A young man discovers VR at a Serious About Games pop-up gaming event at Langa Sports Centre. Photo: Xola dos Santos A digital game competition is set to give Western Cape residents the opportunity to drive social change in their communities. “The Serious About Games initiative uses a new approach to address the challenges facing the province’s poorest residents,” said Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities. Four teams have been selected as semi-finalists and have been awarded R50 000 to develop the prototype of their game, which must be ready for final judging by 24 March. The project is a collaboration between the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), Interactive Entertainment South Africa (IESA), 67 Games, and the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI). Minister Winde said the Serious About Games initiative called for game developers to work with communities to create a game which would allow residents to reimagine their communities, with a focus on better access to economic opportunities. “We asked gamers to partner with community organisations to look at the biggest social and economic challenges caused by apartheid urban planning,” Minister Winde said. “The focus is on creating a platform for innovative community-sourced solutions to these problems. We also hope to foster a culture of innovation in our communities. As government, we are thinking of new ways to obtain data and trends we can use to make sure our projects are responsive to residents’ needs. “We’ve seen how the fourth industrial revolution continues to disrupt the economy, and it also presents alternative pathways to connect with citizens to improve government services,” said Minister Winde. Michelle Matthews, Head of Innovation at CiTi, said: “We are seeing a growing community of professionals from different backgrounds coming together to use games as a platform for education and learning across sectors, . . .
Woolworths is pleased to announce that the MySchool ‘Raise R100 million for Education’ campaign has managed to raise R104.9 million, exceeding the original target of R100 million set in April 2015. This milestone could only be achieved thanks to the support of our customers and active MySchool cardholders who participated in the campaign between April 2015 and December 2016. The campaign is part of Woolworths’ and MySchool’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of education in South African schools. The ‘Raise R100 million for Education’ campaign was launched in 2015 when Woolworths pledged to accelerate our efforts to raise R100 million for education in South Africa. This was done through MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, a leading fundraising platform which contributes more than R1 million per week to over 7 000 schools, charities, animal welfare and environmental organisations across South Africa. Woolworths CEO, Zyda Rylands, described the achievement as a positive step in ongoing efforts to ensure that every child is given a chance to get good education. “I am proud to say thank you to our customers and to South Africa as a whole for rising to this challenge – together we did it. Every swipe of your MySchool card contributed to helping us meet the needs of schools, charities and communities across the country.” “While we are delighted to have reached this milestone, the challenge to improve education in South Africa is an ongoing task and we remain committed to playing our part. We would like to use this opportunity to encourage all our customers to get involved and affect real change by simply signing up for a free MySchool card, or by linking their Woolies card to the MySchool programme today”, said Rylands. Pieter Twine, MySchool’s General Manager, said that over the years the fundraising platform has played a significant part in improving the quality of education in the schools that participate in the programme. “We work in partnership . . .
Applications are currently open for the 2017 ECD (Early Childhood Development) courses, presented by Learning for Sustainability at the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch. The ECD courses aim to equip attendees (who could be recent matriculants, creche staff, childcare personnel, nannies etc.) with both an understanding and practical experience of what they need to facilitate the holistic learning experience of pre-school children. The NQF Further Education and Training Certificate: ECD (Level 4) qualification is the entry-level qualification for ECD practitioners. It serves as the equivalent of a Grade 12, and a Grade 9 certificate is required for entry. This qualification aims to provide ECD practitioners with the necessary skills to facilitate the holistic development of young children (including those children with special needs). The NQF National Diploma or Higher Certificate: ECD (Level 5) qualification is intended to provide higher education to experienced ECD practitioners (including ECD teachers, Grade R teachers, trainers, Family and Community Motivators in ECD, and managers in ECD) who already have a Further Education and Training Certificate: ECD (Level 4) qualification, or at least a Grade 12 certificate. It aims to provide ECD practitioners with the necessary skills to use their experience and knowledge in ECD to further their professional practice, and specialise in a particular area of ECD. Who can apply? • Matriculants • Early learning centre/crèche assistants • Preschool assistants • Individuals who have worked in the industry and wants formal recognition The classes for all levels take place from Mondays to Fridays (08:30 – 16:00), one week per month for the duration of the course. Friday classes are half-day (8:30 to 13:00). The ECD Full and Part time accredited qualifications on NQF level 4 and NQF level 5 aims to build capacity that enables the sustainability of communities through Early Childhood Development and . . .
Buying your own home can be a daunting prospect. Many of us have spent our lives renting, so when we decide to take the step up to owning property we often aren’t quite as prepared as we should be. With this in mind, we sat down with Meyer de Waal, owner of My Bond Fitness and a property conveyancing attorney and also an exhibitor at the upcoming Property Buyer Show in April, to figure out exactly what a first time home buyer should know before signing on the dotted line. 1. Become an Expert The first thing many of us do before we buy a new mobile phone, TV or even a pair of running shoes is we research. We look up the product online, compare specs and read countless reviews before finally making our decision. You would think most of us would do that on the biggest purchase of our lives – a house. The thing is, we don’t. Meyer suggests that not only should you research the housing market extensively, comparing properties in your desired locations, but also get a Comparative Markey Analysis (CMA) to compare the price you are being asked to pay with other prices in that neighbourhood. More often than not the estate agent involved will offer you a 1-piece brochure with information on the property – don’t be afraid to request more! Buying a house is a 20-year commitment and one that should not be entered into lightly! A good agent will assist with sales trends/comparison of apples with apples in the area using systems such as PropStats by the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA). Lightstone, an exhibitor at the Property Buyer Show, provide buyers with a website where they are able to obtain a CMA on the property they are interested in. It is important to remember that property trends to fluctuate, so the CMA is just a guideline and not an accurate representation of the property market. 2. Check Your Credit Score The major stumbling block in most property sales is financing, with only 1 in 4 home loans being approved. What many of us do not . . .
Barloworld’s investment in communities where it operates remains a lasting part of the group’s legacy. As part of its Barloworld Equipment business, the group has partnered with Venetia Mines by investing in education to inspire a world of difference in the communities of Limpopo. The various initiatives undertaken include: Addressing water shortage challenges In partnership with Mogalakwena Platinum Mine, Barloworld has provided a water tanker to address water shortages experienced by the Mogalakwena mining community as a result of the ongoing drought. Building the foundation to support learning Barloworld and the Palabora Mine is consulting with affected stakeholders about investing in the building of primary school classrooms to support education in the Boelang community of Phalaborwa. Educating young girls about career opportunities To ensure that girls remain empowered and exposed to career opportunities, the Techno Girls Programme gave 10 girls studying maths and science an opportunity to see the careers available within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) stream. Barloworld Equipment provided job shadowing opportunities for 10 girls, including beneficiaries from the Capricorn district of Limpopo. Helping Mabotha Secondary School become tech-savvy Mabotha Secondary School in Ga-Kibi village was given a computer laboratory to improve the quality of education that is being provided to learners. The donation included free wi-fi access for a year. The initiative is intended to benefit the entire community and is self-sustainable. Using technology to improve learning Barloworld provided ‘smart boards’ to Musina Primary School. These ‘smart boards’ use the influence of technology to improve learning outcomes for learners. Education remains a key focus for Barloworld to build the capacity of learners and lay a firm foundation for these future leaders. Noluvo Ngcwabe, Head of CSI at Barloworld: “At Barloworld we . . .
I AM ALSO: what it takes to be seen, felt and heard as a young South African man. Theatre Arts Admin Collective, KleiSand Teater and Sonke Gender Justice is offering an exceptional double bill of performances paired with a conversation around what it means to be a man in South Africa today. This programme will take place each morning from 13 to 24 March 2017 at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Observatory, Cape Town. It is designed for male learners from Grade 9 to 12. The I AM ALSO programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for parents, teachers and our young men to share in a guided open discussion on the complexities of manhood in Cape Town. In a country where the incidence of violence against women and children is on the increase across all socio-economic groups, it becomes essential for young men to understand their attitudes and actions, to examine their perceptions of themselves, to actively engage with each other and their elders about vulnerability and expectations, and to feel able and willing to contribute to breaking the cycle. But, most importantly, these young men need to discover a way of being for themselves, a way that is different to the social reality around them. Both productions on the bill, Ubuze Bam and Stof Rooi, investigate manhood and each scooped awards at the Cape Town Fringe Festival in 2016. This extraordinary investigation into what it means to be a man will make an enriching school outing. The Programme: 9.30 – 10.20am Performance Ubuze Bam (50 mins) Directed by Thando Doni (winner of the Fresh Fringe Gold Award) Presented by the Theatre Arts Admin Collective This moving new work by director Thando Doni follows four young men on parole, each of whom have had vastly different prison experiences. Their tales speak of the power of being and the ability to transform one’s life. Doni used a very organic approach, working directly with the young men, in the creation of Ubuze Bam. These interactions . . .
A job interview may be a nerve-wracking experience, particularly for first-time job seekers, but it need not be. Adequate preparation and a positive approach can make the difference between landing your dream job and receiving the dreaded letter of rejection. Agility Corporate is helping to equip South Africa’s youth for the highly competitive job market through sharing advice on entering the working world. Productivity expert and Agility Corporate Executive Lizette Bester offers her insights about making a positive lasting impression in a job interview. “If you have received an interview request, congratulations! This means that your job application has impressed a prospective employer enough for them to want to meet you. This is your opportunity to shine and get your foot in the door, but it requires a degree of effort and a delicate balance between confidence and humility,” says Bester. Research “Prior to the interview, read as much as you can about the company, including its website, social media pages and any mentions of the company in the media,” Bester advises. “If the industry is unfamiliar to you, get to know as much about it as possible, both the positive aspects and the challenges it faces, as well as the jargon associated with the field. This demonstrates proactivity and also conveys the impression that the candidate is already entrenched in the industry, and may require less training.” Be punctual, not nervous “This should be a no-brainer, but you should never be late for a job interview,” warns Bester. “Try to be in the area at least 30 minutes before the interview to allow time for unexpected delays and provide a few minutes to take a few deep breaths and calm your nerves prior to the interview.” For those who suffer from pre-interview anxiety, Bester offers a particularly helpful piece of advice: “If your heart is pounding, your palms are sweating and you have butterflies in your stomach, remember that these physiological . . .
Tammy Caine, Manager of the Raptor Rescue Rehabilitation Centre will be delivering a talk entitled “Vultures in Crisis” on Saturday 11 February 2017, at Crocworld Conservation Centre, as part of the Centre’s monthly lecture series. Join Caine on her discussion about these incredible, yet often misunderstood creatures, which are highly endangered. Her presentation at the lecture series will cover an overview of the nine resident vulture species, highlighting which of the species are now critically endangered and the reasons why. It will also draw attention to how important vultures are in the health of any ecosystem, and emphasize why there is a need for active collaboration between conservation bodies in order to ensure their future survival. Caine will also discuss organisations in KZN currently working on vulture research and conservation, including Crocworld Conservation Centre and the visions her organisation has, going forward for the captive breeding and release programme. Crocworld Conservation Centre has introduced a vulture project whereby any vultures which have been rehabilitated by Raptor Rescue, but cannot survive in the wild, will be housed at the centre. Crocworld’s first resident is Horace, an endangered Cape Vulture which was recovered from Underberg in 2016, after a collision with a power line. “We are very excited about having Tammy Caine as part of our lecture series, especially since Crocworld and Raptor Rescue will be working collaboratively on this vulture project,” said Martin Rodrigues, manager of Crocworld Conservation Centre. Caine, the daughter of an ex-game ranger and wildlife rehabilitator, is passionate about the organisation she manages. “Working with wildlife is very much a passion for me,” said Caine. After completing her Diploma in Nature Conservation, she worked at the African Birds of Prey Sanctuary for five years, doing education and public flying displays with birds of prey. Thereafter she pursued her interest . . .
The national Nalíbali reading-for-enjoyment campaign is preparing to shatter its 2016 record and read aloud to at least half a million children across South Africa this World Read Aloud Day (WRAD), Thursday 16 February. The campaign, along with pledging partners including the Department of Basic Education (DBE); the Department of Social Development; LIMA; LIASA; Rotary; Volkswagen South Africa; The Bookery; and Zisize Ingwavuma Educational Trust, aims to raise awareness among adults and caregivers of the vital role of reading aloud in children’s literacy development by issuing a brand new story and calling on its friends, partners and members of the public to join them in reading it out loud to children on the same day. Last year, with the help of the nation, over 300 000 children heard a special story read to them in their own language and this year read-aloud sessions – big and small – are planned nationally. Some community reads will be led by Nali’bali, and others will be organised by members of the public with schools, libraries, fellow literacy organisations and non-profits joining in. Reading aloud is an important building block in children’s literacy development: it shows them how stories work; it teaches that reading and stories can be meaningful and satisfying; it offers an opportunity for adults and children to connect and get to know each other in relaxed ways, and, when read in home languages, it builds the foundations that children will need to learn a second language. This is particularly vital for school children making the transition from instruction in their home language to English in Grade 4. “Nal’ibali sees World Read Aloud Day as one of the most important events on our calendar,” says Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali Managing Director. “Children who are immersed in great and well-told stories – in languages they understand – become inspired and are motivated to learn to read for themselves.” This year, Nal’ibali has commissioned award-winning . . .
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), the multilateral trade financing institution and a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Istanbul Zaim University (ZIU), an institution of higher learning incorporated in Turkey that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in many branches of modern science and humanities. The purpose of the MoU is to provide a general framework for facilitating collaboration and cooperation between ITFC and IZU in order to raise the awareness for Islamic trade finance solutions and maintain joint research and studies on Islamic financial products. The signing ceremony took place in ITFC’s headquarters – Jeddah, where Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, the CEO of ITFC signed the memorandum for the corporation and Prof. Mehmet Bulut, the President of IZU signed for the university. ITFC provides trade financing facilities in addition to business advisory services to its clients, introduce them to different partners in other OIC Member Countries, building capacities of SMEs in collaboration with local institutions, and exchanging expertise and experiences among traders through Reverse Linkages. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .