In the Molweni Valley, a remote region of South Africa resides the Philangethemba ‘Living Through Hope’ Project. This inspirational organization has been a long-standing beneficiary of Soul of Africa, and we are pleased to share with you a few of the many initiatives from the work they carried out last year.
Siyakhula Teacher Training Centre
A visit was paid to the Siyakhula Teacher Training centre – ‘Siyakhula’ meaning ‘we are growing’. The training programme’s development was assessed with fantastic overall feedback. It was noted that the classes use a perfect mix of English and Zulu – where Zulu is used only to explain terms and English is encouraged whenever possible. The trainees are encouraged to participate in discussions and there is an atmosphere of support and encouragement. We are excited by the prospect of budding new teachers for the future!
Parenting Group at Philangethemba
The first parenting group welcomed 3 mothers and their cheerful, bubbly toddlers and it has flourished. The aim of this outreach is for parents to share and learn about child rearing practices and allow space for dialogue about the generational changes in parenting; to assist parents in seeing the value and importance of early childhood education and development. The programme continues to grow, increasing it’s outreach into the future.
Projects at St. Agnes Church
The St. Agnes Church in Kloof runs an employment bureau each week to connect potential employees with potential employees. The programme supports cooking classes, literacy classes and computer classes are available to work seekers. Initially, men were very reluctant to join the classes – however, over time they have become intrigued by the idea and with a little encouragement, numbers are growing.
The challenges faced by the project are slowly being worked through. At first, people were reluctant to attend classes unless they were certificated or directly helped with employment– but now people are realizing the personal benefits and benefits to their children. As explained by one mother, some of the benefit is simply from having a little respite from daily problems.
And What for 2016?
There are always new initiatives on the horizon! A family literacy project has been introduced to help bring literacy into the homes of the children in Lower Molweni. Local Crèches and schools will continue to benefit from facility upgrades and children will continue to receive guidance into the future, with the overall aim of minimizing the divide in development between the under-resourced and resources communities in the region.