Mr Halbert Mlindazwe was one of the principals shortlisted for the After School Leadership Excellence Award by the Western Cape Government. The award recognises principals who are leading the way in providing creative and dynamic after school programmes at their schools.
Mr Mlindazwe is the principal of Bongolethu Primary School where we implement the MOD YearBeyond Programme for Grade 1 to 4 learners to provide them with a safe space after school and focus on improving their educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy.
Congratulations Mr Mlindazwe and thank you for the support you give to us Beautiful Gate!
214 township learners exposed to coding for the first time during #AfricaCodeWeek at Beautiful Gate South Africa
We are excited to share our report with you on the #AfricaCodeWeek activities here at Beautiful Gate South Africa. We are very grateful to have been one of 60 organisations from 10 countries in Africa that received a Google Microgrant to make this week happen! Our sincere thanks to Google and the Cape Town Science Centre for administering the grant.
Our Africa Code Week programme was held from 3-6 October during the school holidays. This allowed children from the local community to access the centre easily and gave us enough time to allow learners to enjoy the experience while keeping them busy during the holiday.
We used the following modules:
Cs-first (Theme Club: Storytelling)
Scratch v456.0.4 (offline)
Hour of Code (Code.org)
Experimentation with Lego Robotics
We aimed to give children who are not currently part of our coding club the opportunity to experience coding and computers and inspire a love for technology.
We had 214 children between the ages of 8-16 years old attend sessions during the week. 53 of these were girls.
I am loving every moment I have on the computer - Anelisa, 14 years
Would you like to help us make more coding classes possible next year? Or support our science enrichment club?
Please join our Monthly Giving Programme: The Hope Club.
Beautiful Gate South Africa gave me an opportunity to tutor math and spread the love I have for it. I want to change the mentality of learners seeing it as a difficult subject to an easy, interesting and fun one, especially in less privileged communities. Maths and science are in need and programming (coding too) is a rising need too. I want to encourage learners to take note that Mathematics is an interesting subject.
Melane is only 7 years old and is in Grade 1, and one of the top academic achievers in this year's school awards for English. Melane is part of our literacy programme with Wordworks (funded by The Learning Trust) that helps children learn and enjoy reading by sharing materials and making reading fun. When Melane started she was very shy because English is not her first language. With many kids struggling with English, we are doing our best to prepare our primary school learners for Grade 4 when teaching changes from their home language to English.
Melane kept on attending the Wordworks program and our homework support sessions to improve her English. Her tutors were very patient with her as she is one of the youngest but brightest kids in class. We are happy with the improvement that Melane and other children have shown, not only improving in English, but in Mathematics as well. We will continue to partner with Wordworks and other service providers to help us improve the quality of education in our communities, focussing on one child at a time.
Sign up and start donating today to help us reach one more child at a contribution of R250 per month to our After School Programme.
Click here for more information about WorkWorks
Day in the Life of a Volunteer Tutor
Zanozuko Marhamba is a tutor for the learner education support club and he tutors at a primary school. Zanozuko tutors literacy and numeracy. He started a community project where he facilitates dance in the Crossroads community. And this is his typical day:
Before 8:00 a.m.
My day is like this, I get ready for work, I don’t check messages on my phone (laughs). I usually exercise at home before I go to work.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m –
I get to work and I don’t eat breakfast at all, and when I’m at work I immediately get to my computer and start working on Salesforce before nine am and I do the children’s register of attendance.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. –
Normally take a walk around the Beautiful Gate space and I go back to work again. Then I prepare for the earner education support club, usually I do the numeracy preparations first.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. –
I’m making copies of activity sheets and then gathering my tools for class and then I walk to the school. I also meet up with my team to arrange the snack for the children.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
I get to the school and we start with the register and then a prayer. I enjoy doing literacy with them but everyday before we start with any activity we check for home works and I assist the children with their homework. I love with children and what I love most about that is sharing the word of God. On Wednesdays we usually dedicate the day to learning about the word of God with the children using fun stories and activities.
After 4:00 p.m. –
I get home at about 5pm and then go straight to soccer practice.
Ziyanda, a Grade 6 learner, lives in Lower Crossroads with her parents and older sister, When she joined Beautiful Gate's After school education support programme in June 2015, she was struggling a lot and was so shy, lacking confidence in herself.
After a few weeks in the programme, her academics started improving, but she still lacked confidence. It was then that our tutors decided to initiate some one-on-one sessions with her, encouraging her that she could do better.
Over the past few months she has started gaining confidence and now she is one of our best learners who participates willingly and helps others in the class.
One of the ongoing and most pervasive challenges for South Africa today is the issue of inequality. There is no easier place to view this inequality than in the townships surrounding the City of Cape Town. With two boys in a government school in an established suburb, it pains me daily to see the inequality facing children of the same age in Crossroads and Philippi. While education is not the only area of inequality in our country, it is certainly one of the drivers which if not addressed will ensure that inequality in our country will never be erased. Even as some people applaud an improving secondary school pass rate sadly, only 44% of children get to grade 12 in South African schools. The number of pupils who started grade one in 2002 was 1,261,827 - however, the number of pupils who eventually wrote grade 12 exams in 2013 only 562,112. A staggering 56% of learners lost before even writing matric. Of those that did get to sit down to those exams, only 78.2% passed. Sadly, this means that more than 60% of South African children are left with no qualification at all beyond the Grade 9 level.
How do begin to address this? Read more about how Beautiful Gate's After School programme is improving educational outcomes and beginning to see results.
When Athenkosi joined the Beautiful Gate After School Programme in 2014 he was in grade 4. He wasn't doing very well at school, at home he was not listening to his parents, and at school the teachers were concerned about him.
"When he first came along, he was disruptive. I was worried about him, so I referred him to our social worker."
Athenkosi met with our social worker, and our child care workers visited him at home. His parents were invited to a meeting at Beautiful Gate.
And now, a year later...
Athenkosi has changed. He has become a soccer star, and has become a respectful little boy, at school, at home and at after care.
"We are also very proud of him as his tutors! He makes us proud!"
Athenkosi passed grade 4 very well and is now doing grade 5.
Beautiful Gate's After School Programme reach more than 200 children every week day afternoon at the Beautiful Gate centre and other sites around the community. Read more about our After School Programme on our website, or if you would like to help us reach more children like Athenkosi, please make a donation online today.
Welcome to a window into the lives and issues facing children in the Crossroads community on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Most of these stories centre around the children and families we work with at Beautiful Gate South Africa, a Christian non-profit organisation whose mission is to show God's love as we care for and protect children, empower and preserve families and mobilise our community to do the same.