Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS (GAPA) is currently a flourishing program providing programming in the area of: educational workshops, support groups, income generation activities, pre-school bursaries, relief funds and aftercare programs for residents in the community.
An occupational therapist organized workshops and support groups for grandmothers who were affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The intervention program was designed to meet the needs articulated by grandmothers who were part of the study. After the completion of the study, the group of grandmothers formed a committee with the occupational therapist and made plans to spread the information and support to others. GAPA is currently a flourishing program in the Khayelitsha community and provides programming in the area of: educational workshops, support groups, income generation activities, pre-school bursaries, relief funds and aftercare programs for residents in the community.
The Aftercare program at GAPA aims to provide children with a safe environment afterschool to do home work, eat a healthy meal and just ‘be kids’ by playing games and doing crafts in a safe and secure environment. This is especially important during the afterschool hours as child abuse rates spike during this time.
The GAPA aftercare program has been very successful, bringing in approximately 200 children from the surrounding area. Unfortunately, due to a loss of funding, GAPA can no longer provide a means for the children to experience educational outings in the Cape Town area.
In partnership with the grandmothers on staff, African Impact volunteers will also help facilitate learning during the trip and supervise children to ensure safety.
As a part of our commitment to children’s education, assessment tools will also be put into place after the outing to measure the skills that have been learnt through the educational trip.
Educational extra-mural trips enable all children to attend culturally enriching institutions and engage with hands-on learning through fun and exploration, despite financial backgrounds. Learning is both age and development appropriate and encourages well-rounded learning outside of the classroom.
Long Term Impact:
Providing educational trips to children improves long term critical thinking, increases exposure to cultural institutions in the community, facilitates group learning and will ultimately empower children to grow mentally from the new experience. By enriching children’s education, you also enrich their families and the community as a whole.
April saw the first extracurricular enrichment trip of the year, with 100 GAPA children, 17 African Impact volunteers and staff and 11 GAPA grannies all ready to explore and learn about Cape Town’s marine life as well as the history and development of the V & A Waterfront.
Volunteers guided their groups throughout the entirety of the day, from spotting wildlife and learning about the history of the docks on a harbour boat cruise, to learning about the prize winners at Noble Square, observing the city from a bird’s eye view in the Cape Wheel and then getting creative at an Art Jamming session in the afternoon- it was an action packed day to say the least!
It was a day of many firsts for a large number of GAPA children and grannies which “exposed them to a side of Cape Town they did not know” as well as providing them with the opportunity to “experience activities they never thought they would do”- in particular travelling by boat.
The educational purpose of the trip can be highlighted through how much the children learnt from their visit to the Waterfront. Volunteers created an assessment which was conducted both before and after the trip in order to discover how much the children had learnt. Initially only 38% of children knew that there were four statues at Nobel Square, this figure rose to an impressive 100% in the post trip assessment. They also successfully learnt some sailing vocabulary, with a percentage increase of 60% in understanding the term ‘star board,’ as well as a 53% knowledge increase in the number of children who could identify the three visible peaks from the Cape Wheel.
Efficient organisation of the day, the efforts and energy given by the volunteers and staff made the day a huge success and the children and grannies were talking about their highlights of the trip for weeks after!