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Western Cape

Educational Support, Cape Town

By | Education & Enrichment
The Educational Support project seeks to support strategic renovations for Kuyasa Educare and aims to enrich the children’s education by providing much needed funding in order to renovate the buildings following Cape storm damage in July 2017, as well as purchase age-appropriate educational toys and teaching supplies.
The low standard of living in these communities too often means that families and schools are unable to provide children with the adequate tools they need to aid in their physical and mental development. Many children in these communities do not have access to age-appropriate toys and tools to ultimately enable their short and long term development.

Schools aim to equip its students with a safe and nurturing learning environment that will help children to grow and develop into intelligent adults and give them hope for a bright future as an educated individual. Unfortunately due to the nature of the community, these facilities struggle financially and need additional support to provide the children with the resources they need to enrich their education.

 We have been assisting Kuyasa with providing support and aid for the children’s development as they prepare for primary school. The preschool lost registration at the start of the year due to changing building regulations. The preschool funded the construction of new classrooms to help get registration back. The classrooms were close to completion when the storm damaged them, meaning the principal has been set back to the beginning. Without registration and subsequent funding, children in the area will not receive quality ECD support and thus opportunities to gain entry to primary schools may be compromised.

 
Short Term: We want to create safe and secure learning environment for the children at the school by completing a list of necessary renovations.

Long Term: to ultimately register the school as an educational government facility. As a registered school, the facility will become eligible for government funding which will further improve the children’s education and increase their sustainability. When children’s development is supported at a young age, they are well-equipped for their schooling career. Evidence indicates that success in early years translates into success in higher levels of education.

Khayelitsha is a partially informal township in Western Cape, South Africa. Located in the Cape Flats area in the City of Cape Town, Khayelitsha means ‘New Home’ in Xhosa. It is noted to be the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. Today Khayelitsha has an estimated official population of over 500,000 people but the unofficial number counts just under two million people including informal settlement areas as well. The ethnic makeup of Khayelitsha consists mainly of Black African residents, who predominantly speak Xhosa. Khayelitsha has a very young population with over 40% of residents being under the age of 19. As with other settlement communities, residents in Khayelitsha have limited access to basic utilities such as water, sewage, electricity and health care.

Over the years we have worked with a number of Early Childhood Development Centres and seen them become registered and more independent. We started working with Kuyasa in September 2016. In June 2017 we are now busy with renovations following from the Cape storm damage.

Health and Nutrition, Cape Town

By | Health & Nutrition
Providing 86 local children from a disadvantaged community of Redhill with two nutritious meals per day, as well as monitoring the BMI of the children and providing nutrition training to the caregivers. 
Red Hill is an informal community which regularly faces the challenge of inadequate access to basic utilities such as water, sanitation, electricity and health care. This is partly due to the remote and inaccessible location of Red Hill. High rates of unemployment and underemployment within the community means that many families continue to live well below the bread line. This often results in families struggling to meet the daily necessities of life.

The low standard of living in the community limits the ability for families and schools in Red Hill to provide children with the nutrients required for healthy development. Without a balanced diet, children are unable to fend off disease and illness or reach their full potential developmentally.

Red Hill Preschool and Children of Hope Educare aim to help the children and community by providing food daily for the children in their care. Unfortunately, these two facilities struggle financially and need support to continue feeding their students.

The Health and Nutrition Program aims to provide a dynamic approach to addressing the challenges of health and nutrition for two schools in the community of Red Hill. The focal project supports the schools’ feeding programs by supplementing the funds needed to purchase nutritious foods such as fruit, vegetables, vitamin-infused breakfast porridge and rice for the children.

As a part of our commitment to child nutrition, meal plans are cooperatively developed using guidance from the Department of Social Services to ensure that the children’s diets meet national standards for healthy child development.

In partnership with the teachers, African Impact volunteers assess the Body Mass Index (BMI) of each child, over the age of 3 years, every term/quarter to monitor their physical development. Lesson plans and activities relating to good practice for health and nutrition are also incorporated within the annual curriculum to reinforce a healthy lifestyle through education. At school the children learn about the importance of personal hygiene, the relationship between what we eat and health, and exercise has been incorporated into the daily classroom routine. Additionally, every quarter, a nutrition workshop is conducted with all of the teachers to help educate them and increase their knowledge and capability on the importance of health and nutrition in various forms.

Short Term Impact:
Providing each student with a nutritious breakfast, fruit and lunch daily contributes to enhanced learning capacity. This means that not only do the children receive daily sustenance; they will have the energy to play and learn effectively.

Long Term Impact:
Supporting adequate nutrition for healthy child development and sharing knowledge on healthy living will provide children with the tools they need from a young age, to develop into strong, healthy adults.

 Western Cape
Red Hill is an informal settlement made up of non-permanent housing and service structures. The 1 500 residents, who make up a colourful mix of Afrikaans, Xhosa and other African nationalities, do not have access to basic utilities such as water, sanitation, electricity and health care. This is partly due to the remote and inaccessible location of Red Hill. For the past 15 years the community has been demarcated for relocation, however it remains uncertain when or if action will be taken.

We are continuing quarterly nutrition workshops with the teachers, already having completed a session on kitchen safety and proper cleanliness and procedure with children. We are also monitoring the children’s BMI each quarter.

In 2017 46.6% of children can identify 10 letters. Going form 0% to 36% the Hope Educare children can recognise numbers 1-10.

Extra-Curricular Enrichment, Cape Town

By | Empowering Communities
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.
Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS (GAPA) is located in Khayelitsha, which is a partially informal township in Western Cape, outside of Cape Town. GAPA was started in October 2001 as a direct result of the implementation phase of a research project undertaken by the University of Cape Town.

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 low standard of living in the community too often means that families and schools in Khayelitsha are unable to provide children with important educational extra-mural trips. Many children in the community do not have access to visit educationally enriching places around their own communities due to limited finances.

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.

The project enriches the children’s in-class education by supplementing the funds needed to pay for educational outings twice per year. These extra-mural trips will allow children to visit places around Cape Town that they would not otherwise have access to due to financial restraints. While providing a fun outing to children, the trips will also be educational and equip children with practical life skills taught through tactile learning and fun experiences.

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.

Short Term Impact:
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.

GAPA is located in Khayelitsha, which is a partially informal township in Western Cape, South Africa. Located in the Cape Flats area in the City of Cape Town, Khayelitsha means ‘New Home’ in Xhosa. It is noted to be the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. Today Khayelitsha has an estimated official population of over 500,000 people but the unofficial number counts just under two million people including informal settlement areas as well. The ethnic makeup of Khayelitsha consists mainly of Black African residents, who predominantly speak Xhosa. Khayelitsha has a very young population with over 40% of residents being under the age of 19. As with other settlement communities, residents in Khayelitsha have limited access to basic utilities such as water, sewage, electricity and health care.

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!