Dec 17, 2020

Children's Education & Youth Jobs Update

Children in Library
Children in Library

2020 was the most difficult year in Masinyusane’s 12-year lifetime. We lack adequate words to describe the violence it inflicted upon our families and communities. The lives lost. The hunger felt. The stress of unprecedented job losses.

Yet we are deeply proud of our team for stepping up during such a difficult time. We led one of the biggest feeding projects in the city, continued to pay all of our staff (including all 60 youth jobs), and managed to run our libraries and literacy centres while schools were opened.

This pandemic presented unprecedented challenges and devastated our communitiesin many ways. While we have no intention of downplaying this devastation, in this report, we will try to focus on the projects and their accomplishments.

The Mission & Goals

We will hit all of our major project goals, including the launch of a new school, the creation of over 60 community jobs, the launch of more ECD projects, and the expansion of the project at our partner schools. The loss of 4-5 months of the year has shattered our hopes of major academic improvements and tens of thousands of literacy hours. However, our children still did excellent relative to the control group (see report attached). And we still managed to get thousands of books into the hands of children throughout the year.

Our project mission remains two-fold:

(a) to provide opportunities for children in the Eastern Cape to get a high quality education, discover and develop talents, and to grow towards their potential.

(b) to empower the community to uplift itself by creating local jobs for previously unemployed youth to work in their own community’s schools and ECDCs.

Given the circumstances, we would say we succeeded with both of those.

Covid-19 Response

In April, we repurposed our entire team to assist with our emergency covid assistance project. Our staff helped feed over 75,000 people across 80 schools. It was the biggest feeding programme in the city.

At the same time, we created, launched and rolled out a children’s television show (with two partner NGOs) that aired every day. This allowed us to engage our youth, reach our children while schools were closed, and flex our adaptive muscles as an organisation All of this was accomplished within a month of the pandemic striking and it made an enormous difference in the lives of our children and families.

The Path Forward

Despite the pandemic, Masinyusane built two beautiful, huge literacy centres and libraries at primary schools. We also built two literacy centres at preschools and are in the process of building a third.

These projects brought hope to our communities as they served as a reminder that this will one day be over, the future still holds bright things and that there’s something to look forward to. Everyday South Africans aren’t expected to receive the vaccine until mid-2022, so we will be living with Covid-19 for a while.


But educating our children cannot wait and we intend on running at full capacity in the new year. With your support, we will continue to create jobs, empower schools and educate children.

Thank you for being so generous and supportive during this incredibly difficult year. Together, we made a huge difference.

Literacy Coach w Child
Literacy Coach w Child

Links:


Attachments:
Jul 9, 2020

Girl's Scholarship Fund: July Update

Food Parcel Distributions
Food Parcel Distributions

Our Girl's Scholarship Fund continues to operate at near full capacity, despite the pandemic. The major difference is we have added a massive feeding support initiative to the project. With all our students at home and parents losing jobs, we have been distributing thousands of food parcels to ensure no one goes hungry. You built a website to track the project if you're interested: www.projectunity.co.za

Universities all closed in March due to South Africa's nationwide lockdown, but they were able to shift towards online learning in April. The universities are now offering two paths to students: (1) 100% e learning from their own homes now or (2) blended learning with classroom time to be obtained in the future when universities are able to provide it.

The majority of our students have a combination of both of these paths, choosing to complete some courses online now and others in person later. The Department of Higher Education seems committed to ensuring all students remain on their original graduation timelines, but this is to be determined.

In terms of the virus, things are getting pretty bad. South Africa currently has one of the top 10 fastest growing outbreaks in the world. Our positive test percentage is above 25%, which is terrible. However, our death rate is still very low. South Africa's population is extremely young, so we are hopeful that plays to our advantage.

 

We have continued to operate our Masinyusane House of Excellence, with students on a rotating schedule during lockdowns 3 and 4. The House is fully equipped and reorganised to ensure everyone’s safety and health.

Masinyusane continues to sponsor a number of young women that would otherwise have no opportunity to further their studies. They continue to make us proud and are themselves grateful beyond measure. While semester 1 results are delayed due to the pandemic, the current pass-rate of the students is 88%!

We have tragically had some students lose family members to Covid-19, including a girl in our Masi House of Excellence. This will, unfortunately, continue to be the case as the virus spreads across the country.

But with your support, we will do our best to rally together, fight through this difficult time, and be there for all of the girls in every way that we can.

Thank you, very sincerely, for all of your continued support!

Sincerely,

Jim & The Girls

Team Preparing Food Parcels
Team Preparing Food Parcels
Girls on Masi Scholarships
Girls on Masi Scholarships

Links:

Jul 9, 2020

Covid-19 Response

Mother Taking Home Food Parcel
Mother Taking Home Food Parcel

In the face of a once in a lifetime pandemic, Masinyusane has provided emergency food support to families, launched innovative ways of reaching children, and are now poised to help schools reopen successfully and ensure children get as much support as possible during this difficult time.

As Covid-19 tears through South Africa, we are very worried about the children. In the moment, they are going hungry. But in the long-term, losing a year of their foundational schooling could be devestating.

In response to hunger, we launched the largest feeding programme in the city, Project Unity. With two partner nonprofits, we have distributed over R2,000,000 of food to children and families in need throughout the crisis. We have partnered with the Department of Education to distribute food parcels to over 75 schools, with an emphasis on the most impoverished. We built a website (www.projectunity.co.za) if you'd like to learn more.

Here are a few comments from principals:

"Masinyusane has become a beacon of hope for all schools in the middle of this very difficult time." Principal Sandi (Cingani H.S.)

”May God bless you for showing such a warm hand through donations of food parcels for the community of Ashton Gontshi. As the school principal educators and SGB at large, we really appreciate the warmth and kindness received from your organisation. Thank you very much.” ~ Principal Ketshem (Ashton Gontshi P.S.)

“I’m requested by the staff, parents, learners and the community of Phakama Primary School to pass words of appreciation and to thank you for the food parcels. This is huge and made a big difference, may God bless you.” ~ Principal Maphuza (Phakama P.S.)

In response to our children's educations, we took the following steps during the lockdown: (a) We launched a children's television show so we could reach our kids at home during the lockdown and school closures. This airs twice a day on Bay TV across the city. (b) We distributed educational materials and supplies in the aforementioned food parcels.

Now that schools are reopening, our team is on the front lines. Reopening our libraries and literacy centres so our youth workers, who are at a far lower risk than the older teachers, can provide the much needed educational support to the children who just missed 4 months of school. We are also allocated some of our youth to work in classrooms where older teachers are unsafe (and understandable, unwilling to work).

A heartfelt 'thank you' to everyone who has continued to support our kids and families throughout this pandemic. Your generosity means so much right now.

Sincerely,

Jim

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.