2016 – A Great Year at the Maths Lab

project1The Maths lab at Ukhanyo School continues to produce extremely encouraging results. Following on from the practices developed last year, each day starts with a “morning dance”, and then learners work for 10 minutes on revision sheets that cover concepts taught over the course of the entire year, thus giving the children daily reminders of Maths skills.

The biggest challenge was to convince teachers to swap lengthy lectures for student drills, games, and practice activities. Hence, we established a weekly faculty meeting to discuss how students learn best and what activities produce the desired results.

Over the year, we watched the teachers adopt the new ideas about  Maths instruction – especially when they saw the effects that these “new strategies” had on the learners, the improvement of classroom management, (students no longer bored) and the impressive test scores – just look at this improvement:

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Masicorp will be showcasing the Maths Lab at the Horses for Causes race day at Kenilworth Racecourse on Feb 11th. Entry is free so why not co e along for some racing and support ourselves and the other NGO’s participating on the day. Further details are available here:

Free Computer Training at Masiphumelele Library

At the end of last year we reported on the success of the graduates of the advanced computer literacy class held at Masiphumelele library. This is a programme that we were able to offer thanks to an overseas donation from a personal donor in the United States. We are pleased to report that funds have been received to continue the programme in 2017.

Over 7500 people-hours of tuition were given in 2016. Basic classes, are taught by Nyameko Nzuzo 3 mornings each week and cater mainly for young adults from the community. Classes last for 2.5 hours, one person per computer. Nyameko has been operating a unique ‘open class’ approach, working with students at all levels on creative projects which cover all commonly used skills and techniques of Microsoft Office Applications. The main focus is on Word Processing and effective use of the Internet.

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Advanced classes take place two afternoons per week, and are run by Nyasha Sithole. This “certificated “course which is more formalised and challenging has gained a good reputation in the community as attendance has increased by almost 10%.

Students from both classes report better work opportunities after training with staff at the library. Many are now employed and utilising the skills they gained on the programme.

Children‘s classes are offered by Nyameko Nzuzo twice a week, and he has trained a group of youngsters in basic computer skills. The most dedicated students also received certificates at the graduation.

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Free internet access, with support is also available and over 11 385 free Internet sessions (45 minutes) were received in 2016

When the computers are not being used for training, the library operates a free ‘internet cafe’ style facility where community members may use the computers to produce CV’s, access to information about employment and training opportunities, use email, work on their studies and generally participate in the digital age. There are trained staff permanently present to assist community members to make the most of their internet sessions.

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Horses for Causes

Masicorp is one of 14 NGO’s participating in Horses for Causes in 2017. The Horses for Causes Charity Race Day is hosted by the Riverside Estates Education & Upliftment Trust and consists of several events, culminating in the race day itself, which will take place on 11th February 2017 at Kenilworth racecourse in Cape Town.

The primary community upliftment activity of the Trust is currently the organising and hosting of the Horses for Causes charity race day.  The other main activity, over the past five years, has been providing bursaries and financial support to the children of employees in the hospitality industry. Attendees of the race day will be able to view the work of Masicorp and the other participating NGO’s. In particular, we will be featuring the excellent work undertaken in the Maths Lab at Ukhanyo School in Masiphumelele.

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Many of our volunteers and project staff will be present on the race day and would love to meet you. Attendence is free.

There are also a number of ways in which you can support the event and the participating NGO’s.

Horses for Causes 2017 takes place over 3 days, from 9th to 11th February 2017.

Day 1 Golf and ladies boule tournament at Mowbray Golf Course – 084 522 5223 or preventssa@gmail.com

Day 2  Evening concert at Hillcrest Quarry, Durbanville  featuring Watershed and Blackbyrd – please book via Webtickets

Day 3 Saturday 11th February, the Horses for Causes Charity Race Day will be held at Kenilworth Racecourse. Celebrities, fashion and fine dining mixed with an opportunity to participate in raising funds for charity. It will be a day to remember with fun kids activities, live entertainment, an auction, and a marque where all the charities will showcase the wonderful work they do. All this whilst enjoying horse racic0rigqdwiaqqucxng on a summers day in beautiful Cape Town. What a wonderful way to spoil clients. The event can be supported by purchasing golf day four balls, entering the boule tournament, attending the Friday night concert or purchasing corporate hospitality tables.

Full details on the Horses for Causes website HERE.

We look forward to seeing you at the race day on February 11th.

A Great Start to 2017 For Masi Educare

There was some great news to start the new year for Masi Educare, when the pre-school received its official registration certificate from the Department of Social Development (DSD). Here is school principal Lindi Hangana proudly showing off the formal document.

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Masi Educare now joins the Home of Love, Ikhaya Labantwana and Siyakhanya as early childhood development centres that have been formally registered with the DSD following Masicorp interventions.

If a facility takes care of more than six children (up to six years old) on behalf of their parents or caregivers during specific hours of the day or night, or for a temporary period, they can apply for the registration with the department of social development.

The process can take many months to complete and there is an extensive list of requirements that must be met. The final outcome is that each registered chreche can apply to receive government funding for each child. This funding is the key to the long term sustainability of the chreche and this week’s news is therefore a major boost to the long term operation of Masi Educare.

Songezo Jim’s Cycling Academy

chasmay-8We recently met up with one of Masiphumelele’s most famous residents, professional cyclist, Songezo Jim. Songezo has established a cycling academy in Masiphumelele and we are pleased to be able to help out by providing space for his bicycles at our premises at Chasmay Road campus. A couple of years ago Songezo was lucky enough to have received a donation of fifteen bicycles from a Dutch organisation and that has kick started his academy. You may have seen him leading groups of Masiphumelele youths out on the roads of the peninsula during the summer weekends.

Songezo has had an interesting journey to where he is at the moment, and provides an excellent role model to the youngsters of his home town. He was born in Umtata, Eastern Cape, where he had dreams of being the next Lucas Radebe (former Bafana Bafana captain) rather than a professional cyclist. It was when he moved to Masiphumelele in 2005 that he first developed an interest in cycling after he watched the Cape Argus as the racers passed the township on the way back into Cape Town. He could not ride a bicycle at the time, but he joined the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy, a non-profit cw6zawexeaa8jzsorganisation that uses cycling to provide young people from disadvantaged communities with the opportunities they need to turn their lives around. A few years later and he was riding the Argus himself. He turned professional in 2013, moved up country to Johannesburg and went on to make history by being the first black South African to compete in a World Tour event. As a rider for MTN-Qhubeka (now Dimension Data) he finished the Vuelta a Espana in 2015.

Sadly he was later released by Dimension Data and finds himself ending 2016 without a team to ride for. The upside is that he has been able to return to Masi and focus on the development of his academy. With around 40 youngsters keen to participate he is having to take groups out in shifts using the 15 bicycles we currently have stored at the campus. While he is working on finding a new team to race his current need is for more bicycles, more helmets, and more spare parts. If you can help Songezo please contact him via facebook or twitter. Alternatively please visit his Back-a-Buddy campaign page to leave a donation.

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An Update From Masiphumelele Library

Congratulations are due to the graduates of the advanced computer literacy class held at Masiphumelele library. The library held a graduation day last week for all the members of the community that recently completed the Masicorp funded program. The graduates comprised two groups of the intermediate computer classes (one from the first intake and the other from the second intake) and the children’s computer class. The computer course has six modules: Internet and e-mails, file management, word processing, spread sheet, PowerPoint and use of databases. Students have to pass at least five modules to obtain a certificate.

1The mood around the room was celebratory with students overjoyed to get the certificates, but more importantly due to the fact that they felt empowered with very important skills. Our thanks to the expert teaching skills of Nyasha (right) from the library staff for leading the course.

Senior librarian Susan Alexander, was also present to thank everyone who had been part of the course and for making it a success. She also emphasised the importance of being computer literate, especially for those who are looking for jobs. She also used the opportunity to inform the graduates about other programmes which are run by the library – with several graduates showing immediate interest in some of these programs.

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2There was a huge range of ages among the graduates – even including one mother with her son. One of the graduating students, Nontobeko Mashiya summed up the day perfectly:

I am really grateful to be part of this computer course. I started the course without even knowing how to use a mouse but now I can use more applications comfortably”.

The end of the year at the library also marks an important milestone as Susan Alexander retires from her position as senior librarian. Susan has worked for the city in her capacity as a librarian for 21 years and played a key role in Masiphumelele library since its construction with help from Masicorp in 2003. She leaves us with these final words

susan-alexander-photo-from-www-reputationatters-co_-za_My time in Masiphumelele has been the best time of my working life. I have learnt so much, met many wonderful people and been able to share unforgettable moments in this community.

Ixesha endilichithe ndisebenza apha eMasiphumelele libe lelona limnandi kakhulu ebomini bam. Ndifunde lukhulu kwaye ndidene nabantu abalunge kakhulu. Andisoze ndili libale ithuba endilichithe nabo kule ndawo.

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On behalf of everyone at Masicorp Thank You Susan and we wish you a happy and relaxing retirement.

Life Skills Graduation – December 2016

Last weekend we celebrated the graduation of another cohort of adult learners on the Masicorp / Evangeline Ministries life skills course in Masiphumelele. It has been another successful six months, with 15 ladies – and one man – from the community upskilled in English and computing as well as learning practical sewing skills. The event was again excellently led by Wendy Ryan, with a inspirational speech from Masicorp director Carol Hanks.

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Carol praised the graduates with A.A. Milnes famous quote “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,” – expertly delivered in isiXhosa.

Here are a selection of the wonderful creations on show – all pictures courtesy of Louise de Waal from Green Girls in Africa.

 

 

As usual every graduate was rewarded with their own sewing machine to take away and continue their creative work.

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