Masicorp working with AWOL Tours and Songezo Jim’s cycling academy

The coming and going of cyclists from Songezo Jim’s cycling academy has become a regular sight since the professional cyclist started renting space at Chasmay Road. Songezo was aided in his move to the new premises by AWOL Tours who have helped him with sponsorship. AWOL have run a cycling tour of Masi for many years and have now decided to make their relationship with Songezo more formal. The AWOL bicycles are stored together with Songezo’s and the AWOL tour now begins at the Chasmay Road campus.

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The new partnership was recently launched at an opening event on the campus.  The AWOL Team invited the Songezo cycling academy cyclists to a BBQ / braai to meet the team.  Nonny’s café and Mark’s braai bus provided a perfect launch feast and many plans for future cycling development were made.

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The academy now has a workshop and storage space, and there is an opportunity to assist in developing Masiphumelele’s cycling legacy and training future AWOL cycling guides.

In addition to the regular cycling tour AWOL now introduce their guests to the Songezo cycling academy and also showcase the Masicorp crafters and artisans who share the premises at Chasmay Campus. During school term, the tour visits a local crèche and a proportion of every tourists booking fee continues to be donated to Masicorp to support the development of ECD in the community.

You can book the AWOL cycling tour HERE

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A Mid-Year Break for our Bursary Students

We took the opportunity to catch up with our bursary students last weekend. Most of them were back in Masiphumelele for the break between the academic semesters. Fortunately it has been a trouble free period on campus at all universities in the Western Cape and good academic progress is being made. The teaching has been fairly intensive, with some catching up from modules that were only partially completed last academic year due to the Fees Must Fall demonstrations.

Lindikuhle Phumza & Abulele

This event was mostly a social get-together, with the students appreciating the cooking from the bursary team and another wonderful cake from Nonny’s Bakery.

 

We also thank the mentors for attending and some of them also donated files and other materials to support the students. In particular we thank the Pack for a Purpose project for providing each student with a flash drive on which they can back up their studies.

 

Not all students could attend due to winter school and in-service training commitments. We received the following message from Zintle Magazi who is currently in Leuven, Belgium doing two courses in “European policies and politics” as well as ” Social immigration issues”. This is a summer school and is part of her course in International Studies.

The summer school has been a lot of fun thus far even though we have very long days. My normal day at KU Leuven University starts at 9 am and finishes at 6 pm, sometimes 7 or even 8 pm. Each lecture is about two hours long and very information-packed and comprehensive. I believe I know a lot more about Europe now and I’m interested to see how the European Union will deal with the competition from new rising world powers.

 There are eight of us here from Stellenbosch University and we are amongst students from everywhere; some from Russia, China, Italy, Cameroon, Romania, Spain and the Netherlands. It’s so interesting hanging out with all of them and learning about each other’s ways of life through casual conversations or even joking with one another. It really is a blessing to be here and it is motivating me to keep working hard at school so that I can study my postgraduate studies in Germany.

Phumlani Simthembile & SiphuxoloIt is now back to campus and for some students in-service training as their courses come to completion. Our continued thanks to all the sponsors and mentors that assist us in making this programme possible.

A Book Donation at the English Hub

We recently reported on the makeover at the English Hub in Ukhanyo Primary School.

The English Hub has now received an fantastic donation from Neil van Blerk of Time Out Creations. He and his team dropped off eleven boxes of brand new, plastic covered children’s books.

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This means that from next term the Hub will be able to start a library system where learners can borrow books and take them home to read. Here is Ukhanyo Primary school principal, Michael Tyhali, and Grade 3 learners enjoying the new reading materials.

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Thank you to Neil and his family for their incredibly generous gift. These books will be much loved and much used!

Life Skills Graduation – July 2017

Last weekend saw the first graduation ceremony for 2017 for the Evangeline Ministries / Masicorp life skills training course. The team were present to greet the graduates at the usual venue at Living Hope near Masiphumelele.

Evangeline team

Our thanks to the students this year for providing the hall decorations that can be seen on the stage here.

 

There were 18 students graduating – 17 women and one man. This also included a couple of graduates from Ocean View.

Thank you to Carol Hanks (Masicorp Director of Development) for delivering the welcome speech to the graduates. Thanks also to Fiona Maitland (Masicorp deputy MD) for being present to award the certificates to each student.

 

As usual there were many happy faces….

Portraits

And many spectacular outfits on show….

Fashion Show collage

Our thanks to Dr Wendy Ryan for her continued delivery of this programme. As a token of appreciation the students presented Wendy with  a small gift at the end of the ceremony.

 

The six-month programme now moves on with a fresh intake of students for the second half of 2017.

[Thanks to Dr Louise de Waal of Green Girls in Africa for all photographs on this blog]

 

 

 

The MCC MASI 750 Sports Club

Ukhanyo Primary school is the only primary school in the Masiphumelele township. They play a limited amount of organized sport due to lack of facilities and sports staff. An organized sports programme will give the youth the excitement they seek, empower them, connect and give fellowship, assist problem solving skills, encourage a sense of community in the township, encourage positive team work, increase self-esteem and provide employment amongst other advantages.

This is the aim of MCC MASI 750 Sports Club project.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has generously spearheaded this project with a R870,000 donation over the next three years as part of their MCC Spirit of Cricket  drive.

 

Through the support of the MCC and further individual donations, we aim to give the pupils of Ukhanyo Primary school access to quality coaching, increased organized school sport, and competetive matches/tournaments through full participation. The initial donation will provide three cricket nets, which will build on the successful establishment of the all-weather running track provided by Masicorp in 2016.

B. sprint track

This will ensure that through organized sport, learners will develop an increased sense of purpose, self-belief, teamwork, honour, discipline and physical/emotional wellbeing.

B. Nceba and VinceThe project is lead by former South African cricketer and local resident Vince van der Bijl who is working alongside Ukhanyo School coach/PT instructor, Nceba Jonas. Nceba is currently the only instructor for 1,860 pupils. Each pupil receives one PT lesson every week, with the existing facilities consisting of one hard court netball court and a short sprint hard track and an open unusable potholed field with no posts or demarcated lines.

Despite the difficulties experienced at the school, cricket, soccer, netball, rugby and athletics are all popular, with teams representing most age groups. Most matches that are played are friendlies against other schools in close proximity due to lack of fields, funds, kit etc. Teams invariably use the opposition school’s equipment (balls, bats etc.) when playing competitive matches. Transport to every match is expensive as every match is an away game.

For this reason the next phase of the development programme is the construction of a comprehensive sports facilities development plan with three artificial playing surfaces with enhanced surrounds in the school, planned by Masicorp. The plans have been passed by the City Council, but funding is still being sought to ensure the development of the existing unusable school field becomes a reality.

 

The project is designed to meet the following sporting needs of the school:

Coaching personnel, transport and equipment costs and support for formal sporting instruction and competition

  • An assistant coach/organizer to support the current PT instructor and sports coach.
  • Two part-tine coaches for cricket and netball
  • Sports equipment
  • Budget for transport for away matches
  • Budget for sports team kit and other requirements
  • Development of competition/matches/tournaments with other schools
  • A structured sporting environment

Sports facilities – cricket nets

Plans have been passed for the construction of three cricket nets, essential to the cricket development of the school. The construction is currently under construction.

Artificial surfaces and field project

Masicorp have developed a programme which will see to the construction of three artificial playing areas, parking requirements and security fencing, already passed by the city council

These facilities will allow proper practices facilities and home matches.

While fund raising for this project has begun, the project hopefully will be started once the sports development process has been introduced and is functioning well. Completion by 2020 is the aim.

 

The financial scope and donation request

The initial MCC funding for the project is GBP 50 000 for a fixed three-year period for:

  1. the coaching personnel and general support/equipment requirements for three years and
  2. the three cricket nets (a once off)

The commitment of the MCC MASI 750 Sports Club is to ensure sustainability year on year by matching and in time exceeding the MCC funding. The increase in school sport activity by doubling participation, practices and matches will need additional funding which we hope will be supplied by the generosity of donors.

Donations.

Individuals can assist the project by donating R100 or R200 (or USD/GBP 10 or 20) per month on an ongoing basis.

Our target for 2018 is to raise R500 000 and in 2019 R1 million through individual sponsorship.

You can join the MCC MASI 750 Sports Club by making a once off or regular donation through our website. Please clearly reference your donation as MCC MASI 750.

AA little kids off to cricket

Masiphumelele High School Careers Exhibition

IMG-20170531-WA0022This week saw a career exhibition hosted by Ikamva Youth at Masiphumelele High School. The event was an opportunity to provide advice regarding careers and further education opportunities to the learners at the school and was well attended by both local information providers and the learners themselves.

Masicorp were pleased to participate alongside our partners in the community including Masiphumelele library and Fish Hoek library staff who were showcasing the City of Cape Town Library and Information Services.

We were delighted to be joined by many of the graduates of our bursary programme, who assisted with our stand and were available to inform the learners of the benefits of university education. Several of the graduates were able to give specific guidance regarding their specialist courses including Avile Mabengu (environmental management) Khuselo Mchithakali (agriculture), Babalwa Mtshawuli (nursing) and Aluncedo Mtengwane (accountancy). Everyone was able to provide overall guidance on what to expect at university in terms of student life and the big step up required in terms of learning and understanding the higher level course materials.

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Overall this was an excellent event and we hope to have inspired many of the schools learners to consider further education opportunities.

The English Hub at Ukhanyo Primary School

jcRegular readers of our blog will be aware of our English Lab Programme, which ran for five successful years at Ukhanyo Primary School. The programme was led by Jan O’Connor, with the help of many volunteers and school staff. We were desperately sad to say goodbye to Jan as she moved on to a new project in Jeffreys Bay just before Christmas, but that did not mean the end of our work in the English Lab.

The project is a teacher-centred, skills-transfer programme, which focused on the teaching staff at the school and how they can most effectively teach the learners English as a First Additional Language. We continue to provide the hub with activities for teachers and students to engage with. This now takes place in a warm, light, and spacious setting, thanks to a substantial refurbishment. We thank Neil and his skilful team at Time Out Creations who have done a wonderful job revamping the space and we are also very happy with our brand new curtains from A.C.G. Manufacturers. In addition the lab also has a new flooring and AV system.

ksWe also have a new team in place to continue the work that Jan and her team began. We now welcome Katherine Smith and her classroom assistant Dolly. Katherine and Dolly have started the year by focusing on developing relationships with the Grade 3 teachers and supporting them in teaching English. They are also developing learning materials and resources to use in the new English Hub, along with turning the space into a fun and engaging, print-rich language centre.

Initially, mornings are focused on providing support for the Grade 3 teachers who have consistently demonstrated enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. In time, the Hub will offer support to the teachers of other grades as well as supporting the long running MasiFunde reading project. This programme currently focuses on supporting 140 Grade 4 learners. Jane Futter and her team of volunteers work with small groups of struggling readers to improve their reading skills and thereby building their confidence.

In addition, in the second term the Hub will be open on specified days from the end of the school day until 16:00 for learners to participate in reading activities, art, music etc. This “After school” programme, will be facilitated by Dolly and will initially be open to eager Grade 5s and interested teachers.

At the time of writing we are just waiting for the new furniture to arrive, but as you can see this has not stopped the eager learners from getting involved. Much of the teaching equipment seen here has been provided thanks to our ongoing relationship with Cape Town based tour operator Absolut Tours through the Pack With A Purpose programme. In addition we also received a generous donation from UK sponsors for books and teaching materials in memory of a wife and mother.

Our thanks to everyone who has helped us to continue providing this support to Ukhanyo School – from our teaching volunteers to the tradesmen who have renovated the facility and of course the many generous donors that have made this project possible.