Get Involved: AYM

posted in: Making a Difference | 2

Last week I shared information about The Shine Centre (where I volunteer) in Cape Town. Today we focus on Agape Youth Movement in Soshanguve.








What does AYM do?

AYM is a youth lead organisation. They actually want young people to get involved, help themselves and others. They have many different programmes and all of them focus on education as a way to positively change the lives of young people.

How do I volunteer?

They prefer not to use the word ‘volunteer’ but Agents of Change. These are young people who do want to see change in their communities. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get involved. If you would like to tutor in schools, mentor offer team building exercises etc. You can see how this would be something that you would need to committed to. Last year AYM launched a (Science) tutoring project at Ruabohlale Junior Primary school in Soshanguve.

Which Schools does AYM work with?

Ruabohale Junior Secondary School, Amogelang Senior Secondary School, Rodney Mokoena Primary School & Refihlilepele Primary School.

What Skills do I need?

AYM needs people with a variety of skills. Skills that they wouldn’t mind sharing with members of the community. They run various programmes. See which one you might be able to help with:

  • Tutoring
  • Mentorship
  • Science Labs Projects
  • Career Expo
  • Financial Literacy Workshops
  • Sports Tournaments
  • Poetry Sessions

If you have skills in any of these areas and are willing to get involved with the young people in the community then Get Involved.

Not all of us have time to go to schools (during work hours) and help children read/write. But we can use our skills to empower young people (through education). Never underestimate the importance of Career Days or Financial Literacy Workshops. All those things are part of improving young people’s lives through education. They then in turn help the community

I’m in! Now what?

email AYM or call them on 012 771 4705

Tell them what ‘skills’ you have and where you see yourself fitting in. They are more than happy to have people come in and help. I spoke to Thabang on the phone and he is very patient and happy to point you in the right direction.

Please let me know if you know of any organisations that need volunteers/books. Anywhere in South Africa. If they deal with education, I will write about them or interview someone from the organisation.

Get involved: Shine

posted in: Making a Difference | 0

Every year, without fail. It happens. People are up in arms. Parents, people with no children, even those who don’t really care about schools. They all complain about the state of education in South Africa. “How can the pass mark be so low? No wonder these kids fail at life! This should be illegal etc etc”. It’s exhausting. I tweeted about it.

I suggested that instead of ‘rage’ around matric results time we should get involved during the school year.

— Black Porcelain (@BlckPorcelain) January 23, 2014

I’m going to compile a list of school projects & NGOs that need volunteers. I will try my best to cover all provinces.

— Black Porcelain (@BlckPorcelain) January 23, 2014

We don’t all have time during the week so I’ll try find some wknd gwans too. If you don’t have time but books, stationery etc thats fine too

— Black Porcelain (@BlckPorcelain) January 23, 2014

Anger is not enough & it’s exhausting. Let’s get involved. Let me know of any school projects/NGOs that you know of. Let’s share the info.

— Black Porcelain (@BlckPorcelain) January 23, 2014

I used to be one of those people. In 2009, while I was still a radio presenter, I interviewed someone from the Shine Centre. She asked me to join them for one session and see what they get up to. Instead of the predictable rage, I found myself getting involved. I became a (very small) part of the solution.

Every week I will share a different organisation that is in need of volunteers. I will start with one that I know very well. The Shine Centre


What Does The Shine Centre Do?

The Shine Centre provides literacy and language support for Grd 2 & 3 learners.

What skills do I need?

If you can read and write (English) then you are it! It also helps if you like children and are patient. Volunteers attend training sessions. These happen quite often. This is necessary because the Shine Centre uses specific methods & games. The sessions happen every few months; for new volunteers and others who would like to brush up on their skills.

How does it work?

Once you’ve gone through the training you are ready! The Centre Manager (at the school) will then pair you up with a Grd 2/3 learner. You will work with the same child so you can track their progress. The children are usually shy in the beginning. My isiXhosa is bad (I speak SeSotho) so that is always a great source of amusement for them. That’s my usual ice breaker. You spend an hour with your ‘learning partner’.

The sessions take place at a school and they are usually in the morning. Children that have been *assessed (by Shine Centre) are pulled out of class for an hour. These sessions take place in the ‘Shine Classroom’ where all the necessary learning material is.

*The assessments take place at the end of the year. Children who are below their ‘age literacy level’ are then put on the list to be part of the Shine Centre’s hour the following year.

During the hour

The hour is broken up into 4 parts and you will go though reading, play (Shine specific) games, writing (sentences) and a little bit of comprehension. I’ve been volunteering since 2009 and I can tell you that the first few weeks will test you. It has nothing to do with the children. More to do with you (and your ego). It takes a lot of time (and repetition) for the kids to finally ‘get it’. That’s just how you learn. But we tend to forget that. In (the beginning of) 2009 I felt like I was not helping at all. One of my learning partners couldn’t read words that were made up of more than 3 letters. Near the end of the year, we were reading a book. Sometimes you have to read together. She covered my mouth and asked to read by herself. I was so proud of her. She came to the word ‘birthday’, I held my breathe and she read the word like a pro. That hour will become the best part of your morning :)

Where? (Cape Town)

There are several Shine Centres around Cape Town. I volunteer at the Prestwich Street Primary School. Because it is a convenient location. I often have early morning meetings in town so it works.

I want to volunteer. Now what?

Well done! Contact Carrie Masheck (she is all kinds of awesome)

Please let me know if you know of any organisations that need volunteers/books. Anywhere in South Africa. If they deal with education, I will write about them or interview someone from the organisation.