Reaching out during 16 Days of Activism

16 Days of Activism kicked off on Monday, 25 November 2013 and Mustadafin Foundation is actively taking part by creating awareness about violence against women and children in the Cape Town community. Various programmes will roll out during this period to help foster positive change on heart breaking social issues that so many women and children face daily.

As part of Mustadafin Foundation’s support for this campaign, they will be hosting an area awareness programme on 02 December 2013 in Khayelitsha and invite community members to attend.

A resilience workshop will take place on 05 December 2013 in Tafelsig in conjunction with Arup Engineering Firm. Arup researches resilience in communities where trauma is rife and the workshop will focus on coping mechanisms used by women in impoverished communities who have to face crime, trauma and stress on a daily basis.

Mustadafin Foundation is also partnering with the SAPS and the Safer Schools Project to host a Child Safety programme at Manandi beach on 09 December 2013 where 300 children, aged 8 to 14 years, will attend. These learners will not only have a fun day out in the sun, but they will also be trained on how to stay safe over the holiday season, how to report concerns and how to look out for one another, as many kids will be alone at home for a few weeks before their parents start their holiday.

10 December 2013 marks the final day of 16 Days of Activism with a community dinner in Tafelsig. During the dinner the women who have graduated from Mustadafin Foundation’s Stop Abuse Stitch by Stitch Sewing Project will be acknowledged and red balloons will be released as a symbol to stop violence in our communities. The dinner will also be attended by the Tafelsig community, The Pink Ladies (a community group that’s involved in raising awareness and searching for missing children in the area), and SAPS Crime Forum members. A beautiful candle lighting and prayer will close-off the evening.

“It’s very important that the community we operate in has a clear understanding of what to do when violence occurs in their family. We trust that the programmes being rolled out will help these women and children should they ever be in such a situation,” comments Hani du Toit, Projects and Communication Manager at Mustadafin Foundation.

Anyone interested in making the Child Safety programme extra special for the children at Manandi Beach on 09 December 2013 can donate toys and gifts. For further information please contact Mustadafin Foundation on 021-633-0010.

For more information about Mustadafin Foundation visit www.mustadafin.org.za. Join their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MustadafinFoundation

ABOUT MUSTADAFIN FOUNDATION

The Mustadafin Foundation was established in 1986 as a result of political unrest and violence in the Crossroads Township. Crossroads, at that time was isolated and violence that erupted was due to faction fighting. It had a devastating effect on the local community, particularly women and children.

In order to support the community, a group of professionals offered their expertise, skills and resources. They provided medical care, trauma counselling, accommodation, food and clothing. This group encompassed such a wide range of people working constructively towards a common goal that it was decided to formalise the situation in the hope that this initiative could be maintained – this saw the birth of the Mustadafin Foundation.

Poor readers experience learning difficulties

Poor readers equal poor learners – will our Grade 12 learners matriculate with their deficient reading background? Preparing your child from primary school years for future success is crucial.

A 2006 study* comparing international reading benchmarks to our 2013 matric skill levels concluded that 78% of the then Grade 5 learners did not reach the lowest benchmark in reading skills and capacity.

“Reading has proven time and time again to be the most important skill that a child must acquire at school, because in order to learn, one must be able to read,” says Susan du Plessis, Director of Educational Programs at Edublox reading and learning clinic. “The unfortunate implication is that a child who is a poor reader will inevitably also be a poor learner.”

Research has proven that in the majority of cases, weak underlying cognitive skills account for the learning difficulties, but these cognitive skills can be developed. Specific brain-training exercises can strengthen these weaknesses, leading to increased reading proficiency and academic performance.

Edublox reading and learning clinic is set to launch a multisensory cognitive enhancement programme known as Edubrain, which is designed to help learners of all ages and ability levels to overcome reading difficulties in the comfort of their own homes.

The programme is based on pedagogical and neurological research, as well as more than 30 years’ experience in the field.

“Edubrain is designed as an affordable investment for parents into their children’s futures by developing their reading and therefore also their learning competency,” says Du Plessis. She developed the programme in conjunction with Dr Zelda Garcia, a medical doctor whose interest is neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to physically change as a result of learning.

The programme provides an effective solution that aims to empower parents to teach their young children to read, as well as help both children and adults overcome moderate to severe reading difficulties in the comfort of their own homes.

According to Susan du Plessis, the reason the programme is so effective is because it does not just focus on reading; it teaches underlying cognitive skills that are the foundation of good reading. “The programme places the emphasis on developing things like form perception, processing speed, visual, auditory, sequential and working memory, and so on,” says Du Plessis. “These underlying skills must function well in order for someone to read efficiently and easily.”

“We’ve been through several different reading programmes, reading schools, occupational therapists, speech therapists, one-on-one tutoring….name it, and we have tried it, says Dr Anina van der Bijl whose son was seemingly unable to read. “Great was my surprise to stumble upon a proven, much published method of teaching reading. My son now even reads for relaxation – it remains a miracle to me!”

The Edubrain Reading Programme is the first in a series of seven programmes to be launched by Edublox in the coming months. Others include the Edubrain Spelling Programme and Toolkit, as well as Handwriting, Maths and School Readiness Programmes.

“We anticipate that the new programme and toolkit is going to make a huge difference to literacy levels,” says Du Plessis. “The feedback received about its predecessor has been phenomenal, with reports of children’s general grades improving, children finding enjoyment in reading for the first time in their lives; parents seeing a huge improvement in their child’s self-esteem, and much more wonderful feedback.”

“The new programme has been updated and repackaged to makes it more interactive and affordable than before,” says Du Plessis. “The fact that it can be worked through at home, at the child’s own pace is an added bonus”.

Because the Edubrain Reading Programme has four levels, with carefully graded activities within each level, it is suitable for all ages and appropriate for children with developmental and special needs, as well as high achievers.

Edublox is a reading and learning clinic with 20 centres across the country. For more information about Edublox visit www.edublox.co.za.

* Zimmerman, L. 2010. The influence of schooling conditions and teaching practise on curriculum implementation for Grade 4 reading literacy development. [Online] Available at http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/submitted/etd-05252011-133034/unrestricted/02chapter3.pdf

ABOUT EDUBLOX

Edublox is a reading and learning clinic with 20 centres across the country.

Edublox has been conducting research and developing tools and programmes for more than 30 years. Through the various programmes, Edublox has achieved astounding results nationally and internationally.

New Parenting Programme aims to improve family dynamics

Caption: Khanyile Booi, volunteer facilitator at Mustadafin Foundation, participating in the trainer training for the parenting programme.

After gruelling reports surfaced about the missing children in the Cape Flats, Mustadafin Foundation channelled their resources to accommodate a parenting programme to their growing list of community services. The eight week Parenting Skills Programme is currently being rolled out to 47 parents in Khayelitsha and Delft and aims to enhance family communication and help empower parents in the relationship with their children.

The Sunday Times* recently published shocking statistics indicating that nearly 30% of child murders in South Africa have been perpetrated by mothers. Through this research it is evident that too many parents are ill prepared for the pressures and strains of raising children amongst the vast number of social challenges youngsters face within communities.

The Parenting Skills Programme specifically targets the parents of 150 children at Mustadafin Foundation’s Educare Centres in Khayelitsha and Delft. Through this programme, mums and dads with children aged three and older can find great value in understanding how their children develop emotionally and how to support them.

The comprehensive programme focusses on fundamental issues such as understanding child behaviour; building a child’s self-esteem; communicating feelings and emotions; developing listening skills; setting limits; discipline versus punishment; and dealing with criticism.

The programme involves group work, role play and journal reflections that help provide parents who complete the training with a new point of reference for themselves, their children and their family as a whole.

“After successfully completing the sessions, mums and dads are equipped to resolve problems through discussion and family meetings where each member of the family can express themselves without dreading negative reactions from other family members,” comments Hani du Toit, Project and Communications Manager at Mustadafin Foundation.

Suraya Twalingca, Parenting Skills Programme facilitator at Mustadafin Foundation and mother of three children reflects, “The parents attending the workshop are very eager to learn more about how to communicate effectively with their children and to ultimately understand what they are going through. The programme teaches mums and dads the different stages of child development and how they can be there for their children through each of these. We established that parents found it difficult to speak openly with their children about sensitive issues and the programme helps them to have an open conversation with teens.”

“I remember one parent struggled to communicate with her child who used drugs. All the signs of drug abuse were there but she didn’t know how to address and handle it. The programme taught her how to first listen to the child and acknowledge where the problem rooted from – being at home or peer pressure. The sessions provided her with the tools to tackle the problem correctly,” concludes Twalingca.

“When communication within families improve and families learn that love and respect can be expressed in positive ways, our communities will be safer and healthier. We hope to roll out the programme at all our centres, reaching 150 more parents during 2014,” concludes Du Toit.

For more information contact Mustadafin on 021-633-0010 or visit www.mustadafin.org.za. Join their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MustadafinFoundation

* The full article can be found here: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2013/10/27/mothers-killing-children-report

ABOUT MUSTADAFIN FOUNDATION

The Mustadafin Foundation was established in 1986 as a result of political unrest and violence in the Crossroads Township. Crossroads, at that time was isolated and violence that erupted was due to faction fighting. It had a devastating effect on the local community, particularly women and children.

In order to support the community, a group of professionals offered their expertise, skills and resources. They provided medical care, trauma counselling, accommodation, food and clothing. This group encompassed such a wide range of people working constructively towards a common goal that it was decided to formalise the situation in the hope that this initiative could be maintained – this saw the birth of the Mustadafin Foundation.

All Gold adds Flavour to Shoprite Checkers Championship Boerewors Finale

Caption: All Gold – South Africa’s most loved Tomato Sauce, the best accompaniment to South Africa’s beloved Boerewors – enjoyed a strong presence at the Shoprite Checkers Championship Boerewors Competition finale, thanks to a highly engaging activation campaign by EnOv8 Event Management.

Held last month at the beautiful Valley of Waves in Sun City, the Shoprite Checkers Championship Boerewors Competition finale was a fun day out for the entire family, with plenty of food, entertainment, fun and games!

The ten finalists battled it out on stage, braaing for hours in the sweltering heat, with Durbanite Bob Makheta (37) eventually winning the much-coveted title, a 4X4 double cab bakkie and other prizes, including holiday vouchers from All Gold.

But sponsoring prizes for the top three entrants was not All Gold’s only involvement. All Gold in conjunction with Cape Town-based event management company EnOv8 activated an exciting Amazing Race-themed promotion, where holiday-makers were given an All Gold Passport to Adventure. They then had to take part in an All Gold Challenge, consisting of six games, which allowed them to test their skills and stamina, and win rewards.

According to Nicole Rollings, EnOv8 Owner and Managing Director, the various games, designed by EnOv8 specifically for the promotion, centred on creating a sensory experience for all participants, so that they could engage with All Gold via all their senses – not just taste!

The games were as follows:

  • Clue Chase – participants were required to find a hidden clue in the Valley;
  • Taste Sensation – a blindfold tasting of All Gold on Boerewors where competitors had to identify the All Gold flavour;
  • Remember It – a game that tested the participants’ memory and mind power;
  • Beach Relay – a race to catch a bottle of All Gold;
  • Saucy Tower – a building challenge, where participants had to build a tower using only All Gold bottles;
  • Target Shooter – participants had to kick a soccer ball into one of the All Gold targets.

Each time a competitor completed a game, they received a stamp in their passport and an All Gold branded prize – these included funky red and white sunglasses, temporary tattoos and lanyards, also provided by EnOv8. The goal for participants was to take part in all six games in order to complete their passport and the entire challenge. Those who completed their passports received a fantastic All Gold bag, which they could use to keep all their other prizes in, as well as to take home and use as a beach bag.

“In order to ensure a highly memorable brand experience for those attending the finale, we wanted to engage consumers via all their senses,” says Rollings. “The taste part was easy – after all, All Gold is undoubtedly South Africa’s favourite Boerewors roll condiment! Large dispensers shaped like All Gold sauce bottles were placed at all the Boerewors stations, where consumers could choose their favourite All Gold flavour sauce. The All Gold Passport to Adventure allowed us to engage the rest of the senses, by getting participants physically and mentally involved with the brand via the various games.”

The challenge was introduced to an excited crowd on the finale stage, where the All Gold brand ambassadors and MC spoke about the brand, screened the new All Gold television adverts, and demonstrated how each game worked, before sending participants off to start the challenge.

“It was a fun, memorable and successful activation,” concludes Rollings. “We activated for just over 5 hours and engaged with more than 600 consumers, many of whom also took home branded items as a reminder of their All Gold experience.”

 

Caption: Large All Gold sauce dispensers allowed visitors to taste different varieties with their boerewors. 

EnOv8 Event Management is based in Cape Town, but plan and deliver bespoke event management services nationwide. For more information about EnOv8, contact (021) 404 0645 or visit www.enov8.co.za. Join EnOv8’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Enov8.

Edublox West Rand Wins Gold Business Award

Roodepoort, Johannesburg: Monique van Heerden, owner and manager of the Edublox reading and learning clinic West Rand franchise, accepting a Gold Award at the prestigious Roodepoort Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ROCCI) Business Awards held at Silverstar Casino on Saturday, 26 October 2013. Edublox West Rand received the Gold Award in the Micro Business category.

The Edublox reading and learning clinic West Rand franchise scooped Gold at the prestigious Roodepoort Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ROCCI) Business Awards.

The annual ROCCI Awards celebrate achievements in service excellence, with nominations coming from members of the public, clients, customers and even other businesses.

“We were delighted to discover we were nominated by one of our clients,” says Monique van Heerden, owner and manager of the winning West Rand franchise. “We were then required to put together a comprehensive information pack, as well as do an in-depth presentation to a panel of judges.”

The panel consisted of representatives from SAIPA (South African Institute of Professional Accountants), FNB Commercial Banking and SAICA (South African Institute for Charted Accountants), as well as from the Roodepoort Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  After adjudicating the presentations and information packs, the judges selected the winners in each category, and these were announced at the glittering gala event, held at Silverstar Casino on Saturday, 26 October 2013.

The categories were Emerging Business, Micro Business, Medium Business, and Large/Corporate, with Edublox West Rand receiving the Gold Award in the Micro Business category.

Van Heerden says the Gold was a very pleasant surprise. “We were hoping for a merit award for service excellence, so it was wonderful to be recognised like this and be awarded the top prize in our category.”

Van Heerden attributes the success of their presentation to the impressive reading and learning results demonstrated, as well as the Edublox approach to service.

“The Edublox Programme shows results,” says Van Heerden. “Parents are able to talk to people who understand their situation and speak the same language as them. This, coupled with passionate, highly trained teachers and all the right quality control measures in place, is what I believe to be behind our success.”

Edublox Founder Henk du Plessis agrees: “Edublox West Rand thoroughly deserves to win the Gold Award. Monique van Heerden personifies the Edublox values, as she is exceptionally proud of the wonderful achievements of her learners, but remains humble and sees the opportunity to develop learners as an honour.”

“Furthermore, her relentless effort to deliver quality teaching ensures that the academic results learners achieve at school are nothing short of remarkable,” explains Du Plessis. “She is often complimented on her excellent and compassionate service and is a true role model for other franchisees.”

Speaking of the future, Monique is excited about new programmes about to be launched, including an English language course and Edubrain home reading programme and tool kit. She has also recently opened a Randburg branch, which she plans to grow as strong and successful as the West Rand branch.

“I really love my job!” says an excited Van Heerden. “I feel incredibly privileged to be working in this environment with great teachers, appreciative parents, and children who are improving not only their learning skills, but so many other aspects of their lives too.”

Edublox is a reading and learning clinic with 19 franchises across the country. For more information about Edublox visit www.edublox.co.za or contact Monique van Heerden at the West Rand branch on (011) 764-5824. 

Johannesburg children’s smiles last longer

The festive season will kick off earlier this year for the children from Mother of Peace North Riding Foster Home in Johannesburg with the Energizer Making Smiles Last Longer Campaign.

Mother of Peace is a non-profit sanctuary and foster home for HIV affected and abandoned children in North Riding, Gauteng; Illovo, KwaZulu Natal; and Zimbabwe, collectively caring for almost 230 orphans. In addition, they continue to support and supervise the care of over 100 children, who have been re-integrated into their extended families.

Mother of Peace North Riding is the smallest of the three foster homes and is run by a group of volunteers who care for 20 children between the ages of six and 19 years.  All these children come from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds, some having experienced physical, sexual and psychological abuse.

The youngsters at Mother of Peace North Riding will experience the festive cheer this year thanks to Energizer, makers of the world’s longest lasting AAA and AA batteries, who will be working hard to also make smiles last longer this festive season by aiming to collect at least 20 gifts for these children.

“The children’s home receives no financial assistance from government and has no major sponsors that fulfil its financial commitment to caring for these children, says Rashmi Vadivelu, Brand Manager, Energizer South Africa. “We are privileged to be able to assist Mother of Peace with the amazing work it is doing by sharing the festive spirit in this community.”

Northgate Shoppers can assist by collecting a gift bag from the Energizer stand that will be located at the Pick n Pay Court close to Entrance 2 at the Northgate Shopping Centre from 14 to 17 November 2013 and are encouraged to fill the bag with the gifts listed on the children’s wish list, included in the bag.

The team will then host a party for the children at Mother of Peace where these gifts, smiles and the spirit of the festive season will be shared.

“By sharing our positive energy, together we can make the world a better place with brighter smiles,” says Vadivelu.

The Making Smiles Last Longer campaign forms part of Energizer’s That’s Positivenergy™ campaign, which was brought to life in South Africa by offering great opportunities to all South Africans to participate in activities geared towards making a difference, while standing a chance to win terrific prizes.

Now that’s Positivenergy!

For more information about Energizer and its That’s Positivenergy activities, please visit the website at www.energizer.co.za.