Summer Volunteering update

Published, 20/09/2023

The August volunteering period was completed last month. During this four-week period 33 students and 14 UWE staff travelled to visit our partner schools in Madadeni and Dundee.

Primary Education students taught in partner primary schools for the Township Teaching project. The SEND team of Occupational Therapy students focussed on creating a portable sensory garden, delivering workshops on ADHD and creating handwriting tools.

This year YWCA Special School joined the Rugby project for the first time. The tournament was a resounding success with 7 teams competing for the coveted PZ winners’ medals. This was the second time the Township Business project ran after a three-year break. The enterprise project at Phendukani High School allowed learners to develop and apply their entrepreneurial skills by setting up small businesses. The Township Engineering team split their time between two schools and built a bridge and causeway at Mntimande Primary and completed a sanitation project at Umcebowolwazi Primary. The Film team were able to meet the 2023 choir again back in their own schools after first meeting during the choir tour earlier this year. We’re looking forward to seeing the films they produce from this year’s volunteering!

Maths and English Professional Development conferences also took place and were run by UWE’s Education academics for the first time since the pandemic and had record-breaking attendance with over 200 educators at each. Assistant Lecturer at UWE and head of safeguarding at the Methodist Church UK, Tim Carter worked with the district office to deliver a safeguarding conference in Newcastle and Dannhauser districts.

The volunteering period had many successes this year, including two educators who co-led the English conference. Another highlight was the impressive fundraising success of the student volunteers who raised over £8,000 in total which went towards delivering their projects and purchasing classroom resources for the schools.

We were delighted to once again see the continuity of a successful choir tour followed by summer volunteering where staff and students could see the 2023 choir in their respective schools. Looking ahead to future projects is also important, and we were pleased to see the Township Technology project delivering IT champion training last month and further digital literacy training at Siyawela Primary school while completing scoping for next year’s project to take place. Watch this space!

Written by Jen Garmston

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