start preparing for their activities.

We have been blessed to have an experience that opened our eyes to the things we take for granted in life.  We end this program feeling happy of our experience, our accomplishments yet sad to be saying goodbye.

– Dina Haddad, January 2011 Emzingo Fellow


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