Kenton Cares is a programme which started in March 2014 under Kenton’s Chamber of Business and Tourism community development initiative known as the Kariega Project. The aim of Kenton Cares is to give locals and visitors an opportunity to ‘give back to the community through bite-sized volunteering’ — an hour or more of their time on one or another of the community projects which subscribe to the Kariega Project.
The three current community project choices are:
- Foundation enrichment — at the Masibulele Preschool in Marselle
- English enrichment —for the Education Support Group at Klipfontein
- Entrepreneur development — business skills development in the library at Ekuphumleni
Two more community projects are planned for 2015
- Einstein supplement: a mobile computer lab for tutoring maths
- Scratch for the development of computer literacy and programming
Those who volunteer need only arrive at the project of their choice five minutes before the start time, receive direction from a coordinator, and enjoy the experience. The flexibility of the programme means that volunteers need not feel guilty for only doing a couple of sessions, nor for taking a break to go on holiday or visit the grandchildren. (Scroll to the bottom to see the volunteer comments)
0900 – 1000
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
Masibulele Preschool, Marselle
One just has to be the recipient of Mrs Adams’ famous hugs to understand why her preschool is so popular in the community. She has genuine affection for the children and a passion for educating the parents on the importance of foundation education. She shows all the resourcefulness of a mother in trying to keep her school operating in such austere conditions. A task she accomplishes with a broad smile and infectious laugh. Her children are an absolute delight. Even the most child-wary volunteer leaves each enrichment session on a high… some with a lump in their throats. However, the real transformation comes from providing these children with the strength of foundation that can be relied upon for the rest of their lives.
Our Foundation enrichment serves as a supplement to the normal curriculum of the Masibulele Preschool. The hour session includes fun activities that develop fine-motor skills, body awareness, knowledge of shapes, colours and number, a sprinkling of English… and for the volunteers, a sprinkling of isiXhosa.
1500 – 1615
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
Education Support Group, Klipfontein
The Education Support Group is a fantastic community initiative run by Zelda Jacobs and her team. It provides a safe and structured environment in which primary school children can do their homework and have fun learning.
Our enrichment sessions strive to improve English early literacy and oral fluency in this largely Afrikaans speaking community. Our volunteers read stories, show educational cartoons, play literacy games, and at the most basic level, they simply ensure that English his heard by these woderful kids. Those who require more focused attention join our Wordworks early literacy section on a Tuesday. The warmth, laughter and genuine desire to learn touches all of our volunteers.
1100 – 1230
Monday, Tuesdays and Thursday (when scheduled)
Our novel approach sees us use business simulation games to teach basic skills to our local entrepreneurs. The games vary in complexity: from being a simple ice cream vendor to an MBA graduate expanding the family business. Volunteers coach learners through the accompanying worksheets, explaining key concepts and learning points as they go.
We use our mobile computer lab to take maths and science tutoring to those who need it. It utilises Khan Academy Lite, the off-line version of Khan Academy, to deliver world class education - lessons, tests and individuals’ progress tracking - free for anyone, anywhere. Khan academy Lite features thousands of educational resources, including a personalized learning dashboard, over 100,000 practice challenges, and over 6,000 micro lectures via video tutorials stored on an off-line server, teaching mathematics and science.
Our volunteers assume on the role of coach and facilitator. They are responsible for transporting and setting up the mobile computer lab, assist anyone struggling with the English language videos, and chiefly they ensure a positive learning environment.
The ability to code computer programs is an important part of literacy in today’s society. When people learn to code in Scratch, they learn important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas.
Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge, and allows you to programme your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.
Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. It is designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages.
04 – 18 Aug 2014
This rates as one the most amazing holidays I’ve ever had. The warmth of South African people, regardless of colour is apparent and heartfelt from the outset. I’ve never hugged, or been hugged so much in my life! Spending time in the townships with the chickens has been a wonderful experience, which I’ll never forget. Seeing the children’s faces when I spoke Xhosa was amazing. Seeing the ‘gogos’ faces when I greeted them ‘Bantwana bam’ (my children) was brilliant. There singing and dancing was hauntingly beautiful.
Sean put on a very varied set of activities in the community and we were even invited to judge a fashion contest in the secondary school. And invited to a concert where teenagers sang opera…
28 Jul to 18 Aug 2014
It has been the first time I travel somewhere outside of my country alone, and it has been the most exciting experience of my life. I came here looking for personal growth, and although I had pretty high expectations, they have been overpassed by far.
Two things have been absolutely amazing. One is the connection with the children, both at Masibulele and Klipfontein. I think I’ve learnt more from then than they have from me. Looking at their eyes when I was running with them, playing or teaching them how to read or calculate, I can’t describe it with words. And the other is the beach. From one river to the other one, I wish I could bring here every one relative and friend just to see it. Astonishing views!
And the trip has been perfectly complemented by surprising activities such as being the judge at a fashion contest, listening to opera, building recycling bins or seeing 60 elephants together; activities that I didn’t expect at my arrival and which have made these three weeks unforgettable.
I would like to thank Sean, Fundi, Jenny, Anthony, Hans and every person I have met. Everyone has brought something to the greatness of this trip and that’s something that I will never forget. I’ looking forward to come back next year or so and see how much this wonderful kids have grown and become the appropriate adults that the new South Africa needs, and deserves.
28 Jul to 08 Aug 2014
This trip turned out to be so much more than I expected. This country is so much more than its beautiful sights. The people make come alive in a way that I’ve never experienced before. I’ve never seen such beautiful people in my entire life and it seems impossible to go home. I’ve established relationships with both the other volunteers and the children here that I will remember for the rest of my life. I have never wanted anything so badly as to take all the children from Klipfontein home with me in my suitcase. Anyway, I’ve fallen in love with so much here, I’m sure to come back but for longer.