Keep The Dream196 is a Tzaneen based organisation that has been working with orphaned and vulnerable children for the last 11 years and 16 years unofficially.
KTD196 has made a huge impact in a variety of spheres for these children.
Louis Maiwila is one of the graduates from the program and currently resides in Shiluvane village, close to Maake.
Read Louis’ story and hear the impact this wonderful organisation has had on just one of the 12,000 children they have nurtured and developed.
Louis Maiwila writes:
My name is Louis Maiwila, I joined scouts in 2004, I am very proud because I was the first boy to join scouts in Keep The Dream196 and I have stayed in Scouts now for 10 years.
When I was 12 years old my parents divorced, it was a difficult time for me because of circumstances I lived on my own for 4 years, my dad only came home on the weekends. Scouts became my family, especially Akela Zabe. I was very naughty and aggressive towards my sisters during this time when they came to visit me but when I joined scouts my attitudes changed and I became loving and helpful.
Also before I joined scouts I was very shy, I could not talk in front of people but through scouts I have gained confidence to speak to other people even if I don’t know them. KTD196 has taught me many things such as: leadership skills, working with people, reading a map and compass, hiking, camping but the biggest skill I am proud of is living with confidence. Through KTD196 we have been given opportunities to go hiking and camping and developing our camp craft skills and increasing our experiences in new environments. Every time we go to camp we are entrusted to come back and share the information with those who didn’t go.
I have to stand up and talk and train others, this has helped my self-confidence and self-esteem.
All of my friends that I have grown up with, in Shiluvane village, are involved in drugs and alcohol and doing bad things in the community for example stealing.
KTD196 helped me stay away from drugs and alcohol. I have chosen to live the life of a scout and be honest, clean in word thought and deed. My aim is to become a good leader to the young ones in my community.
To that end I am now an Assistant Troop Scouter for 1st Shiluvane. Being a part of KTD196 I have learnt you must be honest and be able to responsible for working towards your own future and not wait for someone to do it for you, this is empowering. I feel I have been mentored in a family of people who care about me and want me to succeed.
When I was 16 years I went to Initiation school and realised that this tradition does not make me a man but undermines the values of family, community and scouting. Scouting and KTD196 has shown me what it means to be a real man. So many young men go to Initiation School and come back twisted believing they are men at aged 13 and can do what they want, drink alcohol, smoke, take drugs and have unprotected sex and make babies.
This is not a true man that is why KTD196 work and Scouts are so important.
What I like about KTD196 is that they take all children, no one is refused. We all learn to work together and now I am a leader and a role model and that makes me feel proud of who I am today