Our first term and journalism project

The first term is already over. It was a busy time and because we had a few beginner groups, it  was also challenging. Some children didn’t even know how to move their mouse, so we stuck to teaching the basics.

A lot of things changed during this term, most of them for the better.

In Ntaba Maria Primary school, we had some technical issues. The computer lab wasn’t really working and sometimes we had to improvise about what to do in the sessions. That’s why we asked the principal to organise transport for the learners up to our computer lab at the Joza Youth Hub. For the last two times this worked out quite well, but there’s always some confusion and unreliability when it comes to the question of how many of them will end up at  the Hub and when.

Moreover, we started working with volunteers from the Rhodes University Community Engagement. Two of them are going to help us with one of the Ntaba Maria Primary school groups on Mondays. And then there’s Thami. She was an awarenet student herself and now wants to give back by teaching an own group at Archie Mbolekwa Primary school.

And the most exciting change is our new cooperation with the local newspaper, the Grocotts Mail. Our learners are supposed to write articles for our monthly column in the Grocotts. It is a very interesting project and I think it is a really good thing for the students, too. They learn to express their own opinions in an appealing way, to structure texts and edit them later. 

The first article was written by Kjetil Torp, our supervisor. He explained and introduced the monthly awarenet column and said that our learners are basically going to write about everything from “Trump to township toilets“.

Then we started the project with our most experienced group: Four Khutliso Daniels Secondary school learners from grade 11 that have been in the awarenet programm for a few years already. They wrote two articles together, one about the importance of stories in their culture and one in isiXhosa about swimming.

Another thing also changed: Mcvay, who has been an intern in the Village Scribe Association for two years, left the organisation in February. That’s why the next article was his story: He explained how much “the life with awarenet” changed him.

In March we then started to work with our younger students, a grade 8 and 9 group from Archie Mbolekwa Primary school. As the Grocotts articles would be published right after the Easter weekend they wrote about how they experience Easter. 


a session at Archie Mbolekwa

Teyise Sive also wrote about his experience with drug abuse and Zandile Jilana about “being unique”.

We are looking forward to continue this project. It has been a lot of fun and it’s super nice to see your own articles in a newspaper.

If you want to support projects like this, you can donate for our organisation.

At the end of the term, the 1st of April, we had an Open Day at the Joza Youth Hub. A lot of our learners came to the event and spend some time together to end the term in a good way.

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