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!

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.

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.

Enkosi kakhulu

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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Farewell to Doreen Zanyiwe

Last week we had the opportunity to sat farewell to Doreen Zanyiwe who formally retired from her role as the head of Ikhaya Labantwana Crèche in Masiphumelele. Masicorp has a long history with Doreen that goes back to 2001 when she first met up with John and Carol Thompson. At the time Doreen had given up her job in a hotel in Fish Hoek to run a small pre-school for a handful of children from her own one-room shack. She was part of a group of Masiphumelele women who wanted to change their lives and had written an article in The False Bay Echo asking for support for projects they wanted to set up.  The Thompsons went in to the township and met her and her group and set about helping them with their requests. Masicorp was eventually able to transform her shack into a spacious, well-lit, two story facility. The pre-school now employs eight people and looks after more than 80 children between the ages of 2 and 5.

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As Doreen said in her farewell speech “I asked John for a complete creche”.  Subsequently the Thompsons funded the building of a house for Doreen which then expanded to an adjoining creche which then expanded further with a second floor.  Doreen then undertook to complete her Matric, proceeded to gain her Level 5 ECD qualification and eventually to run one of the first pre-schools in Masiphumelele.

More recently Doreen has been studying for her Education Diploma which she has now completed. She decided last year that it was time to ‘retire’ to her home in the Eastern Cape, but it seems she will be continuing to teach! She has been offered a teaching position in a primary school near Butterworth.

never-give-upOne of the most inspiring moments at Doreen’s suprise farewell party was the choir who sang “Never ever ever give up!” This appears to be something of a motto for Doreen and reminds us of a poster that is on the wall in her office – a picture of a heron with a frog dangling from its mouth, hanging on for dear life!

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We are delighted to have worked with Doreen over the past 15 years and wish her well in her retirement. In the meantime Ikhaya Labantwana continues to provide an essential start in the education of many of the youngsters from the Masiphumelele community.

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Graduation Day at Masi Educare

Saturday was graduation day for Grade R at Masi Educare. We are pleased to share some of the photo’s of what was a very successful end to the academic year.

It started with a lot of preparation – from the kitchens to the exterior of the building.

And of course a lot of preparation for the learners.

Eventually we were ready to begin.

Certificates were awarded.

And we finished with refreshments.

Congratulations to all of the graduates, who now move on to life at primary school.