Help Teach Africa to Read

by Edu Fun
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Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Some learners receiving their new uniforms
Some learners receiving their new uniforms

Whilst Edu Fun's primary focus continues to be teaching Grade 2 and 3 children to read using the Phono-Graphix Reading Method, we are reminded daily that children cannot perform well at school if they do not have their basic needs of food and clothing met as well. As a result, we are often called on to support the learners in a variety of ways over and above the weekly literacy lessons that we provide. 

We were therefore delighted when we discovered that the GlobalGiving platform provides the opportunity for supporters to start their own fundraisers within the main project and that one of our previous Edu Fun volunteers started such a fundraiser to purchase school uniforms.

Edu Fun would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Pilar Ruiz for her efforts to raise funds for school uniforms at Diepsloot Combined School and to all of you who have used this platform to donate towards the uniform fundraiser specifically as well as our usual "Help Teach Africa to Read" campaign.

The unform fundraiser has made a huge difference. What typically happens is that the mothers have to take their child in two taxis to a store in Pretoria which to purchase uniforms that are quite good quality and do last a long time in comparison to local substitutes. 

We recently were able to purchase 30 items with the funds that raised and had them delivered just in time for the cold winter weather! We asked the school social worker and our volunteers at school who work closely with the kids to compile a list of which students needed what items the most. We started with the most vulnerable children who might not have an adult to take them to Pretoria and from there looked for which third graders we work with as well as any student in the most need.

We are ever so grateful for the kind donations and the children were absolutely thrilled to receive new uniforms. 

As you can imagine it was such a big help with all the challenges parents are facing with the Covid crisis. Many have lost their jobs as domestic workers or in the restaurant and other industries due to Covid and just cannot afford the uniform and transportation costs. We have distributed the items and have a few extra commonly needed items like shoes, dresses, and trousers for anyone who may need these in the coming weeks.  

 

Thanks again for making a difference in South Africa!

The Edu Fun Team

Thank you letters from the learners
Thank you letters from the learners

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Alex tutors get their Phono-Graphix Certificates
Alex tutors get their Phono-Graphix Certificates

Edu Fun partners with Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located in an economically disadvantaged informal settlement north of Johannesburg. 

Edu Fun is a 100% volunteer led organisation that relied heavily on volunteers going into the schools and teaching reading Face2Face prior to Covid-19. During 2020 we were only able to offer a virtual volunteering program in Diepsloot and about one third of our volunteers continued to give lessons online. This did not come without challenges due to the high cost of mobile data, the limited number of devices and the fact that the whole of Diepsloot was out of electricity for most of the Winter and lockdown period and our volunteers were not allowed into the schools. 

Due to food insecurity and many people being unemployed, the area was not considered safe and the school was not allowed to have any visitors. When visitors were allowed to go into the schools, the number of volunteers accompanying us was still limited. Many of our volunteers were not comfortable to leave their homes, several had comorbidities and were older than 60 years of age and others suddenly found themselves home-schooling their own children.

Our volunteers continue to be a great help behind the scenes with preparing "meals in a bag", teaching lessons online and those who can, also make financial donations to support our work. Over the last year, we had to rely heavily on local volunteers, and although they were volunteering their time, they realistically also needed money for transport and food, and we had to provide them with support that we had not budgeted for.

Despite the assistance from our virtual and local volunteers, we still did not have enough support to achieve our usual goal of providing literacy instruction to 200 Grade 2 learners on a weekly basis.   

What was exciting though is that we had started working with a group of youth in the Township of Alexandra (Alex), East of Johannesburg. The group of students were already trained to teach yoga and had received training in the Phono-Graphix Reading method so that they could teach yoga and reading at schools in Alex. Even though the pandemic and subsequent lockdown meant that this program came to an abrupt halt in March - we were slowly able to resurrect it and through online training and the students working with children in their own communities. The first group of students were able to complete their certification requirements and collectively reached about 200 children in Alex. Towards the end of 2020 this group also visited our Diepsloot program where we were able to give them additional mentoring while they assisted us by reaching children in Diepsloot. A real win-win.

Edu Fun, together with Read for Africa had trained about 40 youth from Alex in Phono-Graphix and the first 20 to become certified Phono-Graphix Reading Therapists received their certificates in December 2020. This group of students as well as a new group of unemployed youth who will be joining the program this year will continue to teach reading in Alex, however, part of their workplace experience will be that they also come to Diepsloot for 2 days a week to gain valuable experience and mentoring and will provide much needed Face2Face instruction to the children (especially in the absence of our usual volunteers). They will earn a small stipend from a learnership program and gain work experience teaching reading with us. In this way we will be able to reach a minimum of 400 Grade 3 learners per week (200 in Diepsloot and 200 in Alexandra). Bearing in mind that these students missed out on over 9 months of Grade 2 last year, which would have been their first year that they were exposed to literacy in English. They have lost out on almost a year of school but were automatically promoted to the next grade. We are so pleased that we will be able to work with these learners in their Grade-3-year to close the many gaps that are evident due to missing so much of the academic year.  

Our Virtual Volunteering will continue, but as much as the students and volunteers love this program it's not the most cost effective or sustainable way of ensuring that every child receives some kind of an intervention. We hope to be able to purchase more devices as well as find a data/Wi-Fi solution that is not 100% dependent on electricity.

So, our every changing and ever-increasing wish list now includes asking for transport money to assist the youngsters who will travel from Diepsloot to Alex twice a week. This is a 70 kilometre (approx. 43 mile) daily trip at a cost of $4 dollars per day per person. This equates to about $85 dollars a day for the group and will end up costing about $500 a month. This will not only provide amazing support to our Diepsloot program, but it will also give this group of newly certified tutors as well as those in training the tools and resources to replicate this project in their own communities and local schools. This group also plan to start their own small businesses and offer extra reading lessons to private clients in their own communities to increase their income.

Thank you to our GlobalGiving community and all of you who have supported as and have kept the Edu Fun light shining during Covid-19. Your continued support means that we will be able to provide some of the following resources to multiply our impact and reach at least 400 learners in 2021.

Once off:

  • $100 will sponsor a Master pack for each mini hub leader - to include whiteboard and markers, solar lamps with USB charging point.  
  • $300 for a laptop / tablet (we could easily use another 6 devices in the space that we have, so that we are able to teach up to 10 students at a time)
  • $1000 inverter/UPS

Weekly

  • $25 will sponsor consumables for each hub per week - pre-paid electricity; airtime/data bundles; disposable masks; sanitisers; soap
  • $30 will sponsor lunches (apple/orange, lunch) for attendees at the mini-hub

Monthly

  • $20 will sponsor Learner workbooks & stationery per child per month 
  • $100 per month for mobile data
  • $500 per month will pay for the transport costs that will enable our team of volunteers from Alex to join us in Diepsloot twice a week to teach up to 200 children to read.
Virtual Volunteering - Teaching reading
Virtual Volunteering - Teaching reading
Alex students visit Diepsloot
Alex students visit Diepsloot
Alex students visit Diepsloot
Alex students visit Diepsloot
Thank you to our Generous Global Giving Community
Thank you to our Generous Global Giving Community

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Volunteers meeting to hand over food
Volunteers meeting to hand over food

Edu Fun partners with Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located in an economically disadvantaged informal settlement north of Johannesburg. 

Edu Fun’s focus is usually on teaching reading to about 200 Grade 2 children at DCS on a weekly basis, however during the pandemic, we had to turn our focus to providing food to the most vulnerable children from the school. This had many challenges as we were not able to go into Diepsloot ourselves to hand over food to the families and the school was closed so teachers were not able to contact students or meet them at school to collect food. We needed to make arrangements to meet local volunteers at shopping centres outside of Diepsloot at first and then we were able to provide digital food vouchers. This proved to be the safest and fastest way to get food to the families so that they could buy their own food at a local grocery store. 

Most of our programmes came to a halt as South Africa came to a complete standstill due to very strict lockdown rules. We however continued to run mini satellite hubs in various areas in Diepsloot where children and their parents could access additional support from our hub leaders (local volunteers) while children were still not able to go back to school. They attended reading lessons, received food and masks and parents were able to charge their phones on solar lamps, connect to the internet and learn how they could access zero rated educational websites on their cell phones to assist their children at home.  

Throughout lockdown, our volunteers continued to meet online and we used the usual meeting/teaching time to brainstorm ways of assisting families in Diepsloot, always re-imagining our delivery and we were able to train more volunteers in the Phono-Graphix reading method online. Little did we know at the start of "lockdown" that our volunteer would end up becoming "virtual volunteers" a few weeks later and would need to continue our literacy programme online indefinitely? Many of the volunteers would never have imagined that they would have ever adjusted to this as our weekly meetings was their only exposure to zoom.

The biggest issue has been that most of Diepsloot is without electricity and our beneficiaries do not have access to Wi-Fi or mobile data. This continues to be a problem and has cost a lot of money – purchasing more battery operated devices (laptops, tablets) as well as providing mobile routers and data just so that these children could have minimal access to “lockdown learner”

Our Grade 2 learners returned to school for the first time in September after 5 months of being at home. As three Grades (600 kids each) need to use the same class rooms on a rotation for the remainder of the year due to social distancing rules (i.e. reducing class sizes from 60/70 kids in a classroom to, 20 learners in a classroom), our Grade 2s would only be attending school for one full week a month. This cycle was due to continue until the end of the year which basically meant that our Grade 2s were only going to have 4 weeks of school before the end of the year. 

So where did we even begin? We chose quality over quantity and selected a small group of learners from each class (22 in total) and turned our Hub (newly built office/training room on the school property) into a mini-school and have been running literacy, sport and art classes every Tuesday and Thursday during September and October and will continue until the second week of December. Most of the literacy lessons have taken place virtually, but the kids have enjoyed the classroom teaching as well as the physical activity. 

So many of our volunteers have embraced this "new way of doing" and we're actually having a lot of success with our one to one literacy programme via Zoom. The face2face teaching continues to be a challenge with the children having to wear masks, which makes listening for sounds and learning to read in a second language even more challenging than usual for the children. The zoom lessons have really been a bonus as children are able to take their masks off when working one on one in zoom.  

We still have 6 weeks left of the academic year and hope to be able to reach more children. We need funding for data, a solar power / generator / inverter solution so that when the school does not have electricity we are able to continue with our programme. 

The following funding is required  

  • $100 will sponsor a Master pack for each mini hub leader - to include whiteboard and markers; solar lamps with USB charging point;  
  • $25 will sponsor consumables for each hub per week - pre-paid electricity; airtime/data bundles; disposable masks; sanitisers; soap
  • $20 will sponsor Learner workbooks & stationery per child per month 
  • $30 will sponsor lunches (apple/orange, lunch) for attendees at the mini-hub
  • $300 for a lap top / tablet 
  • $100 per month  for mobile data
  • $1000 generator & fuel (or an inverter/UPS)
Thank you notes for virtual food vouchers
Thank you notes for virtual food vouchers
Regular Virtual Volunteer Meetings on Zoom
Regular Virtual Volunteer Meetings on Zoom
Small groups back at school -  literacy classes
Small groups back at school - literacy classes
Zoom lessons with Grade 2 learners
Zoom lessons with Grade 2 learners
More Zoom lessons
More Zoom lessons
Teaching a learner whilst training volunteers
Teaching a learner whilst training volunteers

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All set for our first community mini-hub
All set for our first community mini-hub

Edu Fun partners with Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located in an economically disadvantaged informal settlement north of Johannesburg. 

Edu Fun’s focus is usually on teaching reading to children at DCS, however with all schools closing in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we had to turn our immediate attention to providing food to the most vulnerable children from the school. For many children, the only meal that they get in a day is what they receive at school as part of a feeding scheme which came to an abrupt halt.

Our volunteers and regular supporters, including those on this GlobalGiving platform helped us respond to the immediate need for families to receive food and people donated generously over this time.

This was a huge relief, because it not only provided food to so many people which is not usually a budgeted item, but more importantly, the support we received gave us the opportunity to connect with the Diepsloot community and individuals in a more meaningful way.

Through this process of connecting with families and providing food, our ever-evolving, post-lockdown plan to feed the minds as well as the mouths of so many children started to emerge.

With all the delays and uncertainty around schools re-opening we have continued to re-imagine our education delivery and are actively setting up mini satellite hubs in various areas in Diepsloot where children and their parents can access additional support from our hub leaders while they’re still not able to go back to school.

For this pilot project we have identified unemployed youth from the community to run the mini hubs. They are all past pupils of DCS and have already started to establish relationships with the families in their immediate communities over the last few weeks as they have been identifying people who need our support the most. These hub leaders will be mentored by our “Virtual Volunteers” and supported via regular Zoom sessions where they will also receive weekly training sessions on how to teach reading using Phono-Graphix.

We have established our first community Hub and are needing your help to sustain it and to expand to other areas in the Diepsloot community to reach more children and try and save what is left of the 2020 academic year.

The following funding is required  

  • $100 will sponsor a Master pack for each mini hub leader - to include whiteboard and markers; solar lamps with USB charging point; kettle; Internet connectivity (dongle/router).
  • $25 will sponsor consumables for each hub per week - pre-paid electricity; airtime/data bundles; disposable masks; sanitisers; soap
  • $20 will sponsor Learner workbooks & stationery per child per month 
  • $30 will sponsor lunches (apple/orange, meals-in-a-bag) for attendees at the mini-hub
Socially distanced lessons start in Ext 6
Socially distanced lessons start in Ext 6
Starter Pack required for each mini-hub
Starter Pack required for each mini-hub
Tasty soup prepared for mini-hub attendees daily
Tasty soup prepared for mini-hub attendees daily

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Our Completed Multi-Purpose Hub
Our Completed Multi-Purpose Hub

We partner with Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located in an economically disadvantaged informal settlement north of Johannesburg. Many of the children we work with live in shacks without electricity or indoor plumbing. We have started to replicate our Diepsloot programme in other rural and township schools to address the varied educational, literacy and material needs of other communities who seek our assistance.

Edu Fun’s core focus is on teaching reading to children in Grade 2 and 3 at Diepsloot Combined School, however we have replicated our Literacy Programme in the Townships of Wakkerstroom and Alexandra and look forward to multiplying our impact further this year.

We have had a great start to 2020. We had the official opening of the Edu Fun Multi-purpose Hub at Diepsloot Combined School. This was a fun day where all our volunteers first did a clean-up around the hub and painted the inside before we celebrated this incredible milestone.

Having the hub has meant that Edu Fun has a "home" where we can have meetings, training sessions and run our various programmes and we no longer need to have meetings and briefing sessions in the car park as space was always very limited.

We had our first Volunteer Phono-Graphix workshop for the year where new volunteers learned about the principles behind the method as well as the 4 key steps that we cover in a lesson so that they can best support the leaders of their group. As children only start to learn English in their second Grade, when it is their second lanaguage we are still busy with building, manipulation and reading 3 sound words such as cot, cat, pot, mop etc. 

The hub is equipped with a sick bay, which the school has never had, an office as well as a training room. This extra space has given us additional teaching venues which means that the approximately 200 Grade 2 learners that we work with on Mondays are now split into 8 groups as opposed to 5 and we’re able to give more personalised attention. Our largest group accommodated 55 kids last year and this year the largest group has 36 children which has made a huge difference. Sadly, this is still a large group but we do allocate 4 to 5 volunteers per group for the weekly literacy hour which does help.

On Tuesdays we work with smaller groups of children from Grade 3. We worked with all of these children when they were in Grade 2 in 2019 and they have been selected, either because they performed very well and we are offering them English Enrichment lessons or because they were identified as needing a bit of extra attention.

It has been exciting to see the building transform into a buzzing hub of activity and whilst we still don’t have all the furniture that we need or the flooring, curtains, blinds etc. as we do not yet have all the necessary funds, we are certainly maximising the use of the venue with weekly literacy lessons, maths lessons, uniforms being mended, food being distributed to the most vulnerable families in the school and children having regular health screens.

 

We are grateful for all the donations, especially recurring payments that we receive on the GlobalGiving platform as US dollars go a very long way in Africa! $$$$


Please consider sponsoring a learner in 2020
 
$50 covers all the Edu Fun activities for one child for a whole year. This includes all the stationery requirements - exercise books, pencils, glue, paper as well as participating in the Annual Winter Holiday Buddy Reader, Arts & Sports Programme, and Weekly Saturday School Reading Programme as well as fun, yet educational activities such as "Hooked on Books" and a year-end holiday party. 

Go to our GlobalGiving project page to see how else your donations can support the work that we do. For example - $25 dollars covers the cost of groceries for a whole family each month. $100 pays for a full school uniform for a child and $150 secures an appointment at an optometrist for a child who has been identified as needing glasses or further treatment.

 
Thank you for your continued support of our work through the GlobalGiving platform. We invite you to follow the links to our website to read more about us. 

Clearing up the area around the hub
Clearing up the area around the hub
Painting the hub
Painting the hub
Lessons commence in our new hub
Lessons commence in our new hub
Phono-Graphix Workshop for new volunteers
Phono-Graphix Workshop for new volunteers
Building and manipulating 3 sound words
Building and manipulating 3 sound words

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Organization Information

Edu Fun

Location: Bryanston Ext 3 - South Africa
Website:
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Project Leader:
Jenny Taylor
Bryanston Ext 3, South Africa
$19,749 raised of $20,000 goal
 
253 donations
$251 to go
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