We arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday, and I have been enjoying it so much I haven’t stopped to post! Wednesday night, we went to a surprise book signing at the charming Kalk Bay bookstore (John well knows that in my next career a bookshop/coffee shop is in the cards. I would be okay if it looked exactly like this, complete with a picture window and ocean view!).
Thursday, we went to Ikamva Labantu–overseen by the same organization (Infinite Family) as Nkosi’s Haven in Johannesburg. Ikamva Labantu in the Gugelethu township is an after-school program for students 6 years old through 18 years old. They also have a creche (daycare) for younger children and a senior club for the “grannies” (many of whom are primary caretakers for the children). The Granny clubs also provide a place for seniors to get a hot meal, receive childcare support, and get medical services like glucose testing.
We arrived in time for a tour of the facility–a U-shaped building with classroom doors opening out to a playground, a playing field, and some additional buildings (read: shipping containers) for therapists’ offices and the Infinite Family on-site office. After our tour, we met with the after-school program teachers and community development staff. We learned about what strategies were more and less successful as they try to impart life skills, reading and math support, and computer skills to their learners. We then worked with them on facilitation skills, identifying individual student talents, interests, and dispositions, and then helping students find careers that would be of interest to specific students. One of their major concerns was how to expose their children to life beyond their neighborhood. The airport was close by, and the teachers mentioned many students not only hadn’t been there, they didn’t even have a frame of reference for an airport (and all the jobs they require to operate!).
We then worked with their 14-18 year old students (about 30 total, all except one were boys). Working with one of their teachers, we co-facilitated a True Colors personality assessment and discussed how their varied results could give them more ideas to consider for future careers. We also talked about how a team of all one type of personality doesn’t get very far in achieving a goal together. A strong team requires the strengths of many different kinds of people to mitigate weaknesses. We played the “Me Too” game from Teboho Trust, and then they taught us a game, as well. We had a delicious South Africa meal, including roasted chicken and potatoes with rice and a side of a green pepper and onion minestrone gravy.