What an exciting year it’s been! We have seen significant positive outcomes across all our programmes, culminating in year-end graduation and celebration events with our beneficiaries. We are proud to share this year’s highlights with you as 2016 comes to a close.
We started 2016 with the anticipation of growing our newly-introduced Siyakhathala Primary programme and strengthening our new Early Childhood Development programme model, both of which have been greatly received in the community. In our high school and post matric phases, we continued to deliver academic, psycho social and material support to our students, and we strengthened our work around encouraging parents’ involvement in their children’s education.
From all of us at SAEP, we would like to extend our immense gratitude to our supporters, partners and funders. Without you, our work would not be possible. Thank you!
Early childhood Development programme
The Early Childhood Development programme supported 8 centres in Philippi, 487 children and 36 practitioners during the year 2016. We provided the practitioners with training and mentorship around early learning programmes, leadership and management, as we work towards our goal of enabling these centers to become registered with and subsidised by the Dept of Social Development. We conduct workshops on child protection with children and staff, particularly during our Child Protection Week in June.
Siyakhathala Primary programme
We rolled out our full Siyakhathala Primary programme for the first time in 2016, working with 110 learners in grades 3 and 4 to improve their literacy levels. Some of the most memorable moments from the year were during our two outings to the Two Oceans Aquarium and the Cheetah Outreach Project, which was the first time that most of our beneficiaries had experienced anything like those environments. We were able get a handful of committed relatives of our beneficiaries involved in our core Learning Gym component, and this has made a huge difference in our volunteers’ reliability and quality of engagement. We formed an important partnership with the Lunch Box Fund Project, through which we have started providing nutritious meals for our learners before after school reading workshops.
Hope Scholars programme
The Hope Scholars programme had a highly successful year delivering our core after-school tutoring workshops to 140 learners in grades 8 and 9. But it was in the quality and extent of our complimentary psycho-social support services that we can really see the impacts that we’ve had on our beneficiaries during the year. We conducted over 70 home visits, many of which led to follow-up support for the learners and their families. We piloted an innovative “Buddies System” partnership with our Siyakhathala Primary programme, in which we paired Hope Scholars learners with their counterparts in grade 4 to guide them through a series of fun educational activities. We hosted a graduation for our grade 9s to celebrate their successful completion of the 2-year programme.
ADT Teach programme
Working with 497 learners in 2016, our beneficiaries improved their information and communication technology skills throughout the year. We introduced two pilot careers workshops this year for our ADT Teach learners, which has led to an even better overall programme planned for 2017. These workshops were useful platforms for our learners to find out about opportunities that exist for them after high school. The ADT Teach tutors organised and ran a Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work event, which exposed many of our female learners to the workplace. We have recently held a graduation event this year’s Grade 12, handing out certificates and prizes to top achievers and hearing motivational speeches from ADT Teach alumni.
Arts Outreach programme
Our Arts programme continued to enhance the artistic talents of our learners and exposed them to art in a broader social context – including a visit to the Iziko Museum, attending performances at the Rosebank Theatre and College of Cape Town. Arts Outreach learners also participated in plays, painted murals at one of our supported ECD centres, participated in marimba performances and of course attended after-school art classes throughout the year.
Bridging Year programme
We worked with our largest Bridging Year cohort ever in 2016, facilitating a year of workshops, activities and psych-social support for 56 beneficiaries who all have the potential to achieve great things in their lives. In amongst our weekly programme workshops our Bridging Year students participated in community service learning placements, university excursions and an environmental awareness week. 43 students visited Robben Island on Heritage Day, and we honoured our students through a graduation event to close out the year. All of the students have applied for tertiary studies, and we look forward to tracking their progress into further studies and successful careers.
Tertiary Support programme
For our Tertiary Support programme students, 2016 was a year of success set against the most turbulent and uncertain student environments in democratic South Africa. We celebrated 9 of our students who graduated in April and September. One of our students, Asiphe Funda was selected to participate in a leadership development programme which saw her visiting Washington in the United States. While she was there, she took up an intern position at Wilson Elser law firm. Throughout the year the programme provided a sense of stability and assurance for a high-potential group of students, while campuses became hotbeds of activism and protest. The students we support are affected the most by fee increases and political decisions, and we have helped them to balance their roles as individuals who want to succeed through education within a broader highly politicized process of making higher education more accessible to their peers.