The morning of October 5 marked the commencement of the second extracurricular enrichment trip with Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids (GAPA) of the year. Since 2014, the Happy Africa Foundation has worked alongside the grannies at GAPA to provide children who attend their after school program with educational and enriching field trips. These fun outings are held twice yearly, and give the children involved unique opportunities that they would likely not get otherwise to learn about Cape Town. With the help of African Impact volunteers, THAF crafted a day dedicated to giving the GAPA children a chance to experience their city and all of its most notable landmarks through an open top Red Bus Tour!
As the children arrived, groups assembled into fun activities led by African Impact volunteers. From face paint to ‘Buddies Up,’ the children enjoyed a wide variety of games. They even learned a bit about the landmarks they would see, as African Impact volunteers made an effort to change activities so that they would align with the sightings on the Red Bus Tour. ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf’ was changed to ‘What’s the time Mr Clock Tower’ and ‘Duck, Duck, Goose!’ was tweaked to be ‘Red, Red, Bus!’
After lunch and activities, GAPA kids, grannies, and volunteers filed onto three Red Buses. Children received informational headphones and fun activity sheets which they took a particular liking to; constantly, they pointed out different landmarks and structures which they checked off their lists with enthusiasm. These sights included the Castle of Good Hope, Signal Hill, the District Six Museum, and the Kirstenbosch Gardens, to name a few. The children spent much time gazing up at the towering buildings in the city and pointing out fountains and statues to each other, connecting what they were seeing with what they were listening to on their headphones.
Up until this point, the large majority of these children had never had the opportunity to witness the entirety of their city as they were able to do today. Through the GAPA Extracurricular Enrichment Program, they not only experienced the most notable features of Cape Town, but also learned about the history and importance behind them through headphones and worksheets. Further, the children were able to practice some competitive play in Sea Point before hand, which in itself was a special treat. Undeniably, the entire experience was a success from start to finish and provided children with valuable perspective about their own home.
Through assessments, we were able to gauge just how much the children absorbed on the Red Bus Tour. Initially, only 22% of the children knew that the District 6 Museum was a great resource to learn about Cape Town’s history. Afterwards, however, those numbers rose to an impressive 90%. They also successfully gathered that the Kirstenbosch Garden is known for all its beautiful flora and fauna; that the Castle of Good Hope is one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town; and that the Sea Point Lighthouse is adorned with red and white stripes. The children proved to have mastered this content, as 100% of the children answered the respective questions correctly in the post-assessment. In total, we saw a very impressive 44.75% average increase in knowledge and understanding. Not too bad for a single day of being out on the buses!
This excursion and all that it has offered to the GAPA community would not have been possible without the assistance of our donors and Happy Africa Foundation supporters. A huge thank you to everyone involved and all of those who helped bring this educational experience to life— couldn’t have done it without you!