The Unogwaja Langa Projects were started in 2016 in attempt to address the many challenges faced in Langa. The projects aim to impact not only the children’s lives, but the greater community of Langa. It is our hope that this project will become a blueprint to roll out in other communities throughout the country.

Our main focus areas include:

  • Teaching English and Physical Education at St Anthony’s Pre Primary
  • After school study assistance and holistic learning
  • Skills Development

We are currently supporting 2 main projects, which are fully funded by Unogwaja and managed by Mercedes Artique, a specialist in teaching English as a second language, and administered by LEAP Science and Maths School in Langa.

St Anthony’s Pre Primary School

Identifying the great need for young children to learn to speak English, this programme was introduced at St Anthony’s Pre Primary. This has since expanded to included Physical Education. The programme reaches 90 children per week, who each receive one English and one Physical Education lesson per week. The programme employs 3 mothers, who have been trained to assist; and 3 regular volunteers from outside Langa come in each week.

English lessons take place on Mondays and Wednesdays, whereby  a maximum of 10 children per class are exposed to the English language. The aim is to expand their vocabulary and they are encouraged to slowly speak in full sentences. There is also a focus on fine motor skills and activities that will help them when they go to GradeR.

Our lesson plans are aligned with the curriculum the teachers do in isiXhosa in class.

Physical Education lessons take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, whereby they move, run and jump while playing. The lessons aim to help the children with throwing and catching, crossing the middle line, balancing, and to enjoy being outside. The focus is also on creating a love for doing exercise and being healthy. The lesson plans have included activities to teach the children to be aware of their bodies and calm down.

Langa Hockey Club Learning Centre

This exciting programme was started more than a year ago to assist the players from the club.

The programme offers extramural activities to hockey and cricket players that we think will broaden their experience and education and will be a positive impact in the community. We also aim to open doors to children outside the club.

The idea behind this program is to expose the students to some fun-creative ways of learning while at the same time improving their maths, literacy and English language skills, while not forgetting about the importance of their mother tongue isiXhosa.

Study sessions are held twice a week at the Hockey club and provide help with schoolwork, and offer assistance with studying for tests and exams. A teacher from LEAP has recently been employed to offer professional assistance in Maths and Science.

Friday afternoons are focused on fun informative sessions which aim to broaden the childrens’ general knowledge.

The project aims to provide the children with:

  • Fun maths activities (not structured like school)
  • Reading comprehension: children develop understanding of various texts, broaden their vocabulary and their general knowledge as well as the command of grammar points. This part of the lesson takes place in English.
  • Writing: we provide the children with a variety of fun, controlled exercises to help them develop skills to write properly in English.
  • Reading: children practice to read out loud in English and IsiXhosa. We select an age appropriate book to read to them each week. The book will be carefully chosen to catch the children’s interest and for their enjoyment. The “reading for pleasure” part of the lesson will be done in IsiXhosa.
  • Team building activities, board games, art, and activities to work on the children’s emotional intelligence and new concept in a creative and fun way.
  • Roots and Shoots program by Jane Godall
  • Art

Holiday club

In addition during the holidays we run different courses to keep the children busy and entertained while learning new skills. For example: knitting, sewing (sewing machines), and making books from scratch.

Skills Development

Lusanda and Mercedes are doing a 12-month workshop, once a month with Wordworks, which focuses on early literacy and language development from 0-5 year olds. The information is then shared in sessions run at the pre-school for parents and caregivers. They take place on a Sunday for two hours approximately every 2 months.

The idea behind these workshops is to support the parents and caregivers in providing their children with language stimulation at home. By doing this, they give their children a head start at school. Parents are encouraged to speak to the children and are shown how to do so according to the child’s age, provide words and expand the children’s language in every day situations, read to them and play.

During class the parents are also shown how to make inexpensive educational toys, and books to use at home.

So far it has been a successful course that has been met with positive attitude from the community.