Raised by his aunt and uncle after his parents passed away at a young age, Mzwandile Harmans attended a poor school in Cala, the heart of the rural Eastern Cape. It was his matric year; but with limited resources at Masikhuthale Public Secondary school, the pass rate was low and the learning environment less than ideal for conscientious learners. Then one day a teacher came round to talk about Engen's Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) programme, and everything changed for this talented young man who was determined to realise his full potential. “We were given a chance to take a test to qualify for the EMSS Cala programme. The programme offered supplementary classes in maths, science and English, which ran every Saturday morning, but was 25 kilometres away,” remembers Mzwandile. “Fortunately, I took it seriously and I got in.” Making the long round trip every weekend to attend the programme saw a steady improvement in Mzwandile’s maths, chemistry, and physics marks, so much so that he was awarded a full Engen scholarship to study Chemical Engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Mzwandile later impressed with his tertiary studies and after two-years was offered a one-year internship at the Engen Refinery in Durban, which he passed with distinction. On graduating from CPUT, he landed a two-year employment contract with Engen, as part of the company’s graduate development programme. Today, Mzwandile is permanently employed as an Environmental Technician at the Engen Refinery. “I am so grateful to Engen for all of this,” says Mzwandile. “I never thought it could happen to me.” Engen’s Head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, Unathi Magida says access to education is a fundamental human right. “This resonates particularly with Engen as a company, as we believe in the value of education and know how important it is to ensure that young people have the opportunity to realise their full potential.” Chwayita Mareka, . . .
On this Human Rights Day on 21 March 2019, the Adopt-a-School Foundation (AAS), a partner entity of Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation (CRF), draws attention to the rights of children to quality education. It is estimated that one fifth of children are orphaned and vulnerable, and at least 64.5% of children live in low-income households and are impacted on by the cycle of poverty. Children also experience food insecurity, struggle to access basic educational resources and services such as sanitation and water, and are exposed to high levels of violence. ~South African Human Rights Commission. While everyone has the right to basic education in South Africa, the fulfillment of this right is challenged by poor standards, factors of social and economic inequality, and exclusion. Through a holistic, inclusive model called Whole School Development, Adopt-a-School Foundation aims to ensure the rights of children through education and address the academic, infrastructural, social and security environments in adopted schools such that they are conducive to teaching and learning. AAS implements this inclusive model at 497 schools across the country. “As a result of this holistic approach we are able to meaningfully address the obstacles that stand in the way of quality education provision. Children’s needs and rights are critical to observe and and require great accountability,” said Steven Lebere, AAS Executive Director. “The prevalence of school-based violence and sexual abuse is also concerning. It impacts the vision of safe, fun learning spaces that schools are meant to be,”Lebere continued. In account of these circumstances, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation with the implementation support of Adopt-a-School has since September 2017 piloted the Thari Programme in Botshabelo in the Free State and in Diepsloot, Gauteng. The programme is aimed at providing psychosocial support services and safe spaces at schools for vulnerable children, youth and women. It empowers schools . . .
After the recent call for all local designers to submit a storyboard for the opportunity to participate in the 2019 Durban Fashion Fair mentorship programme , the eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit office were inundated with 100’s of entries. Each year, hundreds try out, but only 20 will be selected to participate in the annual 10 month programme after the judges have narrowed down the entries and conducted interviews with the hopefuls relating to the creativeness behind the storyboards submitted, is then discussed. According to Sindi Shangase, the Programme Manager for the Business Support Tourism and Markets Unit who has driven the DFF since inception in 2011, the mentorship programme is intended to train enterprising young designers in all aspects of the fashion business and prepare them and their collections for the DFF which takes place later this year at the ICC. The judging panel going through the storyboards received were Sindi Shangase (BSTMU) and Greg Wallis (Founder of G&D Apparel) on who the next 2019 Durban Fashion Fair mentors will be….watch the press for details to find out who! Remember to follow #DFF2019 / @Dbnfashion_fair / #madeindurban / #supportlocal CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Show your support for Autism Awareness by walking the walk on Sunday, April 28 at 8am. The 3km, 5km walk / run and 8 km run will be taking place along the beachfront promenade, beginning at the beachfront amphitheatre. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, which affects 1 in 59 people, refers to a range of symptoms characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one type of autism but many, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences. Autism's most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. The objective of this fun run / walk is to promote awareness of those with ASD who are part of our families and communities and drive the message to promote inclusion in schools as well as access to services for those with ASD. Currently, treatment for those with ASD is not covered by any South African medical aids, resulting in those without the financial resources not receiving assistance for the intervention and treatment for their children. The overall vision is to develop a community therapy centre that is self-sufficient and will go on to providing therapy for those in the low income sector. Blue and You Autism Awareness is a registered non-profit organisation and while we wait to raise sufficient funds for the centre we have started sponsorship for families in need. Funds raised at the fun walk run will go towards creating this therapy centre so this is your opportunity to get up off your couch and support a worthy cause. The race is open to everyone, those who know and love someone with Autism, people with autism as well as those who support ASD. Registration is now open at www.eventtiming.info or for any last minute . . .
A brand new edition of S.Pellegrino Young Chef Competition is open for applications. South African chefs, David Higgs, Angelo Scirocco and Vusi Ndlovu, tell us about their experiences with the competition and share advice for young chefs preparing to embark on this global gastronomic journey. Cape Town, South Africa, February 2019 – The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Competition provides a unique opportunity for talented young chefs to make their name and interact with the global gastronomic community. Nurturing the transformative powers of gastronomy, social responsibility, sustainability, connection, creativity and culinary excellence, S.Pellegrino opened applications for the 2019/20 competition in February, inviting young chefs to express their personal culinary philosophy in one definitive dish. The S.Pellegrino Young Chef title is voted for by a panel of Seven Sages, revered top chefs from around the world. This year there will be an additional three awards to vie for: Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought award for the young chef best expressing their personal philosophy in their dish; S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for a dish embracing sustainability in food and socially responsible practice; as well as the Acqua Panna award for Connection in Gastronomy for a dish that reflects a connection between different cultures. Global community S.Pellegrino‘s contribution to the global food community is greatly appreciated by South African chefs. Chef David Higgs says. “S.Pellegrino have done incredible things for me over the years.” He has a long history with S.Pellegrino, since winning the Eat Out S.Pellegrino award for Chef of the Year 2013. “I’ve been taken overseas, introduced to some of the world’s top ten chefs, as voted by 50 Best, I’ve judged on panels with them, things that as a South African you would never be exposed to. That networking is everything, we need to bring that knowledge back to South Africa.” As one of the Seven Sages . . .
It is common knowledge that teachers are some of the most stressed professionals in our country. They face abuse of various kinds on a daily basis and one cannot deny that this is having a profound impact on an education system that is already struggling. In addition, and perhaps even more worrying is the steady increase in incidents of verbal and emotional disrespect shown toward teachers by the learners in their care. Education in South Africa is being compromised and it is time for parents to step in and step up to help rectify the problem before it becomes completely unmanageable. According to Cindy Glass, Owner and Founder of Step Up Education Centres, “Education is the root of success. It is an essential tool which, when delivered and received correctly, could change the face of poverty and other challenges that face our country at this time. The benefits of a good education can never be underestimated and ensuring that learners respect their teachers is an essential and most necessary step if we are to make positive progress in learning”. She gives the following things to consider when teaching your child to respect their teachers: 1. You are your child’s first and longest-lasting teacher. Your child needs your guidance and assistance in learning the value of respecting self and others. It is important to remember that our children are likely to do what we do, rather than what we say. Encourage respect of teachers by respecting your child’s teachers. Avoid teacher-bashing conversations and seek to find positive solutions to challenges that present themselves. Teach your child that, no matter the circumstance, there is always a way to find a solution. 2. Teachers are human too. They have an enormous responsibility to assist your child in becoming the best version of themselves. Teachers make mistakes. Disrespectful comments and abusive behaviors are not the solution. Open communication is needed to find ways of assisting both parties in achieving . . .
As part of its Operations Switch On bursary campaign, The IIE's Varsity College Port Elizabeth campus will be giving registered NGO/NPO's the opportunity to apply for a bursary for a Short Learning Programme at The IIE's Business School at Varsity College. Interested parties may send a motivational letter as to how they will benefit from the Short Learning Programme plus their CV via email to Student Relations Manager Jaci Howell (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Monday, 25 March. Jaci will also provide applicants with the list of relevant Short Learning Programmes. The bursary forms part of The IIE's Varsity College Corporate Social Investment Initiative aimed at facilitating community based skills development which could enhance skills and ultimately service delivery for the NGO/NPO's staff. Several NGO/NPO's participated in the campus' recent NGO Open Day - a day which serves as a platform for NGOs to interact with students and staff, informing them about the services they offer and what their organisation represents. Likewise, students and staff had the opportunity to explore volunteer opportunities close to their hearts which then provides a way to give back positively to the community. "When meeting so many inspirational people that dedicate their lives to such great causes it gives me hope that humanity isn't just a word in the dictionary," says Robyn Steytler, IIE Bachelor of Arts 3rd year student. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Rural poverty is often a result of low income and unemployment amongst other factors in South Africa. And even though the unemployment rate of the country decreased by 0,4 of a percentage point to 27,1% in the 4th quarter of 2018, many are still fighting the pandemic as it’s hindering the education and development of many school children across the country, who are affected by this. Many destitute children walk with barely intacted shoes if no barefoot to school and with winter fast approaching, Phila Med Emergency Services saw the immense need to action their effort in making a difference through their adopt a school shoe drive that started on the 11th March 2019. In response to addressing this issue, Director and Spokesperson of Phila Med Emergency Services Mthokozisi Ndawo, he says “This drive is one that is important to us as we are always advocating education and making a difference in the communities that we service. Our eyes were significantly opened when it came to our knowledge that a number of these learners have never owned a brand-new pair of shoes”. Tender-hearted smiles and tears as children from Kwa Mondi Primary, Bonamuva Primary, Baqaqe Primary, Kwazibonele Primary and Zwelithini High School in Eshowe KwaZulu Natal received hundreds of new shoes produced by Ntenga School Shoes. A new brand spearheaded by Siyanda Ntenga who makes an incredible contribution to the communities through providing durable, comfort and good fit shoes for learning and growing children across South Africa. A production that has employed a great number of people in his quest to contribute in the elevation of unemployment in the country. “Education is an underlying driver of national and global growth, it is through education and other factors that one is able to escape the scourge of poverty and it is for that reason why we chose Ntenga School Shoes when looking for a supplier for this initiative as they stand for the same values and contributions, a perfect fit if I . . .
The nonprofit Digital Education Institute (DEI) has issued a call for the country's teachers to enter the 2019 ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year Competition by visiting www.ispasuperteachers.co.za. Registration for one of South Africa’s longest-running annual ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) in education competitions is open – and will close on 3 May 2019. Following registration, competition hopefuls must then apply cutting-edge ICT thinking to lesson plans and submit their final award entries by 28 June 2019. ICTs are bringing a new age of education to South Africa. A new era of Open Education Resources (OERs) is dawning to supplement the use of textbooks as learning resources in the classroom. This worldwide OER movement is rooted in the human right to access high-quality education. This year, for the first time, the ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year Competition requires educators to create innovative curriculum-aligned ICT-infused lesson plans. This is to showcase their prowess in using technology to enhance classroom teaching and learning. The prestigious ISPA SuperTeacher Competition is funded by South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) while The Mighty Pen Education Magazine (www.themightypen.co.za) is the media partner for the competition. This digital magazine can be viewed across a range of devices. Held every year since 2001, the ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year Awards have emerged as a much-anticipated fixture of the annual iWeek Internet industry conference and exhibition. The iWeek event takes place around September each year and this year’s conference and exhibition will be hosted in Johannesburg. According to project manager Milford Malunga at DEI, “The ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year Awards are well-respected in education circles, both for their longevity and for the huge role they have played in encouraging teachers to pioneer ICT.” ISPA’s project has equipped over 5 000 teachers with ICT skills . . .
The 4th to the 8th of March marks School Health Week! School Health Week was launched in 1995 by the World Health Organisation to improve the health of learners, school personnel, families and communities. The Adopt-a-School Foundation, a partner entity of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, commemorates this special week by shining the spotlight on its Social Welfare projects, implemented to improve the health and wellness of learners and the link between social welfare and learning – because healthy kids are better prepared to learn. In continuing to strive for healthier learners, the Adopt-a-School Foundation together with Premier Optical, will be visiting Mosaledi Primary School and Sengana Primary School in Hammanskraal on the 8th of March 2019 to dispense spectacles to 58 deserving learners as part of its Social Welfare drive of this School Health Week. Social Welfare is an important pillar of Adopt-a-School Foundation’s Whole School Development model. Whole School Development is designed to address infrastructure, school leadership, curriculum and social welfare in disadvantaged schools. The Social Welfare project focuses on health and social issues faced by learners. Programmes include; Health, Sanitation and Sexual Education programme, vision and hearing support programmes, parental workshops, psychosocial support services for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs), a moral regeneration programme and awareness campaigns. “The majority of South Africa’s children live in rural areas, and many live in households with incomes below the poverty line. As a result, these learners often lack access to the most basic healthcare and social services. This reduces attendance at schools and the learners’ ability to concentrate on school activities in the classroom, causing poor pass and retention rates. Over the years through multiple corporate partnerships, we have been working hard at ensuring we cover all health and social welfare issues that may hinder a . . .