Minnesota Farmer


Back to Kliptown
August 16, 2014, 4:48 am
Filed under: Johannesburg, school, South Africa | Tags: , , , , ,

Coming back to a place for a second time you will see things differently.  Sometimes it is because of the changes in the place you visit, sometimes it is because of the changes in you.  Both of those changes were there for the visit to Kliptown.

When I went to Kliptown in 2011 we were newly arrived in South Africa.  My recollections were those of one who had little experience in the area.  Now with a past trip and a few more years I saw more and took pictures less.  I invite you to look at what I wrote about Kliptown in 2011 and compare that to what I write today.

Kliptown is a collection of shanties on the Klip river outside of Johannesburg, South Africa.  The collection of cobbled together huts does not seem to have changed much.  There are still the few water taps that seem to run all day where people come to collect bathing and cooking water or to wash their clothing.  There are still the illegal electrical taps put in by self taught electricians that provide light and power to these shacks.  The community porta-potties are a still there.  The changes are at the Kliptown Youth Program (KYP).

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In 2012 the KYP and its director Thulani Mandondo were named one of the 10 CNN Heros.  Along with that award came a monetary gift of $50,000.  The changes have been transforming.  The computer lab that was built with the money has allowed the children of the area to have a better chance of moving up and out of Kliptown.

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With reliable electricity these labs are kept busy with children of all ages learning so they can be a viable part of the modern world.

While water may still run down the street to the Klip river the same as it did in 2011, there is now more hope for the children living here.  Changes have occurred here in Kliptown as they have in me.

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