Children were helped to ease their way into the new school year during a fun-filled and educational five-day programme at Nonceba hall in Mfuleni last week.
Some education lovers gathered resources to offer advice and materials to young people before the start of school yesterday, Thursday January 18.
Led by Mandisi Heshu, a member of Amphiarts and Assitej South Africa, artists, exchange students from Italy, volunteers who are ex-matriculants and community members helped young children with different programmes that will prepare them for school.
Children enjoyed themselves singing, dancing and learning.
Mr Heshu said the ultimate aim of the programme was to prepare children for the transition back to school.
“Children from different ages were encouraged to make new friends, learn new things like music, art and make their super heroes so as to thrive. We thought let us involve as many people as we can including the former Grade 12s.”
Mr Heshu commended the volunteers for using their abilities to empower young people. “It is always encouraging to see dedicated people helping to change the mindset of our children. These people could have been somewhere doing their own things but they have decided to come here and help the black child. But the same goes to these beautiful children, they have shown resilience to the challenges of the new year and come to be part of us. I am truly excited and happy for all those who are here.”
He added that there are a lot of challenges in the black townships that need to be corrected. He said crimes by young people are just one and that is why many people with different skills are needed to help guide the black child. “We are facing crimes by young people and for us to give them a better future we need to pull together and guide them. Programmes like these are crucial. This is important for them and their parents as well. Parents do not have to wonder where their children are, they know they are here to learn,” he said.
An artist who volunteered his time, Zolisa Mfincane was ecstatic that such a programme took place in his area of Mfuleni.
Mr Mfincane taught the young ones music. He echoed Mr Heshu’s statement that crime is a big challenge in the townships and needs a combined effort to sort it out.
“I take this as giving back to the community. This is one crucial initiative to teach children all the other skills including teaching them to be helpful to others. The townships are full of crime and it is everybody’s prerogative to lend a hand. That is why I also decided to bring my services here and help the children of my community,” he told Vukani.
The more than 250 children went home with school books and other school materials. They felt ready to go back to school and take on the year with a positive mindset.