Posts Tagged ‘Ted Weber’

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!



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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”



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Phumza in the new Fezeka School library!

This past April I had the opportunity to visit South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique with a Canadian friend who had never been to Africa before. In Cape Town we did all the usual things a tourist would do in the Mother City, visiting the Waterfront, de Waterkandt, Table Mountain, Cape Point, Town, The Company Gardens, Muizenberg, Stellenbosch, and Camps Bay – yes there is a lot to see in Cape Town!

We also were treated to a unique visit to Gugulethu, Langa, and the Joe Slovo squatter camps with Education Without Borders volunteer Ted Weber as our guide. On the trip we stopped in at a couple of arts and crafts markets where Ted works with local guides developing tourism in the community. Our tour also took us to Fezeka School, where Education Without Borders has been involved since the early 1970’s. There we were treated to a guided tour of the school grounds and some of the buildings, and also met with several students. From what we saw on our tour it is was evident that Fezeka School, like most schools in South Africa faces vast challenges.

All of the classroom doors and windows at Fezeka School are covered with burglar bars and chicken wire to keep out burglars. While this keeps the burglars out, it sadly does not lend to creating a warm and hospitable learning environment. The communal areas of the school are also a far cry form the comforts enjoyed by students in the more privileged schools of Camps Bay, Ronderbosch, and Bishops.

Yet despite the challenges, good work is being done at Fezeka School. For example the school library, which was nothing more than a pile of books on a floor when we visited in April, is now a beautiful fully functioning school library with an inviting area for students and staff to study and read.

There are also plans to decorate classrooms with student murals, and the school’s food garden has grown into a wonderful success story educating the students about food, ecology, and gardening. As a volunteer driven organization, Education Without Borders has taken an active role in working with the Fezeka’s teachers, administration, and students to achieve these successes. Building new classrooms, establishing vibrant arts and dance programs, and growing the Maths and English program are but a few of the projects that Education Without Borders continues support within Fezeka School.

The challenges facing Fezeka School may appear insurmountable; however, when one looks at the work being done on the ground by Education Without Borders, the students, the teachers, and the school administration one realizes that Fezeka School is playing an integral part in bringing down the borders to education, and in so doing, helping secure livelihoods for hundreds young people.

Join Education Without Borders as a volunteer or a donor and help bring down the borders to education in South Africa.

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