Jan 6, 2015

Field Trip to a Dinosaur Show!

Dinosaur Show
Dinosaur Show
Thanks to some generous donors, the children in our scholarship program at Mfuleni Early Childhood Centre were able to have a day they will never forget.
Love to Langa's South African board member, Kissmea Adams, came up with the idea when she heard about the Days of the Dinosaur Show that would be coming to Cape Town, featuring animatronic dinosaurs and educational exhibits.  "This is something only privileged children get to do," she said.  When I found out that the cost for the tickets was only $8 a piece, I knew it was something we would be able to pull together.
With the donations we collected, we were able to send 85 children to spend a day at the show, including transportation, a box lunch, the exhibit and a 3-D movie.  
The trip occured several months ago, but apparently, Kwazi, one of the little boys who attended, is still drawing dinosaurs.
Getting ready for the 3D movie
Getting ready for the 3D movie
Dinosaur Show
Dinosaur Show
Nov 26, 2014

Photography for Change Exhibit Benefits A Starting Chance for South African Babies & Kids

Kids on Trampoline at Philippi Children's Centre
Kids on Trampoline at Philippi Children's Centre

In February 2013, a group of teens from three townships near Cape Town, South Africa, came together for a journey. They didn’t travel far, but they began a journey of discovery that could profoundly influence the direction they choose to take next.

They gathered for a photography workshop Love to Langa sponsored which was led by Photography for Change, a South Africa-based non-profit organization that uses photography as a tool for learning. Their workshops are designed to open eyes and change perspectives—a means of restoring hope and inspiring dreams in children from disadvantaged communities across Africa.

Photography for Change helps children look at their lives differently, not only by taking photos but also by sharing their thoughts in group discussions and individual diaries. Over six consecutive Saturdays, the children learn the techniques of photography and then begin to document their lives.

They discover how visual storytelling can give them the freedom to examine who they are and what they want to do with their lives. Guided by specific assignments and themes, they are encouraged to look for beauty and value where they may have never seen it before—in their homes, in their neighborhoods, and especially in themselves.

The stories they tell are empowering. Photography helps release a voice in them that has often been muted or lost entirely. They gain confidence as they discover a sense of their own capabilities. When they see things they want to change, they start to realize that they have choices and can have a say in shaping their own future. Fittingly, the workshop ends with the opportunity to share their voices through a public exhibit of their work.

Thanks to the generosity of The Bazemore Gallery in Manayunk, PA, a selection of the photographs will be exhibited from November 20-December 13, 2014 and the proceeds of several events at the gallery, photography and exhibit book sales will support Love to Langa's projects.

This VIDEO is from a joint event we held with a local Philadelphia nonprofit, Family Support Services, which featured original poems written in response to the photography.

Please visit our Photo Shop to view the photography, it will surprise you that such stunning photos were taken with disposable cameras. 

With best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving from the Love to Langa family to yours! 



Nov 25, 2014

Jo-ann's Story

Jo-ann and Deagan
Jo-ann and Deagan

My name is Jo-ann, I'm 24 years old. I was born on the 19 January 1990 in Muizenburg, where my parents lived. My parents was married for three years after I was born, not long after that, they got divorced and went their own paths. My mother got custody of me and my sister. We then stayed at a family member’s house for a while, but after a few months she left us there and her uncle and his wife took care of us and gave us everythting a child could ask for.

I matriculated in 2007, a year after that my sister matriculated. I then got myself a holiday job as a secretary at a boat charting company. I really enjoyed working there and after two years I got pregnant. I used to be so shy because after a few months, I started showing and got fat and just went to work and back. After nine months, I gave birth to my son Deagan and the day of his birth was the happiest day of my life because at that moment I knew I got to give him the love and care I wanted my own mother and father to give to us.

I never hated them, I just missed having them around. Not long after Deagan was born, I went back to work because they needed me but I only worked there for two weeks and then quit my job there to look after my son.

For the time that I was at home looking after Deagan, his daddy's income was the only income we had. I did miss my job, but we survived. Then after a year and a few few months, I started looking out for a job.  An early education centre near me was looking for an assistant and I applied. I then took my CV but I didn't get it but then after a few weeks they gave me a call to came in for an interview.  They said I have the job and I started the 1st of april 2011.

In 2012, I asked one of the teachers to bring me an application form from the college because it was then I knew this is what I wanted to do. The teacher did bring the form and I filled it in as I was supposed to do. I got a letter by mail to say I have to come in and write a test and I passed. I was at college for 18 months and was never absent and my assignments were never late. After the 18 months, the college phoned me to say I was selected to do my level 5 because I was found competent.  I went to college to sign off my last file for moderation and did my orientation the same day.

I got my dates for my classes in starting in july. I then went to my principal to tell her the good news and she said no, she would not give me permission to do it. I begged her and her answer was still no. I cried, I even told her you can deduct a days’ money and she still said no.

I was so unhappy because I felt that she was taking away something from me and this was a big opportunity for me to making something out of my life.

I accepted her not wanting me to go and I thought that there will be bigger ones for me in the future.  

I really enjoyed the Love to Langa workshops because it inspired me a lot and there was lots to learn. The best part of going to the Love to Langa workshops is I get to learn new things and can teach it to others who doesn't have the privilege of doing it and its always a pleasure helping others and meeting new people.

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