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Jul 23, 2018

Helping Children and Teachers in Cape Town

Children from the Thope Foundation at a workshop
Children from the Thope Foundation at a workshop

Thank you very much for supporting ORT SA CAPE's projects through CHW's GlobalGiving page. Your help is having a big impact on children's education in Cape Town.

Since 2015, CHW's supporters have been helping mostly with robotics workshops for children from disadvantaged communities around Cape Town. A workshop was held for a group of 20 children from the Thope Foundation in Khayelitsha. The children were divided into two groups as some of them had been to ORT's workshops before and others were doing robotics for the first time. The experienced group used Mindstorms NXT and built a 5-minute bot. The other group used LEGO WeDo and built dancing birds.

Talya at ORT SA CAPE said, "The children thoroughly enjoyed expanding their skill set. They loved learning something new and had so much fun doing so!"

As well as working directly with children, ORT SA CAPE works with teachers too, and offers various training courses, enabling them to teach more effectively. This has a large impact as many children are reached when the teachers use the new techniques they have learned in their classrooms. Recently a grant given to CHW funded LEGO Six Bricks and Play Box training for practitioners from five Early Development Centres in Khayelitsha.

Bev at ORT SA CAPE reported that, "The participants were positive, enthusiastic and participatory throughout the workshop. They were amazed and excited to learn that so many skills including concentration, fine motor, perceptual, gross motor, body awareness, colours, laterality amongst others can be taught and developed by using LEGO."

ORT SA CAPE's work in teacher development and education research in recent years, has identified inadequate language development among young learners as a major constraint to education achievement in all subjects, including mathematics, particularly in schools serving disadvantaged communities. ORT SA CAPE has found that initial training has traditionally not prepared teachers to teach basic reading skills, and so they train teachers to more effectively teach children how to read. We are grateful to CHW's supporters who have contributed towards this and hope to be able to continue to help in the future.

In April and May this year, 13 teachers from Heideveld Primary School and 13 teachers from the neighbouring Willows Primary School attended the short course "Teaching reading in the early grades", which was offered by ORT SA CAPE. One teacher, Ms Sonn*, qualified from university at the end of 2017 and now teaches a Grade 2 class. Karen from ORT SA CAPE gave an update on this training, saying that Ms Sonn stated that the ORT reading course, made her realise the importance of teaching vocabulary to support learners’ reading development. Teachers at her school share their lesson planning and preparation with colleagues working in the same grade. Having taken the course, Ms Sonn asked the other Grade 2 teachers if they could change existing practice and prepare and teach vocabulary in advance, before learners read any new text.

Ms Sonn complimented the ORT trainers on a relevant and worthwhile teacher development programme, saying “I generally don't trust trainers because they often say contradictory things, but the information and advice given by the ORT trainers have been consistent and valid. Your team really understood our challenges with large classes and the problems our learners bring to school.

To see the changes Ms Sonn has introduced since the training, and to learn more about the sessions at Heideveld, please see Karen's full report, which is attached.

GlobalGiving will be running a Youth Week campaign from 2pm UK time (3 pm South African time) on 6 August until 12 August. Bonus prizes will be available for the organisations with the most supporters, so it would be wonderful if you made a donation during that campaign, as your support will go extra far during Youth Week! Please also feel free to share our page for ORT SA CAPE, in case anyone you know would like to make a difference and help disadvantaged children in Cape Town to have a better quality education.

Thank you very much for all your support for the children and teachers assisted by ORT SA CAPE! You are making a wonderful difference for them.


* Name has been changed

Building dancing bird robots
Building dancing bird robots
Building 5-minute bots with Mindstorms NXT
Building 5-minute bots with Mindstorms NXT
LEGO 6 Bricks and Play Box training session
LEGO 6 Bricks and Play Box training session
Literacy training session
Literacy training session
Literacy training session
Literacy training session

Attachments:
May 29, 2018

Thank you for helping children in Romania with their education

Amalia
Amalia

We are very grateful to each person who supports Refugiu's tutoring and mentoring programme in Romania. Your help is making a big differene for the children!

Robert, the Head of Refugiu, has given the following updates from the project:

Ten-year-old Amalia is in third grade. She had a bad start to the school year and was behind with her learning. She had to repeat a grade. Her mother saw how important it was for Amalia to attend the programme. With the extra support she received from Refugiu's tutoring sessions, she will pass the grade without any problems this time. Robert said, "I am glad that we 'saved' a critical situation. I thank the supporters for their help for the children!"

The children are all making progress with their writing and maths. Sometimes the children work together in groups and sometimes they work individually.

Providing the children with food is important, as it is very difficult for children to learn when they are hungry. One of CHW's supporters helps with food for some of the children at this programme. Robert has also told a lady at a local Church about the community and she cooks food for them, which Robert brings to the village. 

At Easter, Refugiu held a party for the children. They enjoyed traditional Romanian grilled minced meat rolls (called "mici") and watched a film. 

One of the challenges that are faced by the children in this community is a lack of documentation, as sometimes they are not registered at birth. A birth certificate is needed to access various state services. Robert helps new parents in the village to make sure that their babies have birth certificates. The latest birth certificate he helped with was for baby Sara-Andreea. 

A massive thank you to each person who is touching the lives of the children by supporting Refugiu through CHW and GlobalGiving. Your support is amazing!

Working on tasks individually
Working on tasks individually
Concentrating on writing
Concentrating on writing
Doing colouring
Doing colouring
Robert giving out food at Easter
Robert giving out food at Easter
Easter party
Easter party

Links:

May 18, 2018

You are making a difference for children and youth all over the world!

Isaac, a student in Ghana
Isaac, a student in Ghana

Thank you so much to each person who has supported our Impact Fund! We took part in GlobalGiving's Little By Little fundraising challenge in April and we are very grateful to everyone who supported this project!

As a small charity, we can sometimes struggle to complete appeals sent to us by our partner organisations. Your support for the Impact Fund gives much-needed help with this and you enable the children and young people to receive support more quickly.

Recently, we were trying to complete a campaign for Bethel, in Argentina. Bethel is made up of homes for children, teenagers and people with disabilities. Some computers were donated locally to House 8, one of the homes for teenagers. Bethel asked for help with funding to install WiFi in the computer room, study area and common room in House 8, and for the first six months of use. This will allow the teenagers to access educational resources for their homework and to learn how to use the internet competently for future work and study opportunities. 

Thomas, who has worked with the teenagers, said that a fifteen year old asked for help with writing an email. This made him concerned about how these young people were going to deal with work or further studies in a few years time, if they had never had the chance to use the internet. 

This project cost £198 in total and we were grateful to receive contributions from our generous supporters. However, we were £48 short of our total and the time was passing. We were able to use £48 from the Impact Fund to be able to complete the project. Last weekend Thomas went to get some of the cables necessary to install the internet.

Your contributions may also support Isaac, a student in Ghana. Isaac grew up in New Life's home. He wanted to study Mechanical Engineering at Cape Coast Technical University, but needed sponsorship for his fees. The company, Ronco Cayman, has been sponsoring Isaac's tuition fees through CHW. New Life then asked for support for Isaac's food and books and some sponsors have helped with this over the past couple of years. Isaac will be starting his third and final year of studies after the summer. If nobody is able to help him with the funds for food, then your donations through the Impact Fund will allow CHW to help with this. 

Isaac said that in the second year, the students were grouped into their individual fields of study. He said, "I really appreciate your brilliant efforts towards my education. My special greetings to my sponsors... Wishing you the very best in your lives."

Right now, we are also trying to fundraise for the summer programmes for migrant children, run by Stepping Stones in China. Each semester since late 2014, CHW's supporters have helped with the educational materials for Stepping Stones' programmes. The children are receiving vital support with their education through Stepping Stones and this will give them the opportunity to have brighter futures. Last year, we received a grant which was used to fund the materials for the summer programme. It is so wonderful to know that, this year, some of the materials can be bought from the contributions you made through the Impact Fund. 

We really cannot thank you enough for helping children and young people all around the world! Your kindness and generosity is making such a difference.

English classes run by Stepping Stones
English classes run by Stepping Stones
Bethel's sign(we cannot share photos of the kids)
Bethel's sign(we cannot share photos of the kids)
Bethel staff support the idea of the Impact Fund!
Bethel staff support the idea of the Impact Fund!

Links:

 
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