The awareNet programme combines computer & Internet literacy training with practical projects that are interesting and important to young people. This term, the VSA has focused on life orientation after requests by several teachers and awareNet champions. awareNet users worked on a project called “Health Promotion”, which included information about fitness&health as well as about diseases such as Malaria and Diabetes and others, they blogged about depression and exam stress and they discussed peer pressure, drug abuse, domestic violence and human rights.
Several talks accompanied the project. The VSA contacted a number of experts and asked them to give talks and presentations to the learners during awareNet sessions. Many NGOs and private people responded to our request:
- Jason Lisher (NetCare) – informed about general ambulance duties and first aid (Ntaba Maria SS).
- Melibonga Mbelu and Lionel Blaauw (Grocott’s Mail newspaper sellers) – spoke about their tough backgrounds coming from the township and growing up with alkohol&drugs and explained how they overcame their past by starting to become healthy by running and keeping fit (Mary Waters HS).
- Rooi Rikhotso (VSA volunteer) – talked about depression after he had attended a workshop by SADAG (Ntaba Maria PS, Khuliso Daniel SS, CM Vellem HPS, Nayluza SS).
- Terri Penney (VSA coordinator) – also talked about depression after attending the SADAG workshop (VGHS).
- Andiswa Mpako (FAMSA) – talked to young learners about Sex&Sexuality (Ntaba Maria PS).
All talks were very well attended and received. After every talk, awareNet users blogged about their own experiences or discussed the topic on awareNet, some of them for the first time. We got a lot of positive feedback from learners, teachers and principals. Many speakers want to come back next year and continue to talk at more schools in Grahamstown. Thank you for your involvement. We are looking forward to a good collaboration and more excited learners after the summer holidays!