Gymnast Siyabulela (R) and coach Lee (L) in Tokyo
Our new trampoline arrived in January and is making a big difference to our gymnasts. After participating in the World Championships in Tokyo as reported previously, Siyabulela and his coach Lee were invited back to Japan to a two-week training camp. Lack of exposure to international competition is a major disadvantage for South Africans owing to our relatively remote location, so this camp was a rare opportunity to gain experience and learn from the top gymnastic coaches and athletes.
On the academic front, Buhle has been accepted by the University of Johannesburg for an honours degree in Communications Theory. For us at Change a Life Nemato it is the ultimate reward when our members, who invariably come from the poorest backgrounds, go on to achieve at graduate and post-graduate levels, or to attain national and international representation at sport. Providing them with the opportunity to achieve what ever their potential allows them to, is after all what Change a Life Nemato is all about.
We have introduced the Tanks application developed by Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth as an aid to teach our members how to code. This application teaches all the basics of coding such as “if” statements and loops without the need for computers.
We saw an opportunity to improve the skills levels of our local pre-school teachers when spaces opened for a free, year-long course in Early Childhood Development (ECD) in a neighbouring town. We assisted in enrolling five teachers for whom we are providing transport with our mini-busses. ECD is acknowledged globally as being key in preparing our children for later life so we are delighted to be able to assist in bringing the necessary skills into our township.
Our members continue to enhance our centre step-by-step. In so doing they are learning basic artisanal skills such as carpentry, electrical wiring and so on. Having installed new LED lights in the centre, we are now a shining beacon in our neighbourhood at night, particularly when things go dark owing to the frequent power outages we experience.
Buhle showing his youthful rowing skills
Our Tanks computerless coding class
Pre-school teachers attending ECD training
Change a Life Nemato Centre at night