Have you selected the ACFS as a beneficiary on your MySchool card yet? There can’t be an easier way to give without giving!
Simply sign up at www.myschool.co.za and add ACFS Community Education as a beneficiary. You can select up to three beneficiaries. Every time you buy from a partner store like Woolworths, Engen or Bidvest Waltons, your beneficiaries will get a percentage of your spend at no cost to you.
The winds of change are blowing at the ACFS and they’re steering our ship in a new and exciting direction! The next five years will see a rich strategy unfold under the leadership of ACFS Executive Director, Bertha Magoge, who took the helm in February 2019.
These changes should not be feared. Adapting to the needs of the day is essential to the survival of any organisation.
The ACFS has already changed tack a few times since it was founded 75 years ago by Bishop Trevor Huddleston. Back then, it was the original peanut butter sandwich and milk feeding scheme.
But 25 years ago, the shift to a more holistic approach to child development took root; and ACFS changed its name to include the concept “community education”.
The humble PB sandwich and milk remains our flagship source of nourishment. Our communities live in dire poverty and these tasty sandwiches continue to attract hungry children to our centres.
But with just a few tweaks – and with your support – the ACFS can make a much bigger impact on their lives.
The 21st century presents new challenges to vulnerable children and their families. It’s essential that we transform to ensure we don’t fail them.
So, in addition to nutrition, we want to provide children with educational support to help them mature into well nourished, independent thinkers who are capable of building a more prosperous future. We want to Grow Giants – and we do hope you share our vision.
In the next five years, we will be expanding our programme to include:
Early learning opportunities (such as Early Childhood Development, toy libraries, reading and structured homework support interventions);
Safety and social services provision (such as assessments, referrals and child safety);
Nutrition support (feeding, nutrition education, and health assessments); and
Education, training and skills development (the Teenage Girl Club and Computer Skills Programme for children; and sewing, beadwork and gardening skills for caregivers).
A number of these initiatives are already up-and- running and you will read about them in the pages that follow.
As you can see, the winds of change are blowing! So zip up your anorak and jump aboard the ACFS ship. The giants of tomorrow need your support today.
Pictured above: ACFS supporters visit the communal food gardens at our Zolo Community Centre.
On Thursday 27 February, we welcomed a group of eight of our generous supporters to the ACFS. The visitors enjoyed a full day’s tour of three of our Centres in Soweto.
Starting with Zola, the group had an opportunity to explore the new toy library and interact with the children. Afterwards, they toured the communal food gardens where they were impressed with the range and quality of the produce being grown.
Then it was off to Pimville and an opportunity to see our skills development programme in action. The visitors helped to prepare lunch for the children and settled down to enjoy some well earned refreshments of their own.
Our final stop for the afternoon was Meadowlands, where the new computer lab has just opened.
Encouraging our donor friends to come along and experience first hand what is being achieved with their help is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job. And the children love having visitors and being able to sing for them and show off their educational skills. Thanks so much to Wendy, Alison, Fran, Jane, Karen, Frank, John and Amanda for spending the day with us.
Our new computer lab at ACFS Community Centre in Meadowlands, Soweto was officially launched on 26 February 2020.
The lab, which was developed with the help of the Vodacom Foundation, has 25 computers and 1 000 registered learners in grades 5-12. These kids do not have smart phones they can use to access the internet, or access to computers at their school. Thanks to free connectivity and data provided by Vodacom, these kids can now develop computer skills, learn about the latest technology, and access the wealth of knowledge available through the Internet.
Although the lab has only just been officially opened, volunteers at the centre have been teaching basic computer literacy and helping pupils with their homework since 2019.
“In the beginning, the children didn’t know how to use a computer, how to type or what a mouse is,” explains volunteer teacher, Lucky Ndzunga. “Now they know the difference between a left and right click on a mouse and are able to search the internet.”
Ndzunga says illiteracy levels are high, but the educational software they use helps kids at the centre to read and write. Learners work in teams and sometimes compete against each other, with those who do well being rewarded with a chocolate. Matric pupils can use the lab to access previous exam papers and watch videos that explain subjects such as maths. Volunteers also assist matriculants with their university applications.
ACFS launched the computer lab in response to the need to do more than just feed hungry children. To escape from the poverty they have been born into, these children must be given the same opportunities as their more privileged peers to learn about the world around them, and become familiar with and comfortable using the technology of the future.