Below is a poem by recent Umzi Wethu graduate Geovalda Cupido, who was part of the Umzi 8 Conservation Academy.  Umzi Wethu, a program run by the Wilderness Foundation (Africa) is a cutting edge program for AIDS orphans and disadvantaged youth that uses the power of the wilderness, promotes personal wellness in a nurturing home context, provides credible training, and secures sustainable job placements in hospitality and eco-tourism establishments – while extending the program’s social outreach to others.

Last week, Umzi graduated it’s eight class — which Geovalda was a part of.  Here are her words…

I imagined a place
Which seemed out of space,
A place we can call our own
When we look back at when we’re all grown.

I imagined a place
Where the grass is all green
And the residence spring-clean.
Where you see the birds fly,
And hear the monkey’s cry.

I imagined a place,
A place that brings change,
Teaches you to be strong
When hope has been gone for too long.

I imagined a place
Where there’s always someone you can call
Whenever you may fall.
Where you don’t have to hold back on your tears,
Where you can face your fears
Even if it took you years.

I imagined a place
It’s a place called Umzi.
Our home away from home
Where we will never be alone.

You raised me well,
From out of my shell.
That much I can tell

You taught me how to cope,
To never lose hope,
To be strong,
And never do what’s wrong.
Therefore, this poem I dedicate as a song.

Sometimes we fight,
You might lose some sight,
But end up being right.

You’ve always shown me the light,
Guided me through the most frightful night.
You were always there to hold me tight.

You will always be the best.

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