Beautiful Gate started our After School Programme 7 years ago. We realised that many children in our area needed additional assistance with school work. One of the legacies of Apartheid is the discrepancy between the educational opportunities in schools that are well resourced and those who battle to simply meet basic educational needs. Children in our community can't afford extra lessons or don't often have someone to help them with homework, let alone a safe space to be in after school. So we started an After School Programme. It initially focused on Primary Schools and we zoned in on Maths and English. We then extended the programme to include our High Schoolers.
Because children are not just little academic bubbles, we broadened our programme to include a more holistic approach, incorporating different cultural clubs, to help develop critical thinking, relational and emotional skills and we also started a Gospel Programme.
Faced with the challenges of COVID, we had to adapt the way we do our Afterschool Programmes. We had to wrestle with online challenges, lack of technology and the high cost of data. While we have done online tutoring and support, we have also handed out printed packs filled with all kinds of different activities and worksheets.
While we can provide these additional resources, we realise that our greatest impact is made through the mentoring and role modelling of our tutors who carry out these programmes. This month these are the heroes we want to honour.
SHINING THE LIGHT ON AFTERSCHOOL
This month we supported the LightsOn! global campaign aimed at increasing awareness about the after school sector and its impact on learner outcomes and the education system as a whole. It also draws attention to the many ways in which After School Programmes support learners such as providing them with opportunities to learn and try new things, discover their passions and unlock their potential - all in a supportive learning environment.
Moments from our After School programmes during lockdown.
YES PROGRAMME FOR TUTORS
Earlier this month also saw the start of a partnership between the YES programme and Beautiful Gate. YES, a programme run by Youth at Work, seeks to empower unemployed young people by placing them in a work environment that makes them ready for the workplace.
Our tutors from the YES programme are currently working in a local school in the morning, helping out with the COVID procedures, helping teachers in the classroom, marking tests, learning classroom management, observing teaching skills etc. In the afternoon, they return to our site to do Personal and Career Development programmes through the Allison Online learning platform.
A quick pose for the camera from our tutors!
The tutors started by doing a Career Path questionnaire, which has been very helpful for so many, as they now have a better sense of direction as to where they want to go and what they want to do. One tutor, who wants to go into linguistics and already speaks four languages, is now studying Mandarin online over and above his education modules. For another tutor, just having this opportunity has grown her confidence so much, as she has already discovered she can do so much more than she thought.
A real highlight for Cindy Duvel, from our Staff Care and Development Team, has been meeting with the tutors one on one, listening to their stories, hearing about their dreams and putting plans in place to help get them one step closer to making those dreams a reality.
Thank you to YES, Youth at Work and Canon South Africa for partnering with us and giving these tutors a life-changing opportunity.
We had a chat with one of our primary school tutors, Simbongile Bolekwana who will be pursuing further studies next year. Simbongile has been a Beautiful Gate tutor for 9 months and here she tells us a bit about her experience and plans going forward
What made you decide to become a tutor?
At first I was just looking for a job because I was tired of sitting at home and doing nothing so thought tutoring would be a great use of my time.
How would you describe your experience as a tutor thus far?
It’s been great because I’ve discovered a lot of things that I didn’t know about myself such as the fact that I love working with kids. I've also discovered that I love teaching because I did not know what I wanted to after Grade 12.
What are some lessons you’ve learned along the way and how would you say you’ve grown as a person?
I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that people are not the same and we should try and understand one another because we all come from different backgrounds.
What will you be studying next year and why?
Next year I’ll be studying foundation phase teaching because I’ve seen that most learners at our school don’t have the foundational basics. They can’t spell, pronounce works correctly or create sentences with meaning. So I want to make a difference even though it might not be enough.
How do you think your experience as a tutor will help you thrive in your studies?
My experience as a tutor will help a lot because now I’ve seen what most learners need and that’s going to push me to do well so that I can make a difference in someone else's life.
2020 GLOBAL YOUTH AVIATION AND
On Saturday, 24th October, some our boys had the pleasure of attending the 2020 Global Youth Aviation/Drone Career Expo - a free digital event for youth from around the globe to learn about Aviation and Commercial Drone Careers in various countries and to inspire the next generation of the aerospace workforce. The event had leading aviation industry experts from around the globe who are dedicated to advancing the future of aviation, drones and technology.
Beautiful Gate hosted 93 boys on site from the ages of 8 - 17 years old. They had coding sessions in the morning until 2pm followed by the drone expo from 3pm - 6pm. For most of the boys, it was their first time seeing and learning about drones. They found the drones extremely fascinating and showed interest in the presentations. One of the boys, inspired by a 14-year-old boy from Ghana, who had built his own drone for agricultural use, said, "We should start our own drone group and learn all the steps to build one!"
BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR: BE A COMMITTED HERO
The global Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic will have far-reaching health, social, economic and educational effects in the months and years to come. Here in South Africa, many businesses are suffering due to the ramifications of the national lockdown. It is at times like these that we rely on our committed, monthly donors to help us weather the storm. If you are not yet a monthly donor, please consider joining our Hope Club.
Hope is our Super Power! What's yours?
The Hope Club is a community of people who have pledged to invest in the hope that our community has. Become part of a family of givers, a league of heroes who are committed to bringing change and transformation in our community. Become a monthly giver, and receive a monthly Super Story in return.
Make a once-off or ongoing donation to support our work with children and families in Crossroads and Philippi. One of the easiest ways to give is online via Givengain. Alternatively, please email us for information on the best way to give from your country.
GIVE IN YOUR COUNTRY
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If you are already giving via a particular channel you don't need to change unless you want to. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any help or advice. If your country flag is not shown, you can still donate online in most major currencies.
Thank you for partnering with us for children and families!