Engen has come to the rescue of five Durban schools severely damaged in storms by committing R1 million to effect repairs critical to the safety, comfort and security of pupils and teachers. “Engen turned our darkness into light,” says Colin Chand, principal of Collingwood Primary in Wentworth, which was severely affected by the October 2017 storms, forcing the children and teachers into mobile units on the school fields. Without any electricity, the school community struggled throughout the 2018 academic year in dark and extremely hot conditions – until news of the Engen donation came. “We expected a long process to rebuild the school, because we know the government tender process is a long one. But now our 1 200 pupils are learning in the light again, and we can use our fans, so we are extremely relieved,” adds Chand of the work Engen financed to electrify the mobile units. Adhila Hamdulay, Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, says Engen committed the funds to assist five schools in Merebank and Wentworth, which are neighbours of the Engen Refinery in South Durban. All the schools identified for assistance were severely damaged when a massive storm wreaked havoc in Durban on 10 October last year. A total 42 schools in KwaZulu-Natal were affected by the deluge, which left 11 people dead and racked up a repair bill of more than R16 million in respect of public buildings. “Engen takes our responsibility to the community surrounding our Refinery very seriously. We also remain cognisant of the need to partner with government to assist where we can, so it seemed obvious that we should step up and help,” says Hamdulay. All five affected schools had waited for months for assistance when Engen funded the start of the repair work in April this year. Other than Collingwood Primary, Settlers Primary School, Rustomjee Primary School, Wentworth Primary School and Fairvale Secondary School were also assisted. Among the repairs effected were the . . .
It’s been a busy year for the team from Project Dignity, the non-profit organisation which distributes reusable sanitary wear – Subz Pants and Pads – to grateful young women across the country. The recent activation, which took place at Amagcino Primary School in Umgababa on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, was the 58th and final school visit for the dedicated Project Dignity team. “We are so happy to say that, this year, a total of 9 341 young women from disadvantaged communities across the country, received packs of Subz Pants and Pants that will last them up to five years,” said Sue Barnes, founder of Subz Pants and Pads and the NPO extension, Project Dignity. “And while it’s such a rewarding feeling knowing the difference these packs have made to the lives of our young women, we are already hard at work, sourcing sponsorships for our 2019 packs.” Barnes created South Africa’s original washable, reusable sanitary wear, Subz Pants and Pads, and established Project Dignity as a way to meet the sanitary needs of South African schoolgirls. The reality is that a lack of access to sanitary wear forces many girls to miss up to a week a month of classroom time, detrimentally impacting their education and future prospects. Since its inception in 2010, Project Dignity has donated in the region of 140 000 packs nationwide, with the list of schools and organisations requiring assistance constantly growing. The NPO relies solely on donations from corporates and individuals to meet the demands. The Project Dignity Education Programme distributes packs of Subz Pants and Pads to schoolchildren with one pack able to last each child throughout high school, if cared for correctly. Every school donation is accompanied by an educational, interactive talk on puberty and feminine health. Of the 9 341 Subz packs distributed in 2018, 7 569 contributed towards the Education Programme. The sanitary packs for Amagcino Primary School were purchased from donations made by . . .
JOHANNESBURG, DECEMBER 3, 2018 - Trees are very important as they provide our planet with essential environmental services while also giving us jobs, products and fun. To celebrate the many fantastic things about forests, both natural and planted, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is running a competition ahead of International Day of Forests on 21 March 2019. The prize: a trip to Rome! According to FAO, "the 2019 theme for the International Day of Forests is ‘Forests and Education’ and we want the world to know how you educate children and youth about the importance of trees and forests. Today, when more than half the world’s population lives in cities and are increasingly disconnected from nature, it is more essential than ever to bring an understanding and awareness of forests and their benefits into children’s lives at an early age.” FAO is inviting teachers, educators and parents to produce and submit a short one-minute video that shows how you impart a better understanding about the importance of forests and trees for our planet’s future. This could be a video of a traditional class, nature walk into a wooded area or plantation, a local park with trees, an artwork, a song or music lesson or even an exercise class. The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) and Forestry South Africa have put together some resources with specific facts on the South African forestry and forest product sector. Visit the special page on www.forestryexplained.co.za for more information. Deadline for entries is 15 December 2018. (We recognise that this is after schools break up for the SA summer holidays. It could however be a fun activity for these last few weeks of school.) How do I enter? To enter the contest, just follow these steps: Make a short video that shows how you teach children and youth about the importance of forests. The video should not exceed 1 minute and can be produced with any professional or non-professional device . . .
Imagine a South Africa with young people who are empowered and motivated, who are active and responsible citizens, who believe in themselves, and who contribute meaningfully to the economy. Right now, the picture is far more dismal, and the country’s young people have a lot to contend with. The majority have first-hand experience of unemployment, poverty, domestic violence, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS and a host of other social challenges. For many, a poor education means they remain trapped in these debilitating circumstances. Amanda Blankfield-Koseff, founder and CEO of non-profit organisation, Empowervate Trust, says her organisation’s vision is to turn the tide on this bleak reality. “Our flagship programme - the Youth Citizens Action Programme (YCAP) – is aimed at nurturing new generations of empowered and motivated youth who become active and responsible citizens.” The programme is run in collaboration with Department of Basic Education and with the support of Deutsche Bank South Africa Foundation and DSV Mounties South Africa. Every year, thousands of young people from primary and secondary schools are empowered to solve or lessen various social, environmental, educational or economic problems within their schools or communities. They are supported in their endeavours with a YCAP Toolkit, which is a project management and values guide, and workshops that impart various skills such as teamwork, leadership, time management, communication, public speaking, IT and basic financial management skills to the young learners. They are also given a platform to showcase the projects they have created at district, provincial and national level. Blankfield-Koseff says that over 30,000 learners have already been impacted by the programme over the past nine years. “Importantly, the skills they learn on the programme will equip them for positions of power, whether they become business people, politicians, teachers, employees or social entrepreneurs.” She calls on . . .
SACAP (The South African College of Applied Psychology) in partnership with the Human Library South Africa is hosting a Human Library Facebook Live book series. Running weekly until 12th December, book titles include “A Domestic Violence Survivor”, “Living HIV+” and “Living with Depression”. The Human Library™ is where the books are people with incredible life stories and the readers get to ask the books questions. It’s a positive and safe space in which stereotypes are challenged and prejudices broken down through dialogue and understanding. Traditionally the Human Library is hosted in a face-to-face environment but this live digital experience is a Human Library first, enabling people from all over South African to join the conversation. This week’s book is Zeta. She is a survivor of drug addiction, rape and domestic abuse. On Thursday 29th November at 12pm Zeta will be in conversation with SACAP CEO Lance Katz. Join them live on Facebook to hear her story, ask questions and shatter some misconceptions. On Friday, 7th December the Human Library Facebook Live book series will be in conversation with Brett “Living HIV+” and then on Wednesday, 12th December with Pierre “Living with Depression”. Watch the first Facebook Live with Kgotose, “A Young Cancer Survivor”: https://www.facebook.com/SACollegeofAppliedPsychology/videos/1042048005983032/ Why is it so important, especially in South Africa, to have dialogues around the issues that are currently affecting society? “Dialogue opens up opportunity for engagement, the kind of engagement that enables us to better understand each other’s humanity”, says Dr Laura Fisher, Head of Strategic Development at SACAP, who will be in conversation with Brett on 12th December. “All of us come from different families, have unique backgrounds as well as special and sometimes unusual life experiences. Dialogue creates space where we come to know each other better, come to understand our shared humanity and move toward . . .
Johannesburg, 21 November 2018 – The lack of capable, equipped and skilled maths and science teachers in South African schools is a huge concern, and one that the Vula Programme has once again addressed this year by providing schools with focused in-service training using up-to-date-technologies, innovative teaching methods and experienced facilitators. The Vula Mathematics Academy (VuMA) has had 132 teachers attend since 2014, and together these teachers have gone on to teach their new learnings to more than 25 000 pupils in the province. In 2017 the average pass rate for VuMa schools was 46%, compared with 41% for non-VuMa schools, and the percentage of quality passes was 10% for VuMA schools, compared with 7% for non-VuMA schools according to an independent study done by Dr Sharon Grussendorff. The Vula Programme, based in KwaZulu-Natal, is a beneficiary project of the Datatec Education and Technology Foundation, which was established in 2001 to fund non-profit organisations providing professional development to teachers as well as organisations at secondary-school level, focused on improving results in mathematics, science and English. The Programme interacts with teachers from eight of the thirteen educational districts in KwaZulu-Natal, helping to improve the teaching of mathematics and physical science. South Africa has a significant skills shortage in engineering and information technology (IT), which consistently show up as the most in-demand skills on the country’s jobs portals. The two key subjects for any engineering- or IT-related degree are mathematics and physical science, with maths being compulsory in both fields. Datatec, a Johannesburg-based multinational information and communications technology (ICT) solutions and services group, recognises that education is the basis on which a successful economy is built, which is why it funds educational organisations serving underprivileged communities across the country through its Datatec Educational . . .
Thirteen years of compulsory schooling is nearly over for thousands of learners! For some, the expectation or desire to study in a tertiary institution has become a reality and the pressures of ‘what-to-do-next’ is not a concern at this point! BUT, for so many others, the reality of not knowing what to do, where to go or how to proceed after Matric is a source of extreme stress and anxiety. It is natural to fear the unknown and even feel overwhelmed by it. Cindy Glass, Director and Co-founder of Step Up Education Centres says “It is at this time that so many realise that the pressures of being at school fade into insignificance when having to make decisions which could significantly impact the direction of their lives!” The good news is that there are steps that you can take to help you achieve your personal goals and dreams, no matter what your school experiences have been like. Cindy gives the following tips to consider: 1. Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.” Henry Ford recognised the power of self-confidence, self-awareness and self-motivation. Only you can give up on yourself! You must believe in the possibility of your dreams and think without limiting thoughts! You can and must find a way to move forward with your life, even if it is inch-by-inch! 2. If you want to study and have not been accepted into a University or College, explore the possibilities that lie in studying through correspondence or online. If you choose this path, make sure that you study-your-passion! Look for courses that will enable you to follow the career path that you WANT to do! If you love what you choose, you will excel at it! 3. Look for a part-time job to work at while you are studying. This will give you the opportunity to gain some work experience as well as earn much needed income! There are many options for this including become a waitron, tutoring, working in a supermarket or at a pet parlour! If you search with determination and . . .
Story Bosso is a multilingual storytelling contest designed to provide aspiring storytellers with an opportunity to showcase their talent and to promote storytelling in all official South African languages. It’s an initiative of South Africa’s national-reading-for-enjoyment campaign, Nal’ibali. The theme for this year’s talent search was ‘South African Heroes’. By remembering and telling the stories of our heroes, the campaign aimed to inspire greatness in all South African children. Says Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali Managing Director, “Heroes guide us about how to live our lives; they give us hope and motivate us to overcome challenges. We were blown away by young Praises Banda from Ga-Kibi, Dankie Village, in Limpopo, as her story, skillfully told in her home language Sepedi, did exactly that.” Told with both sadness and passion, Banda’s story is about her personal hero, Kholofelo Sasebola, who put an end to the bullying she endured at school. “The sadness in Praises’ voice is palpable. You can tell the bullying was traumatic, but, at the same time, you can hear her passion for celebrating the deed of her hero. Her command of Sepedi is commendable. Though the story is told in simple sentences, Praises uses the language playfully, and the story is easy to understand,” comments Lorato Trok, Story Bosso judge and children’s story development expert. Storytelling is an important part of South African heritage and plays a key role in children’s literacy development by encouraging the use of imagination, curiosity, and empathy. More than 50 special storytelling events were held across the country throughout September to allow members of the public to practice and build their storytelling skills before entering the contest. Banda’s story was selected from over two thousand entries and, as this year’s Story Bosso, she will be receiving R5 000, a book hamper, and R500 worth of airtime. A further five prizes will be awarded to provincial winners. Thabiso . . .
EThekwini Municipality’s Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) recently launched another initiative to provide training in the creative sector, that of a three day hair training workshop in partnership with Sofn’ Free. The aim of the workshop was to up skill local hairstylists with fundamental hairstyling techniques to provide them with industry trends and expertise to sustain and increase their knowledge. In addition to this, is to assist hairstylists to grow their business within their chosen field of hair dressing. During the workshop, training provided included that of theory as well as practical exercises, educating the participating hairdressers on various hair products as well as showcased a number of the latest hair trends. The hairstylists were also provided the opportunity to perfect cutting techniques, blow-drying for all hair types, styling for “all occasions”, as well as learning to create the perfect avant-garde look. A total of twenty hairdressers participated and were then judged by top hair stylists, Musa Gcaba from Sofn’ Free and Ricci Pillay from the Coastal KZN TVET College - Durban Campus who were given the difficult task of selecting the top three who then received a Sofn’ Free hamper. The overall consensus from all the participants was a positive one, with all having enjoyed the experience, found it to be very informative and beneficial and one even joked what a fun “hair raising” experience she had. To see more pictures of the hair creations, go to the facebook page: Durban Fashion Fair or Twitter / Instagram @Dbnfashion_fair. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The susceptibility to fires at the Primrose informal settlement on the East Rand has seen hundreds of people left homeless. Engen KlevaKidz, an educational campaign that uses industrial theatre to engage with and educate learners about the importance of paraffin safety will be visiting Hawk Academy, 12 Main Reef Road, Primrose, Germiston on 19 November at 10am. Engen Corporate Social Investment Manager, Adhila Hamdulay explains that young children in under-resourced households are often the primary day-time care givers, often looking after their siblings while their parents or guardians are at work. “Without supervision, and uninformed of the multiple dangers associated with using paraffin, children between the ages of 7 and 13 are often vulnerable, and it is these children who are the focus of Engen KlevaKidz,” says Hamdulay. Since its inception in 2008, Engen KlevaKidz has reached over 281 214 learners in 700 schools across South Africa – from rural villages deep in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape to townships in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Free State. Engen KlevaKidz takes the form of an interactive educational stage drama using engaging characters to relay key safety messages in the learners’ mother tongues including Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa and English, combined with jingles to reinforce the theme. Superhero safety educator, Mr Wise is the main character who educates young learners about how to identify and use paraffin safely while interacting with “learners” Bongi and Junior, and urges them to be careful when using paraffin. Stories are used to explain to the learners what to do if paraffin is ingested or inhaled. Mr Wise also focuses on the importance of being clean and washing hands after contact with paraffin, and how to store paraffin safely. “Engen are South Africa’s leading supplier of paraffin through the Laurel Paraffin brand. As a leading provider of petroleum products in South Africa, we take this to heart and are honoured to . . .