Much has happened at FLP since the last report from my desk. It continues to inspire me and the entire FLP Team to see the commitment to Literacy from our rural communities. The Families continue to share information and skills that they have gained in our FLP Group Sessions with their neighbours, thereby inspiring their surrounding Community Members to visit our Libraries and encourage their children to attend Home Visiting Sessions and join our Book Clubs.
Below is a list of some of the highlights:
- Asessment of the Philangethemba Molweni Community –Florence Molefe and Jill Frow recently assessed the 12 Molweni Community ladies and Community Members that we have been training and supporting in the Khulisa Abantwana Home Visiting Programme. The Assessment “Workshops” were very well supported.
The findings of this very successful intervention are being written up and will be made available on our website.
It has been encouraging to see how the Molweni Community has grasped the Khulisa model and made it their own by adapting it to their unique circumstances, but still ensuring that the integrity of the evidence-based intervention remains.
- Internship Programme– The FLP Internship Programme has been very busy with Specialist Training from Autism South Africa for a week in “Early Identification, Early Intervention Strategies”, Curriculum Development Project Arts and Culture Education and Training for a week in the “Creative Approach to Using African Music in ECD Programmes” where each attendee was supplied with a Marimba set that is being used extensively in sites and ongoing in-service training in approaches to diagnosing and assisting struggling readers/Learners through Plasticine Play, Lego Blocks, Toe by Toe Reading Intervention, Word Works Educational Games, use of the African Storybook Project Reading books developed for Foundation Phase Readers and other strategies that have proven to be successful in assisting Learners reach their potential. The Interns work with children in Grade R to 3 to assist them to remediate developmental lags and, with Jacqueline and Snoxolo, to identify areas that need attention early on and intervene to assist academic progress. We are working closely with St Appolinaris Hospital Therapists, Pholela Special Needs School and other rural schools to identify, train and develop parents and staff to be better prepared to assist and work with learners with special educational needs.
- “Enter Another World – Reach Out and Read” Pilot Programme –The African Storybook Project books, many of which FLP staff developed and authored, are printed in beautiful colour and now form part of our Home Visiting Programme, Library Stock and Reading Programmes in Goxhill, Camanga and Underberg School. Once the print run is complete, the books will be in all FLP sites, Schools where we run Reading Programmes and in homes visited as part of the Khulisa Abantwana Home Visiting Programme. The FLP sewing ladies are busy completing the “Hanging Libraries” to adorn the walls of the beautiful huts. These 76, brand new Foundation Phase Zulu titles, have been very well received. Children and adults alike are reading them. It is exciting that FLP Staff and Learners have been able to contribute to the national stock of Zulu children’s books where there is such a great need for local language books to keep first language readers inspired and excited to read!
- Community Stories – “The Power of Strong” In keeping with the FLP goal of valuing and recording traditional stories and fireside tales, Jill Frow, Florence Molefe and Zimbili Dlamini recently conducted sessions at Lotheni, where there is a highly regarded Gogo that comes and regales all with her stories at FLP Special Days. She has been such an inspiration, that many a pre-school learner is confident enough to stand up and tell stories to groups in the Lotheni Community. Jill recorded the sessions and Zimbili is going to be writing the Tales up to be included on the African Storybook Website – the Young Pre-schooler is busy with her illustrations which we hope to include as part of the book.
We are collecting autobiographies from all FLP Interns, with the aim of one day publishing these to inspire others to set goals for themselves that will stretch them beyond circumstances and comfort zones.
- Protective Behaviours– The FLP Interns and Staff attended the Protective Behaviours, International Training Hosted by FLP. Hilda O’Callaghan, an ex-South African currently practicing in Australia has developed the material and is an internationally respected Trainer in this very important field. This work forms a very important part of our training – for FLP Staff, Group Members and Community Members. We are passionate about ensuring that our Communities are made aware of the many dangers facing young children from their birth. As a result of this advocacy, we have had many parents approaching us to intervene as a result of incidents that they were aware of, but did not realise the seriousness and possible long-term impact that these could have if they are not addressed early on.
FLP is committed to providing safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children. We realise that this requires changing attitudes, behaviors, norms, and policies. We know that even if our Committed FLP facilitators, Educators in the Schools, Homes Visited and Community Leaders are motivated to create this kind of change, we will only see significant results when the idea garners the support of the larger community and its leaders. Thus, at FLP, our efforts to prevent child maltreatment (CM) and promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments in our communities requires both community and social commitment. FLP Coordinators and Staff sit on various Tribal Councils, War Rooms, Municipality Forums and Reference Committees to get this message across to the broadest audience possible.
This commitment does not stop at awareness, but moves along a continuum from awareness of the problems to solutions. When raising awareness is mentioned, many organizations’ default to very basic information such as stating that child maltreatment (CM) is a problem and that it is bad for children. Most people already know and accept these facts. What we emphasis as critical at FLP in this step, is communicating something that we hope will bring new supporters into the fold. We understand that to do this, we will need to continue to strive to do this in a way that our community members, leaders, and decision-makers both understand and value.
(Research has shown that the consequences of CM can last a lifetime and include negative impacts on social, emotional and physicalhealth. We can reduce the leading causes of illness and death in our community by assuring safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for our children.)
Asifunde Sonke – Teacher’s Training College. Student portfolios are complete and the entire Fourth intake of students is awaiting results once their portfolios are returned from Wits. It is inspiring to note that there have been over 98 Students that have been trained at the College from as far afield as the Eastern Cape!
At Asifunde Sonke we are committed to ensuring quality delivery of a tried and tested, Nationally Certified Academic Programme. In addition, we mentor the students, by placing them into Noah’s Ark and Underberg Mastery Unit, on a full-time basis where they work as teaching aides, paired with Educators that have vast experience in their respective fields. This mentoring ensures that once they graduate, they carry not only an Academic skillset, but a social skillset that empowers them to enter a classroom confidently, having learnt from experts in the field!
- Sarah Rennie – Grindrod Family Centenary Trust
- Hilda O’Callaghan – Protective Behaviors Foundation Australia;
- Uwe Cohrs and Gustav Achtermann – Be Your Own Hero Foundation Germany;
- Nora Muehling – Office of the Mayor of Wolfsburg;
- Angela Pillay and Anton Krone – Save Act;
- Andrew Pitt – Clouds of Hope;
- Leigh Lippert – Klanderhoek Children’s Home;
- Darin Marais – Australia
- Thank you
Thank you to all the friends of FLP. Your advice, support and visits are what keep us inspired and motivated to carry on so passionately. It is great to know that we enjoy such wonderful body of support from all over the planet!