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Fezeka School, local educators, and Education without Borders volunteers have been organizing a series of motivational talks for students. Ted and Roger, two local volunteers who have been involved with EwB for some time, teamed up with EwB project manager Vimbai, and guest speaker Unathi, to talk to 50 grade nine students. To learn more about Vimbai, please visit this page: http://www.educationwithoutborders.ca/node/124

Here is some feedback from Roger about Unathi’s talk.

Dear Unathi and Vimbai,

 

Let me once again thank you, Unathi, for an outstanding presentation. There was no doubt in the mind of Ted, Vimbai and I that you really hit a few nails on the head with your eloquence and clarity. You make a wonderful public speaker. I attach a few photos. I also have some video. All will be put on a disc. I can have this ready for you when you return from France and when we meet I can pass it to you.

 

In one of the videos, you say “it’s not cool to not have a job and it’s not cool to sit at home.” I think this is powerful stuff. The fact that you were once again surrounded by eager learners, demonstrated their wish to learn more from you. The challenge for Vimbai and ourselves is to create follow up from these talks.

 

I also think the message that there are a variety of jobs is getting across. One expressed an interest in meteorology, the other being a pilot and the one that intrigued me was “how do I become a spy?”

 

All good stuff.

Below is a summary of some of Unathi’s key points of advice to the students, as well as some photographs (http://s1217.photobucket.com/albums/dd383/educationwithoutborders/Unathi%20-%20talk%20September%2015th%202011/) – Thanks to Ted Weber for these.

-There is career, a job, and a future out there for everyone

-Make a list of your ideal professions and then think where you are now what subjects you need to achieve this as a main goal.

-It is important to know and to focus now on your strengths

-Choose something you enjoy doing, not what you think others think you should enjoy.

-When difficulties occur, choose a teacher adult role model that you can identify with. Choose someone you can trust and who is respected in the community.

-Look for bursaries in the Sunday papers, the internet, or government training grants through Thetas

-Loosing bad friends early on School is a good thing. It is important to hang out with motivated good friends!

-School is a place to learn and prepare for your future, as well as having fun.

-It is no fun being 25 in a township without a job; so use school as a jumping board to get a good job!

-Unathi, who is a respected wine maker and scientist, discussed how agriculture is cool and how she liked nature biology, the trees, the outdoors, and was good at science. She explained to students how science, biology, and respect for nature are key to improving lives, and that there are many careers in these fields for motivated people and women.

Thanks for all the great feed back Ted, Roger and Vimbai on Unathi’s talk. I look forward to meeting Unathi and Vimbai, as well as some of the students when I visit Cape Town next time!

Glen

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Ted Weber, who many of you know as EwB’s local volunteer contact in Cape Town, recently visited Fezeka School. Here is a brief note from Ted, as well as some pictures he took of the library, staff, and students.

Glen and Marc,

Roger and I were at Fezeka school last week.

Vimbai who is the EwB Project Coordinator for the school was in the Library chatting to Roger and myself with Phumela Mattoti, the Life Skills teacher.

The subject was the up and coming talks, which we are doing for the learners in September. In comes this young man who Vimbai was assisting with his application to study Pharmacy at UWC [University of the Western Cape]. He should do well as he is one of the best students in Physics and maths we hear.

So here are the pictures of the application going into the envelope for delivery by Vimbai, as well as a message from her.

“Hello Ted, 

It was great meeting you too. Thanks for your sms earlier this afternoon.

The Student’s name is Sonwabile Mafongosi.

He is really excited about studying at UWC next year. 

Peace, Love & Joy 

Vimbai Nyatsambo”

Regards,

TED

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Since arriving at Fezeka School in Gugulethu, South Africa, Angeline has been very involved in establishing the school library. Over the course of May and June, she has been working closely with various members of the Fezeka School staff and students to get the school library up and running.

Thanks to Angeline and her assistant, Phumza, the students and teachers at the school now have a fully operational library with a study and research area. This project involved a great deal of time and effort on the part of volunteers and teachers, and also required Angeline taking several courses on library management to sharpen her skills.

We look forward to seeing how the new library works for Fezeka School in the future! Congratulations to all who were involved in making this happen, and keep sending us pictures and more news!

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Angeline, our inspiring library project manager

Here’s a brief introduction to Angeline, Education without Borders’ and Fezeka School’s project manager. Angeline hails from France, but like many a visitor, she has fallen in love with South Africa and in particular Cape Town. Here she talks a bit about herself and her interest in South Africa.

I grew up in a rural area in the east of France, in a village of 400 people. I felt I had to leave this place because of a lack of arts. I went to a town to study literature, didactics, theatre and culture management at the university. While doing theatre, which, with photography, is probably my main passion, I was the manager of a theatre company and got involved in Event Management, notably for Chahuts, a spoken word festival in Bordeaux, where I lived for 6 years.

I took pleasure working in the educational field at the same time, teaching French as a Second Language, working in a high-school or leading workshops for under eighteens in a prison. My major concern has always been around connecting people through art and knowledge activities.

My first experience with Education without Borders took place in 2010. I was volunteering on behalf of Arterial Network (a cultural pan African organization) when I got to help some learners with a theatre play at Fezeka Secondary School a couple of hours per week.

I was dazzled by these young people, by their determination and inventiveness, by their energy and capacities. I wanted to do something more for them. And, because I believe in the power of arts and knowledge in the construction of the human being, this current library project is really exciting to me. I know the potential it brings with it (I used to work for such a facility).

I trust that we will succeed in creating new ways of working with the teachers and the learners together, by means of this library, which meets a real need at Fezeka School. Moreover, I think that a library is more significant than only holding books at disposal: it acts to facilitate access to information and form a critical mind, and these are the keys in the battle against social, ethnic or gender determinisms, the essential conditions for life choice and freedom.

To conclude, I would say that I am one of those people who considers themselves an eternal student, always seeking to know better how this world works and to improve myself in relation to others: I hope, by passing on to the learners this taste for study and discovery, it will help them to satisfy their own curiosity.

Merci beaucoup Angeline and Phumza for your hard work and dedication! I look forward to hearing more about your experiences in Cape Town and at Fezeka School.

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