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.

Ukhanyo School takes the Jaguar Primary School Challenge

Last week two teams of learners from Ukhanyo Primary School were invited to participate in the Jaguar Primary School Challenge. The teams joined learners from 30 other local schools at the Cape Town Science Centre in Observatory for the race day. Masicorp was pleased to be able to assist by providing transport and outfits for the competing teams.

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Competing learners are organised into teams of four pupils to design a race car out of 160g/m² card, complete with wheels, body and even a mini driver. The aim is to design and manufacture a body shell to fit a standard chassis using template software before printing/cutting their designs onto card and then making their car ready to race.

Each team consisted of a team manager, manufacturing engineer, design engineer and graphic designer, who was responsible for the team’s identity and vehicle colour scheme. This was the area that Ukhanyo School excelled in, with a 10 out of 10 score awarded by the judges. The team logo’s designed by the learners are shown below.

pic1The teams were able to participate in the race day events, which included a series of races using the final version of the vehicles on a compressed air powered race track at the science centre. It was a hugely successful day out for the Ukhnayo learners who developed their team work skills as well as being introduced to digital manufacturing and computer aided design.

Well done to the Ukhnayo learners and their teachers for arranging participation in this exciting event.

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.