When many people think of grandmothers, they think of old women who knit, bake cookies, and don't do much else outside the home. However, in South Africa, many grandmothers are the sole caregivers of grandchildren whose parents have passed away from HIV/AIDS. Women in South Africa do not play soccer, but a group of women in Limpopo known as the "Vhakegula Vhakegula,” or the “grannies grannies,” is forging new ground. The Vhakegula Vhakegula play soccer twice a week, primarily for exercise. In the process they also receive peace of mind, new friendships, joy and happiness. Many of them view this exercise as their medicine, helping them to avoid getting sick. The exercise has also helped many of the women overcome medical conditions that they had before playing soccer, including difficulty sleeping through the night. The benefits are seen in their smiles, shared singing, and in the enthusiasm with which they participate in this life affirming activity.
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