Children's Literacy (South Africa)

by Masinyusane Development Organisation
Children's Literacy (South Africa)
Children's Literacy (South Africa)
Children's Literacy (South Africa)
Children's Literacy (South Africa)
Children's Literacy (South Africa)
Children's Literacy (South Africa)
Children's Literacy (South Africa)
Children's Literacy (South Africa)
Children's Literacy (South Africa)
Children's Literacy (South Africa)
Children's Literacy Session 1
Children's Literacy Session 1

Masinyusane has hit the ground running in 2021. This is, perhaps, the most important year in Masinyusane’s history. Our children’s education and future is at stake. We are still in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and this continues to have devastating effects on our children’s education. Schools are currently operating at 50% capacity, meaning many children only attend school two days per week.

To no one’s surprise, it is the poor children that suffer more. Their families have fewer resources at home to teach the children, a lower education base themselves and often lack the ability to hire help if they are off at work. We cannot afford to let our children lose another year of schooling.

At the same time, Stats SA is reporting that half a million South African’s lost their jobs during the pandemic. This on top of our already crippling unemployment rate. Once again, these losses are felt hardest in the more impoverished communities.

Our intervention, which creates employment and focuses on early childhood education, is thus vital at the moment. We are proud to share that we are significantly expanding the size and reach of the project. We continue to build out our innovative model of creating a pipeline of support for children from ages 0 to 10.

We do this by partnering with big primary schools and then the local Early Childhood Development Centres that feed those schools. Over the past 3 months, we have built an additional 5 ECD libraries and literacy centres on-boarding more than 100 children aged 2 to 5.

At the same time, we have expanded our primary school projects to assist more children. We currently operate in five primary schools and 7 early childhood development centres. We are providing 604 children with individual literacy sessions and had 4365 children participating in our library projects in Q1.

Finally, we have already created 84 jobs for previously unemployed local youth. The jobs are life-changing as they provide an income, allow the youth to gain their first work experience and provide them with a sense of purpose and selfworth. We hope to employ 100 by July.

Thank you for making all of this possible. You are helping us give the gift of reading (and thus learning!) to children across the Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa. You are simultaneously providing dignity, purpose and an income to many talented youth that needed this opportunity.

The return on investment is incalculable.

Sincerely,

Jim

P.S. Check out the project report attached!

Masi Preschool Literacy Centre
Masi Preschool Literacy Centre

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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

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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

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Children's Literacy
Children's Literacy

You are helping us create a generation of readers in South Africa.

In 2019, the 541 children receiving literacy sessions did outstanding. Of that 541, we graduated 91 children out of the programme as they hit reading level. The other children will continue to get support until we catch them up.

On average, the children on the programme learned 9.0 more letter phonics than the control group (11.7 vs. 2.7). They also improved on site words by 22% more (38% vs. 16%).

This is expected, as the one hour session is laser focused on assisting the child at their level. Most are in classrooms with 40-50 other children, so these one hour sessions with their literacy coach is their best opportunity to learn all day.

On the back of this success, we are raising funds to build libraries and literacy centres in two more schools in 2020. Our goal is to have 650 children on the programme by year-end.

Thank you for investing in these kids lives. Giving them the ability to read is like gifting them a super power. It's their best shot in life.

Sending our sincerest 'thanks' to all of you,

Jim

Children's Literacy 2
Children's Literacy 2
Children's Literacy 3
Children's Literacy 3
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Child in Library
Child in Library

You have helped make our Children’s Education and Youth Jobs initiative a great success through the first 9 months of 2019.

The project is pioneering an innovative approach of empowering a community to improve the education of its own children.

Our mission is two-fold:

(a) to provide opportunities for children in the Port Elizabeth townships 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 jobs for previously unemployed youth to work in their own community’s primary school.

We are proud to report that we are on pace to achieve all of our project objectives. We have successfully hired and trained 46 local unemployed youth. These 46 young people are currently working with 543 children in our Children’s Literacy initiative.

The children are often packed into classrooms with 40 or more learners, making it impossible for the teacher to provide the individual attention a child needs to learn. Our sessions provide that individual attention, for an hour at a time, and are customised to be working with the child on their level. We have partnerships with some of the best literacy organisations in the country: Wordworks, Shine Literacy and Breadline Africa.

The methodologies are backed by a decade of research and measured impact. We are thrilled to see the results over the first 9 months and highlight many of the successes in the pages that follow.

Your generosity has also allowed us to make significant investments into the infrastructure of multiple primary schools. We have built an entirely new Literacy Centre and upgraded the school kitchen at Fumisukoma Primary School in Motherwell. We have also renovated the libraries, both indoors and outdoors, at Ben Sinuka Primary School and Seyisi Primary School. Finally, we have just finished construction of a new pilot Literacy Center at Isaac Booi Primary School. Masinyusane continues to pioneer an Educational Technology Centre at Seyisi Primary School and Fumisukoma Primary School. These offer children the opportunity to become computer literate and learn from some of the best software and educational apps in the world.

We also continue to run an array of extracurricular programmes providing children with the opportunities to discover and develop talents that they possess outside of the classroom.

All in all, the first 9 months of 2019 have been a great success. This is highlighted by the team logging over 18,000 hours of customised literacy sessions with the children. South Africa possesses one of the lowest literacy rates on both the continent of Africa and in the world at large. For too long, the children here were robbed of their future before it even began. You are helping us to change that story.

We trust you will be inspired by the stories that follow and thank you sincerely for your support and investment into the community.

Children Learning On Tablets
Children Learning On Tablets
Children in Literacy Centre
Children in Literacy Centre

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Organization Information

Masinyusane Development Organisation

Location: Port Elizabeth - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @masinyusane
Project Leader:
Jim McKeown
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape South Africa
$6,297 raised of $25,000 goal
 
50 donations
$18,703 to go
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