Khayamandi is a poor suburb of Stellenbosch. Of the 30 000 inhabitants some 23 000 arrived from rural areas over the past fifteen years. This relocation means a transition from an oral to a literate culture and from subsistence farming to an industrialised urban environment. In practice it also means informal housing, a severely disrupted social fabric and a high incidence of HIV/Aids and related social problems.
In the ten years previous to the various initiatives that now constitute the 2 to 22 programme only one pupil from Khayamandi schools entered University. Thanks to programmes like 2 to 22 that is now rapidly changing.
Some 300 children and young adults are now involved in aspects of the 2 to 22 programme.
The Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust (GSDT) was established in 2002 as a private charitable Trust by a few
The educational projects of the GSDT and Vision K complement one another. The GSDT initially focussed on younger children, from pre-school onwards. Vision K initially focused on children during the last three years of school. As the resources and skills for a comprehensive programme of child and youth development are scarce, it was sensible for the two organizations to work together to make the best use of core strengths developed in each organization. The two organizations have worked together as partners for more than three years and the relationship is growing. Both share similar aims and values. Vision K is also housed at the iKhaya Trust Centre, owned by the GSDT.
Approach and content of programme
School results from Khayamandi compare poorly to the results of children from other areas in Stellenbosch. Lack of opportunity, adverse living conditions and social impediments, such as the loss of parents, make it difficult for children to perform to their potential.
Deficits built up during early childhood are difficult to eradicate. A balanced approach to developing children from disadvantaged communities should follow an unbroken chain of involvement from as young as possible until the young adult is settled in a career.
Few community based organisations have the capacity and programming to do this. The Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust prefers to work with local partners with relevant expertise to avoid unnecessary duplication of work in a geographical area. Vision K was a natural partner for the GSDT to expand the earlier child and youth programmes.
Overview of programme
- Day Care facility of the GSDT: Children can enter the 2 to 22 Programme from as young as 2 years old. The Day Care facility of the GSDT is registered with the Department of Social Development and adheres to the stringent regulations required by the Department. Qualified teachers assist the children to grow. The activities at the day care facility range from structured literacy classes, playtime with educational materials, meals and opportunities for the children to play inside and on the outside playground.
- After-School Care Programme. (Grades 1-8): Children who attend the After-School Care Programme are assisted with a continued sponsorship programme. This sponsorship pays for school uniforms and school fees and allows children access to the services of the after-school care programme. This programme is registered with the Department of Social Development to ensure strict adherence to departmental standards of facilities, nutrition and programming. All the children get nutritious food every day of the week and a weekend food parcels. Structured literacy and numeracy projects are part of the programme. Facilitators are trained in literacy and numeracy methodology to improve the children’s academic progress. There are also workshops to assist parents.
- Programme for Grades 9-12: The first year of this programme focus on developing and equipping the individual participants with critical thinking skills to deal with life in a constructive manner. In the second year the focus is on social environment awareness and in the third year on academic skills. Attention is given throughout to academic progress. Learners have quiet space to study, volunteers from the University of Stellenbosch and Rotaract Stellenbosch tutor pupils on weeknights.
Facilitation in the life skills programme is done for three hours weekly, with the group often being split up in smaller discussion groups. Various subjects and themes are covered, such as: intra- and interpersonal skills (self esteem, self image, communication, problem solving and team work); peer pressure, drugs & alcohol, sex & relationships and HIV/AIDS; basic skills training (computer literacy, use of library resources, CV writing, English proficiency and public speaking, and study methods); balanced lifestyle and participation in sport and other activities; and value systems: ethics and morals. Regular camps and outings are organized, as fun, but sometimes also with themes. Climbing Table Mountain, for instance, becomes a symbol of the effort needed to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles.
In the social environment awareness programme participants start to define a philosophy and methodology for personal growth. It is a rights based approach. After courses in communication skills, conflict resolution and leadership, and training in organizational procedures and structures, including record keeping and reporting, they are encouraged to develop an organizational philosophy based on active youth participation and non-discrimination, and focusing on human rights. A further phase focuses on identifying issues of social, economical, cultural, gender and political injustices in the local community and to do something practical about it.
In the academic skills programme the focus is on academic progress and on future studies and careers. In this programme tutoring is done by qualified teachers, in groups and in individual sessions. Time spent participating in community work is rewarded with funding for either the initial application and registration fees at tertiary institutions or for practical career assistance. Office administration skills (MS Office, work habits, communication and basic management skills) form part of the academic tutoring.
Monitoring and evaluation
- Criteria and procedures for monitoring and evaluation include:
- Assessments of participants. These include academic, developmental, and health assessments.
- Program evaluation by participants.
- Qualitative and quantitative assessments of community initiatives by participants after completion of the programme.
- Staff and management assessments, internal and external.
- A programme specific process to monitor and evaluate the overall programme.
The 2 to 22 programme has a clear logic and is well supported from within the community. It is a programme that is helping individuals and at the same time strives to set standards for similar initiatives elsewhere.
The Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust and Vision K
118 A Masithandane Street.
Hannes van Zyl 021 886 6722 or 083 303 8544
Mpumi Mrubata 072 245 9479