The FACET Life Skills Programme continues to equip learners with the skills they need to get ahead. The first term in 2018 focussed on improving self-esteem and building confidence, as well as exploring the subject of respect – for yourself and others.
To encourage the use of new-found skills, a talent show was held at one of the After-School Clubs, during which learners were given the opportunity to showcase their talents. It also provided the perfect occasion to commemorate South African Youth Day via different creative mediums, including dance, poetry, art and music.
In 2017, the 20 learners who showed the greatest leadership potential were elected by their peers to serve as Ambassadors at their After-School Clubs. It is now time to vote for a new group of Ambassadors for 2018, who will serve for 12 months and be invited to attend an annual Leadership Camp in October.
In lasting memory of an After-School Club learner who sadly passed away in November 2016, the Eugene Isaacs Leadership Award will be presented to the Ambassador who has excelled over the course of the year by striving for academic excellence, displaying generosity, actively participating in his/her community and acting as a positive influence to their peers. The recipient of the award will benefit from help with their school fees, school uniform or stationery, paid for by funds raised during the year.
Our School Leaver Programme arms learners with the information they need to make responsible and informed career choices as well as giving them the opportunity to further their studies after graduating from high school, should they wish to do so. Already one student has graduated from the Bergzicht Training Centre after completing Level 5 in Early Childhood Development (ECD) Training, while in May 2018 a further three students graduated from Boland College after gaining qualifications in Financial Management, ECD Training and Hospitality respectively. In addition to their personal achievements, beneficiaries of the programme inspire and motivate others who have dropped out of school to join the programme.
In June 2016, the FACET Foundation’s partner charity in South Africa, Pebbles Project, won the Gold Award for the After-School Club programme. The Ministerial Youth Excellence Awards are administered by the Western Cape Government in South Africa and the award was given for the Youth Education, Training and Skills Development category.
Central to the After-Schools Club project are the FACET mobile learning centres, which bring a computer classroom and library of books to local communities, as well as the opportunity to take children on educational trips.
This programme will be expanding in the autumn of 2016 with the introduction of three new vans offering an additional computer lab, book and toy library, and mobile tutor classroom, allowing the project to reach even more communities.
Sophia Warner, Pebbles Project director, said: “We are so proud of our achievement and want to thank the FACET Foundation, whose vehicles make up an essential part of the programme, and Mr Graff particularly for being part of our journey to provide excellent unique, sustainable and high-quality programmes for our youth in South Africa. Thank you for your investment in the future of our children.”
The FACET Foundation is pleased to provide Pebbles Project the funds to expand its portfolio of Mobile Learning Centres.
FACET currently funds the supply of two such vans used as a mobile computer lab and a mobile library, loaning out books and DVDs. Together, these two vans support a maths and literacy programme, as well as weekend activities and educational trips, for disadvantaged children living on the wine farms in the Western Cape.
The three new vans will add to these services, providing a second mobile computer lab, another mobile library and a mobile tutor classroom – fully funded for three years.
The new mobile computer lab will serve the Stellenbosch farms, so that children can benefit from more regular lessons, and deliver laptop computers to After-School Clubs, providing the opportunity for practice while the vehicle is away. In total, 80 children will take part in computer classes each week.
The new mobile library will house books, games, toys, DVDs and more computers. Travelling between remote farms in the Citrusdal area, where nothing like this currently exists, it will offer support to five Early Childhood Development centres and four After-School Clubs. Providing computer classes to children in each of these nine facilities, a total of 250 children will have access to the books, games, DVDs and toys on board.
The mobile tutor classroom will benefit children in the Stellenbosch area from Grade 1 right through to Grade 12. The van will be transformed into a fully equipped mobile classroom in which tutors can work with groups of children or individuals who need extra support. Staffed by four trained teachers with specialisms in maths and literacy, the daily lessons across 10 farms will benefit 80 children each week.
Part of the FACET learning programme’s activities takes children from the wine farms to public facilities where they can find out about a variety of topics among superb facilities. A side benefit, of course, is that the children feel like these excursions are a reward for their efforts at the After-School Clubs.
Over the last 12 months, children from the wine farms have been fortunate to visit Giraffe House, to learn about wild animals and interact with some, and Stellenbosch Museum, where they have learned about the history of the town, as well as take a boat trip around Seal Island in Hout Bay – all experiences they would not have encountered without the programme.
Closer to home, the programme’s participants and their parents are invited to take part in weekend activities. This positive leisure time plays host to events such as board games, DVD screenings, group discussions, and drama and music sessions. Other pursuits may focus on the physical, mental or spiritual development of the children, as well as how to improve communication and listening skills within families, and how to build trust between one another.
Over the last year, the FACET mobile computer lab has provided learners with the opportunity to learn both basic skills and higher-level thinking. For junior learners – and some parents – classes would start with something as simple as turning a laptop on as well as how to power it off and progress to learning how to type sentences and paragraphs. For senior learners, the focus is on learning how to research topics related to their school assignments, as well as offering a skills test from which a set of skill-related exercises can be set.
Meanwhile, the mobile library has also experienced successes. Providing its services to 10 different facilities, the staff have formed a close working relationship with the learners. Following each round of book reviews, learners are provided with small incentives, to ensure they remain enthusiastic about their reading and learning. At the After-School Clubs, the children are able to read in both Afrikaans and English, while parents are inspired to borrow reading material and DVDs during their lunch hour to help boost their children’s enthusiasm about books and reading. The success of the programme is borne out in the numbers: over the last year 7,500 books have been circulated, covering just 14 After-School Clubs.