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Computer lab

New computer lab opens

Computer lab

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.

[Source: New Frame]

testing the new bakery oven

Bakery project grows

testing the new bakery oven

This week a team from Celebrate Life installed a second bakery oven at our ACFS Jabavu Community Centre in Soweto. This gives wings to our dream of being able to eventually bake enough bread every day to feed the over 10 000 hungry children enrolled in our feeding scheme.

Head Baker, Thembisa Msimango, gave the community a ‘taste of the goods’ and everyone agreed that the fresh bread was nothing short of delicious!

A big thank you to Celebrate Life and Hylton Ross Exclusive Touring for sponsoring this oven – what a difference you are making to this community!

School bags donated

School bags donated

We are so grateful to City Property for donating 70 shiny new red school bags for our Computer Skills Development Students from Tsweleleng Primary School.

Knowing that others are interested in their progress at school – and want to help them reach their goals – gives these kids added incentive to succeed. Education is the key!

ACFS bread making

New bakery programme takes off

ACFS bakery project

Thanks to commercial bakery equipment that was donated to us earlier in the year, our Bread Making Programme is up and running. It was an exciting moment when our new bakers turned out the first batch of fresh baked loaves. Nothing beats the smell – or the taste – of warm bread straight out of the oven!

We’re training our ACFS beneficiaries to make bread and other popular items, which they can sell locally to generate an income. Our aim is to increase production to the point where our own bakeries can supply the bread we need to provide peanut butter sandwiches for all the children enrolled in our feeding scheme.

Mandela Day volunteers

SA Chefs cook up a storm for our kids on Mandela Day

Mandela Day volunteers

Huge thanks as always to the generous volunteers from the South African Chefs Association. Every year – and 2019 was no exception – a team arrives at one of our centres on Mandela Day, with car loads of fresh ingredients, pots and pans.

Soon the air is filled with the mouthwatering aroma of stewing meat and vegetables, and our little ones queue up to receive their nourishing meal. The gogos working in the vegetable garden aren’t forgotten either. When they take their rest at midday, they also enjoy the delicious meal dished up by the chefs. Then, in the afternoon, the school kids start arriving with eager anticipation.

In between all the cooking, there’s time to play with the kids and even test your skill with a hula hoop!

Every child wants to play and learn

… even those born into poverty, hunger and hardship.

That’s why we’re so grateful to all those kind people who celebrated Mandela Day by contributing to the new Toy Libraries at our Alexandra and Zola Centres.

It was incredibly heartwarming to see those little faces lighting up with shy smiles … which turned to huge grins when they realised they were actually allowed to take home the box of building blocks, book, puzzle or babydoll they were playing with!

ACFS has been feeding hungry children for over 70 years … and this will always be at the heart of our work. But we want to do more.

Because, children growing up in poverty don’t only suffer from hunger. They also lack the chance to learn through play. When a family struggles to put food on the table, toys are an unaffordable luxury.

But a hungry child is just like any other child … filled with curiosity, eager to explore the world and learn how things work. They can grow into giants if we let them!

And – since they are already coming to our centres to get their peanut butter sandwiches and milk – why not start right here?

With support from friends like you, we want to expand our centres into community hubs … places that draw eager children, young adults and their parents and grandparents as well, to access a range of resources:

  • Children’s feeding scheme
  • Early childhood learning and development
  • Mentorship from older children
  • Teenage Girls’ clubs, covering subjects like menstruation and sexuality, making responsible choices, birth control, etc.
  • Computer labs where older children can access the internet for homework and recreation
  • Skills development – sewing, beading, baking, food gardening and more

Please support us as we expand our focus to bring about real change in the lives of underprivileged children, their families and the community. Help us ‘grow giants’ with big dreams, curious minds and the ability to thrive despite the challenges they face.

Celebrate our children – and our wonderful world

Partner with the African Children’s Feeding Scheme and The Charity Calendar to improve the lives of underprivileged children.

Proceeds from the sale of these high-quality A3 photographic calendars go towards to the valuable work undertaken by the ACFS. The calendar’s theme for 2020 is A Wonderful World and showcases awesome local and international destinations and much loved wildlife. Inspire friends, family and business associates to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of the world around us.

The calendars can be ordered individually, or as corporate gifts with your branding (minimum order 50) Another option is dual branding (your corporate logo together with the ACFS logo) to illustrate your support. Plain calendars are R170 each and branded calendars are R230 each.

Support the children of the African Children’s Feeding Scheme by ordering a calendar to enjoy in your home or office! For further information or to place an order, please contact: Michelle Rigby on 083 458 0646 or michelle@thecharitycalendar.co.za.

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