|IN OUR MARCH EDITION:|
Strategic planning sessions form an integral part of any organization’s responsible growth and development. Planning for the future of the organization allows us the time to make wise and sustainable solutions. This has been true in our most recent observation regarding our current school scholarship programme. Historically this scholarship programme has only been accessible to learners in school (primary and secondary) but slowly we have noted an increase in the number of children seeking help after school (post matric). As more and more children come through our programmes and are motivated to complete their schooling, the need for support in future careers and the world of employment becomes critical.
What does this mean for the Anna Foundation? We have begun a planning process around how we can best link this need we have identified with support and partnerships from local business and corporate companies. What programmes can we provide to our post matric learners in order to help them make themselves more marketable? What job opportunities are available to them and how can we be a conduit to link them to these opportunities? Our ultimate aim would be to ensure that the children coming up through the Anna Foundation 3 R’s Programme are empowered youth that provide employers with trustworthy and inspired employees. In that way we are able to make a noteworthy contribution to South African society, not just in terms of the young children now, but also in terms of future contributions.
3 R's News: Reading, Running, Right-ing
READING (Literacy/Numeracy): We start the month looking at “the world out there”. For the majority of our children, the concept of traveling to another country is completely foreign (excuse the pun) considering that many have not even been into a neighbouring province! Foundation Phase learners work a little closer to home and first learn to find South Africa on a map. Worksheets explore our rainbow people and the various African cultures that we see. The older children jet off and explore countries on other continents learning about the climate, cuisine, languages spoken, dress, and traditions. Practical lessons are always very popular and are thrown in the mix for all grades to keep the learning real. The theme that follows on and which ties in well with travel, is religion. We introduce our learners to the basic beliefs of different faiths - Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism - and the areas in the world where they are most practiced. Following on from these lessons, we look at values and respect, and learn how to accept one another despite our cultural, racial and religious differences.
RUNNING (Sport): This is the last month of our fitness challenge (President’s Challenge). After seeing just how competitive the children are with the crunches, push-ups, sprints and a endurance running we decided to take things up a notch and give them something bigger to work towards! Next month we will be holding 3 Sports Days in our various regions, where the fittest children from each after-school will compete against one another. Right now everyone is psyched up and ready for their ‘big day’ with the end goal in mind: to be the fittest and fastest!
RIGHT-ING (Life skills through drama): We continue with the theme on ‘communication’. In addition to the drama games, we have selected to share one main focus from each grade group which has really stood out for the children in this month’s lessons.
Grade R – 3: The younger children make their own story stones. Each child is required to find 3 smooth stones and then choose 3 pictures from a magazine onto which the pictures are pasted. These stones are then used in a variety of games as inspiration for the learners to make up their own stories and this is a really fun way to practice communication skills. Telling stories not only encourages creative expression but it teaches the storyteller to organize their thoughts and ideas in a manner that will be understandable to others.Having stones and pictures to touch and move around is a non-threatening way to practice the skill of storytelling because it shifts the focus off of the teller and onto the stones.
Grade 4 – 12: The talk show that we have brought into the life skills programme this year is a major hit! The children have been exceptionally creative in terms of making props, composing a jingle and imagining characters to interview and host the show. The original idea behind the talk show was to use it as a way for the children to discuss what they had just experienced in class. But right from the start, the learners rather saw this as a safe space where they could voice an opinion (the space is ‘safe’ because it is fictional and they are playing a character). We have found that our learners are inclined to want to discuss things that have happened to them during the week - things they have witnessed, heard about and experienced. One of the Stellenbosch groups, for example, hosted a show about the mountain fires. These learners had been directly affected by the fires as it threatened their farm and their parents were called to help fight the flames. The talk show gave them a platform to work through the fear and other feelings that they felt. A group in Robertson did one of their talk shows about drugs as their school had hosted a talk about drugs and the children saw their talk show as a platform where they could further discuss the topic. The talk show host asked questions like: “What happens to you when you do drugs?”; “What happens to your family when you do drugs?”; “How can you stop doing drugs?”. The talk show is an incredibly exciting development in the drama programme because it has the potential to become a powerful communication tool between the learners and their peers, their facilitators and the Anna Foundation staff.
Stephanie lives on Dornier Wines and has been involved with the Dornier/Waterford after-school since it opened in 2010. In the latter years of Stephanie’s school career we noticed her showing a more mature and positive attitude towards her school work. She became involved in extra activities at her school and was made assistant editor of her school newspaper in her matric year. Despite her busy schedule, she continued to attend the after-school every afternoon she could.
Stephanie matriculated in 2013 from Stellenzicht High School in Stellenbosch and is currently studying Travel and Tourism at Boland College. She is in her final year of the two-year course and is really enjoying her studies thus far. Stephanie’s subjects include Travel Services, Travel Destinations (including how to sell travel packages), Travel Office Procedures and Hotel Reception. Her course has an 18 month theory component and 18 months of practical working in the tourism industry. Stephanie has already gained hands-on experience at Dornier Wines, Kleine Zalze and De Hoek Manor.
In order to ‘pay back’ her study costs to the Anna Foundation, Stephanie assists the facilitator at the Dornier/Waterford after-school by helping with the Grade R – 3 group two afternoons per week. During the academic hour she works one on one with learners who are behind or battling with their academics. She is required to work out her own lesson plans and set the goals she wants to achieve with each of the children. Stephanie enjoys her time with the little ones, being firm but kind, and they love and respect her as their facilitator. She is truly an asset to the after-school project.
We are pleased to see just how seriously Stephanie has taken on her roles and responsibilities at both the after-school and with her studies, and how her self-confidence has grown. Stephanie is currently investigating the possibility of doing the remainder of her practical-work for her degree, on a cruise ship, so watch this space!
Another Awesome Absa Cape Epic
This is the 2nd year in which we have been one of the associate charity partners for the “Tour de France of mountain biking”, aka the Absa Cape Epic. In a nutshell, 1200 professional and amateur riders from all over the world, ride in teams over 8 days, through the mountains of the Western Cape to see who can finish first. This year’s route was said to be the toughest to date with a distance of 739 kilometres and 16 000m of climbing! Not for the faint hearted! It took place from 15 - 22 March 2015.
For the Anna Foundation there are various aspects to being involved:
RACE VILLAGES: The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised MTB race in the world which is fantastic for getting our big, yellow gazebo and banners seen. We offered our face painting skills and a colouring table (among other things) to add value to the villages, which moved to towns as the race progressed.
EXPOSURE TO MTB EVENTS FOR OUR CHILDREN: Due to close proximity of some of the race stages to our projects, we took the opportunity to expose learners to the sport of mountain biking. The children from Monteith farm in Grabouw jumped at the chance to visit the Elgin race after school on Monday, 16 March! Even the rain could not dampen their spirits as they “high-fived” riders coming down the finish chute, posed for TV cameras, and gave much-appreciated vocal encouragement for the Anna Foundation’s two MTB team as they arrived. Someone else who received support from our children is Kevin Jacobs. A few weeks prior to the event, Kevin visited the Monteith after-school with a donation of stationery from Bostik South Africa, the team for which he is riding. Prior to his finish, children asked after every rider came in: “Is dit Kevin?”… [“is that Kevin”]. By 21 March the race had moved to Wellington. The children from Buffet Olives farm in Paarl were very excited at the prospect of seeing the bikes, especially as some of them have participated in MTB events with us in the past. They too, had great fun watching the riders come in and also just enjoyed being out and about.
OUR RIDERS: We had 2 teams riding for us this year and both made us extremely proud and finished the 8-day challenge despite some very taxing days of heat and with injuries. Team Safari Njema (meaning ‘safe travels’ in Swahili): Ryan Wienand and Dave Aitken are both "Saffers” working in Tanzania. On the 2nd last day, Dave took a bad tumble but completed the race despite the discomfort of a few cracked ribs! Not for the faint hearted. Team Wildekrans Wines: You may remember a few stories about our “farm boytjies”, Danie Goosen and Braam Gericke who went to crazy fundraising lengths for us over the past few months… well couldn’t have looked more mellow throughout the week and just took each day in their stride with the “simple” goal of crossing the finishing line on the last day. As Braam summed up their strategy: “We just road 60km in an 80km zone throughout”.
We are so proud to have four such fantastic guys as our ambassadors and wearing the Anna Foundation cycling jersey. It gave us goose bumps each time we saw them across the finish at the end of each stage. Both teams have been simply fantastic to work with, from start to finish and we are extremely grateful for all their fundraising and support!
|All in all, it was a wonderful experience to be part of such a high-profile event. Thank you to the Absa Cape Epic for having us on board again this year.
- Ryan and Lise Wienand: Financial donation
- Dave Aitken: Financial donation
- Aty Burger: Financial donation
- Lilla Howe Trust: Monthly donation
- Croft Trust: Monthly donation
- Dr Brom: Monthly donation
- de Villiers Family: Monthly donation
- van der Merwe Family: Financial support for school tuition
- 1%Club Members: We so appreciate your support
- Radtrax (Paul): Fundraising for us at the race village
- Annette Theron: Theewaterskloof Gazette
- Farmworker Magazine: Thank you for the article
- Guy Webber: Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your picnic concer series at Hill&Dale
- Amoija Events: Trail Run entries
- MySchool and all our 'card swipers'