An Update from the @HomeLearning Team

On 6 September 2021, 3450 stationery packs for children involved in the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) @HomeLearning Programme were delivered. 1450 packs for Grade R-1 learners and 2000 packs for Grade 2-5 learners were handed out.  This life-changing event would not have been possible without the generous donations from Rhodes Food Group and The Val de Vie Foundation supported by My School, My Village, and My Planet.

This is such a wonderful contribution to our work that makes a significant difference in the homes of thousands of young learners who now have stationery to be able to complete their homework and engage with other fun, educational materials.

To ensure that these packs go to deserving learners who are regular attendees of WCED @HomeLearning activities, we filtered out their names from our database and then packed boxes for each community hub so that the partner organisations could hand them out.  A total of 2152 packs were then delivered as follows:

  • Kayamandi (Love to Give Hub): 206
  • Franschhoek Valley (Hope Through Action Hub): 230
  • Stellenbosch, Cloetesville, Klapmuts (Khula Hub): 398
  • Mbekweni (Hope Through Action Hub): 297
  • Paarl East (Khula Hub): 152
  • Rawsonville, Slanghoek (MathMoms Hub): 348
  • Malmesbury (Hope Through Action Hub): 262
  • Bonnievale area (Bonnievale418 Hub): 259

There are 50 packs waiting to be delivered to children from a farm school outside Paarl.

These packs are now being given to learners during activities at the project hubs and during home visits. Great care is being taken to ensure that parents and caregivers are involved in supporting the children who receive these packs so that they will take care of them and use them appropriately.

It is also emphasised that these learners have earned the packs by participating in the program activities – an important way to reinforce the teaching of values and that this program is about a hand-up and not a handout, and the learners are so proud to be recognised in this way.

Handing out the packs has been a reminder about how simple things like stationery can be so important and so valued – and are so critical to a child’s education. After all, how can one expect learning to take place in a home where there is no pencil, where there are no crayons and there is no paper to write or draw on?

In addition to being given to deserving learners, stationery packs are being used and then distributed through parent and caregiver workshops. These workshops assist parents in how they themselves can use the educational materials we share with their children at home but also support them with additional information on how to build a loving, positive relationship with their child – that can then also support ongoing learning in the home.

The parent and caregiver workshops are new activities in the @HomeLearning Program and we have been overwhelmed by over 560 parents who have attended thus far. The remaining packs will be distributed as we continue to track learner attendance, though we have already experienced children coming to hubs asking how they can get involved because they have seen their friends working with stationery packs.

We will also be collecting data on how these packs are used, how parents and caregivers perceive their value at home and see if there is any resulting change in engagement of the children.

We will keep you posted on progress, and we thank you very, very much on behalf of the more than 2000 eager, grateful and excited young children that have so far received a stationery pack made possible through your generous donations.  This small pack makes a big difference – the vast majority of children who receive one have never owned a pack like this and are now actually able to engage in learning @home.