Lynedoch Youth Rooted in nature, growing towards the future… The year so far has been absolutely amazing:
Our aftercare has grown from 70 to 86
We have reintroduced an u11 soccer team to our squad
Our senior soccer team is competing in a higher league this year
Our second intake of Umzi Wethu young chefs have graduated, and are now working at Spier
Our Young Organic Farmers have also graduated, and are about to embark on the next leg of their journey… becoming our agricultural heroes of the future
We ran our first leg of Siyazenzela – a
livelihoods programme in conjunction with the Wilderness Foundation
"Children the world over have a right to a childhood filled with beauty, joy, adventure, and companionship. They will grow toward ecological literacy if the soil they are nurtured in is rich with experience, love, and good examples." Alan Dyer*
Alan Dyer is Principal Lecturer in Environmental Education at the University of Plymouth, UK and co-author of Let Your Children Go Back to Nature.
LYNEDOCH EARTH SCHOOL This project is divided in the juniors and seniors. At the moment we have 86 children registered with the project, aged from 5 â€“ 18. All our youngsters eat a healthy cooked lunch when they arrive after school, and then they jump into a number of different activities. The children in aftercare have improved from their pass rate of 2013 (we had 7 children failing overall in 2013) and in the first term of 2014 only one child has failed. Every week we have two English days to build confidence in speaking, reading and writing English. Soccer: The junior teams have been practicing hard, and will start their League towards the end of April. We have had a large influx into the junior teams, so have been able to reintroduce an u11 team.
"I donâ€™t believe skill was, or ever will be, the result of coaches. It is a result of a love affair between the child and the ball." Roy Keane Manchester United
There is a wonderful energy with over 40 boys practicing, doing drills, playing matches amongst themselves as they become match ready. In the meantime our senior soccer team has had to dig deep as they were promoted into a higher league after a great performance last year. The coaches have spent a lot of time concentrating on other aspects of the team, like morale and general real life issues, with a strong focus on one-on-one mentoring. They have won their last 2 matches really convincingly and are looking forward to their next games. Go Lynedoch United!
Gardening has become a time when the children have enjoyed the summer sun and singing. One of their favourite songs to sing is “Saai die waterlemoen” (sow the watermelon): “Saai die waterlemoen x 2 Saai die waterlemoen pampoen My mamma blaas die fluitjie My pappa rou die skuitjie My boetjie speel die orreltjie Saai die waterlemoen”
Earth Club: Earth Club helps the children learn a sense of responsibility by keeping their environment clean, as well as teaching them about the difference they each make with every little bit they do. We recently went to a visit to the Stellenbosch landfill. It was amazing to see the reaction that the children had to the information that they received. They had not understood what happened to their waste. They also realized how much recycling helps.
Latifa October grade 1: “Ons maak darem baie vullis Juffrou” (We make a lot of rubbish) Howard Muller grade 2 “Kom al die vullis van ons huise af Juffrou?” (does all this rubbish come from our houses?)
As we commenced the year with offering karate at Lynedoch Primary School, we have had quite a number of new beginners joining the class, as well as a great turn out of the students from the previous year continuing with their practice. Karate is a discipline that requires commitment if the student is going to improve and do well in their endeavours. We have brought this across to the students so that they can understand the reason for improving the way in which they do karate, which is indicated by the number of stripes they have on their belt and the colour of the belt that they wear. We have seen children come and go from the classes, but more importantly we see many that are committed and that continue to practice. The children will have their first grading of the year, at the end of the 2nd school term, and perhaps by the end of this year we will have our first orange belts!
Reading: The remedial reading programme started again in February… we have made our own books, concentrating primarily on reading and listening comprehension skills. Holiday reading programme: Pirate Treasure Hunt The children first had to read their story and answer the questions to be able to receive their first clue. Clue 1 – they had to make a pirate bandana, complete with a skull and crossbones! When this task was done successfully they received their next step. Clue 2 - this time they had to track down one of the SI staff, who gave them their next task of making a sword. Clue 3 – At the next station the children had to make an eye-patch. Clue 4 – This took them to the hall where they had to perform their Pirate story. The children had a marvellous time! (This activity saw the children practising their reading, comprehension, creativity, problem solving, as well as fine motor skills.)
Drama: We’ve had a very full, fun-filled and exciting first term. The year started with 50 participants – the most ever for the youth programme! Due to this high number, we were forced to alter our grouping slightly and grouped members together strictly according to grade, which has worked well. The first four weeks were spent on warm-ups, icebreakers and improvisation and were a lot of fun. We did basic performance elements and dramatic conventions. We also started off with basic drama therapy and therapy play, were participants were asked to portray “standard” events as families. The purpose of these improvisations is to allow for general discussion, and narrative establishment, but also, and very importantly, to screen for any situations that might need immediate intervention. Participants are secure that they are in a safe environment and are never asked to portray what happens in their own family. Examples of improvisations include a standard evening or what happens at dinner time. These improvisations also set up a safe space for later in the year where participants can share feelings, fears and experiences. We spent the next four sessions preparing for a performance at the end of February. This performance was not part of the original planning, but proved to be so successful that we are planning to do a similar performance every year from now on. We used a long, slightly archaic, humorous narrative poem, “Die Duisendpoot”, by A.G. Visser and each group performed sections of this. The length of the section was determined by the age of the group. Members were required to learn, retain, recite and perform the poem. Groups were rehearsed separately for most of the rehearsal period, but towards the end the entire group rehearsed together.
We decided to perform the poem outside, a novel experience for performers and many audience members alike. The site-specific performance added an extra dimension to the poem, but also allowed for creative stimulation in the group members. They were dressed in basic costume elements and enjoyed the performance tremendously. For many participants this was a first introduction to performance and due to the success of the performance, playfulness of the poem and support (together with a nonjudgemental attitude) from the audience, both first timers and those who have performed before were left with a sense of accomplishment, a positive acknowledgment of their hard work and added self-esteem. For the rest of the term we focussed on developing listening skills, creative skills, communication skills, retention skills and comprehension skills through the performance of new stories.
Our Umzi Wethu and Young Farmer students proudly celebrate their graduation with staff, training partners and guest speaker Justin Bonello.* * Justin Bonello is a South African filmmaker, chef and television personality best known for starring in his own cooking and travel show, Cooked. He is also the host of the SABC3 reality competition The Ultimate Braai Master.
YOUNG ORGANIC FARMERS Our very first intake of young organic farmers have just graduated with a NQF level 1 in Mixed Farming systems. It has been a challenging and fulfilling year for them. Most of the young farmers had never planted a seed before coming on the course let alone considered the quantity required or potential profit of a crop! Under the ever watchful eye of Eric Swarts the farmer the learners were guided into the world of organic farming with a strong emphasis on looking after the soil and sustainable farming methods.
"At first I didn’t know where the food are coming from that I eat. But now that I know, I respect nature and it is in my blood now to grow my own food” Grosvenor Patterson
“I can say with pride that I now know a lot about farming. Given the chance I would like to learn more about farming because I want to be one of the farmers who is going to feed our growing population” Dominique Adams
SIYAZENZELA – “We are doing it for ourselves” Siyazenzela is a livelihoods/lifeskills programme that focusses on both personal and professional development. Developed by our partners, the Wilderness Foundation, it runs over 15 days, with youth aged 18 – 25. We have just completed our first group and are about to select for the second intake. With any programme that we run at the SI, we always have a strong focus on the role of nature in developing our youth. Siyazenzela is run on the same lines. On the first day we took the students to Coetzenberg for a hike and time appreciating nature. They were given an introduction to environmental issues, leadership, communication and much more. Much of the time spent in class involved group work: building the trust through games and icebreakers, and sharing their family collage with each other for example. Topics covered under professional development included: Work ethics DO’S and Don’ts Professionalism Job interviews
A highlight for the students during the course in the cultural day… it was filled with cultural dances, poems, and family histories. They learnt a huge amount about each other’s culture. It was clear that it took them back to their roots, and that they felt proud and appreciated. A cultural day is incomplete without sharing a meal together. The menu included mealie pap, umgqusho Imifuno and chakalaka.
NEXT SIYAZENZELA Selection Meeting: 7 May YOUNG FARMERS INTERNSHIP
Course Starts: 12 May
Starts: 22 April (on Earth Day!)
HOLIDAY PROGRAMME 29 April – 2 May
Thank you to all who make the youth programmes in the Lynedoch Community possible:
Flom Community Theatre
Learning for Sustainability (FET College)
Lynedoch Primary School CONTACT:
Meerlust Wine Estate
www.sustainabilityinstitute.net email@example.com 021 881 3196 ext 208
news and views from the Sustainability Institute's youth projects