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Early Literacy Volunteers Needed

20160728-word-works-addington-6-of-32Over the past four years CAST has partnered with an NPO called Wordworks to implement their foundation phase programme called the Early Literacy Programme (ELP).

The ELP is an intervention programme for underprivileged children in the foundation phase (Grade R through 2).  The Literacy Programme provides support for children who are lacking in early language and literacy skills.  Currently CAST is running the programme at Addington Primary School in the South Beach area to help Grade 1 learners develop their reading and writing skills.

Tutors/Volunteers are needed to work with pairs of children for a couple of hours each week. We currently run the programme every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11:30am. No previous experience is needed, just a love of children and a bit of patience! CAST will provide you with initial training and ongoing support and advice.

If you would like to get involved, contact Joseph at 031 267 1716 or joseph@cast.org.za. Contact us and you can even visit on a Tuesday/Thursday to see us in action.

Join the movement beyond charity and help us make a difference in the lives of young children!

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Brighten Up Kwadabeka

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On Tuesday, the 24th September, 100 members of Westville Baptist Church along with 120 members of the Kwadabeka community, came together in a beautiful portrayal of Heritage Day.

An initiative powered by CAST- a social outreach non-profit- and Westville Baptist, “Brighten up Kwadabeka” was a day aimed at painting, fixing, cleaning and repairing Sithokozile Secondary School, handing out food parcels and making home visits to the food parcel recipients of the community, and running a children’s programme for the young ones at Kwadabeka Baptist Church.

The day ran from 8am until 12pm and ended off with a massive community braai, in celebration of South Africa’s National Braai Day. In every classroom, a group of people could be found hard at work, covered in paint, and out on the field there were people sanding down pillars, replacing gutters, hosing down the roof and cleaning up litter.

The partnership with Sithokozile Secondary School and Westville Baptist began 1994 when the church opened a soup kitchen for needy pupils. Since then, Sithokozile became the first township school in KZN to receive a new soccer pitch, made from synthetic grass. This initiative, along with the opening of a counselling centre at the school, was organised by the Church Alliance for Social Transformation (CAST).

The relationship between CAST and the Kwadabeka community has developed over the years and now includes an ongoing and effective food parcel programme, a sports programme and a business development forum.

It was an honour and privilege to have had another opportunity to serve this community, and to see so many people of all colours and ages, come together.

 

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More Than a Ball and a Hoop.

KwaDabeka Sports Day.

Getting the youth more involved in the church was a vision for KwaDabeka Baptist this year and it seems the vision is becoming a reality.

To commemorate June 16th, Youth Day, CAST coordinator, Lungelo, organised for a Sports Event to be held at the church – an opportunity for the youth to socialise and enjoy their community beyond the weekly Friday night meetings. The KwaDabeka sports teams were joined by teams from Isaiah House Church in Molweni making a total of about 150 youth. The program ran from 9am until 4:30pm, with the youth participating in basketball, netball and soccer tournaments throughout the day. During the intervals of the sports programs, the crowds were entertained by ice-breaker activities and humorous commentating.

At lunch time, the coordinators took the opportunity of the gathering to give a short talk to the youth on “Awareness “– a topic which included points on drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and underage sex- and then do a salvation call at the end of the talk.

25 young people committed their lives to Jesus.

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Addington Sports Week.

The school holidays can be a scary time for the children of the Inner City because many come from neglectful households and dangerous areas. Without the safety net of going to school every day, many of these kids are left to roam around the streets of Durban Central. The risk of them getting involved in inappropriate activities is also very high during this period.

CAST, held a Sports Clinic for the children to attend from the 8th -11th July at Addington Primary School. The aim of this week was to provide the kids firstly with a safe space to come every day, and secondly, for them to be in an environment where they are free to just be children. A volunteer team from Lake Pointe Church in Texas along with volunteers from Westville Baptist took part in coaching basketball, netball and soccer everyday for the kids.

“The day was very eye-opening and fulfilling, and it was awesome to see joy in its rawest form.There definitely is a benefit to the community from outreaches like this because the children have an alternative outlet during the holidays”IMG_7789 IMG_7808   

Sports Ministry is about more than just kicking a ball around or shooting hoops. It’s an opportunity to form lasting relationships with kids and youth from the Durban communities and to have an impact on their lives that goes beyond a friendly game of soccer. Let us know if you are keen to be a part of this!

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The Love of a Child

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Imagine walking into a school and having the most beautiful children in Durban come running towards you and jumping into your arms even though they have never met you before in their life.

Well, that’s exactly what Addington Primary Holiday Club is like. Within mere minutes you will have one or two children adopting you for the week: wanting to play catches with you; giving you an endless supply of hugs; playing with your hair; sitting on your lap; and just generally giving you love.

But at the end of the day that is not the point of our holiday clubs, which we run annually during the June/July school holidays. The purpose of these holiday clubs is for kids- most of whom live in the poor and dangerous areas of the Durban Inner City- to have a safe place to come to during their holidays, to experience love and kindness that they may not get in their home environments, and to learn about God. Addington is one of the communities that CAST is associated with, which is why we choose to run a holiday club in that particular area.

This year our holiday club title was, “Mzansi- Where Friends Meet”, where the kids learnt what it means to be a friend and how they should choose their friends. We also had the opportunity of teaching them that Jesus wants to be their best friend and this saw many of the kids asking God into their hearts.

Something that was reiterated amongst the leaders during the week was the fact that we do not realise how something simple -like being a part of this holiday club for one week- may change the lives of these children for eternity.

Yes,  the running of the holiday club is tiring and requires a lot of energy and effort, but at the end of the week you leave that school wishing you could stay longer, because loving those children and being loved back by them is the easiest and most natural thing in the world.

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Add Some Drama To The Mix

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For a number of years, CAST has been running an after-school homework club at Addington Primary School. Volunteers assist small groups of children with their homework and provide an alternative to spending the afternoon on the streets. Children are referred by their school teachers and a lot of them have severe learning problems.

This year, one of our interns, Rebecca Benn, decided to add something extra to the Addington Primary Extra Curricular programme. As well as assisting with Homework Club, she has started up an after-school Drama Group for girls.

Not having any indication as to how well-attended the group would be or if there would even be anyone interested in coming, this venture was a courageous one.

“I expected there to be about 5 girls attending the first lesson and instead, I was faced with 15”

So it was a good start and it got even better, as every week the Drama group grew and grew. She now meets every Wednesday with about 24 Grade 6&7 girls and is looking at starting a Friday class for the Grade 4’s and 5’s.

This kind of extra mural activity not only keeps the children off the streets but also provides them with a platform and the freedom to express themselves which they may not get in their home environments. For girls who battle with anger or depression, drama is an effective tool in allowing them to deal with their emotions in a stable way.

With regards to Homework Club, Rebecca aims to do more for the children that have severe learning disabilities as well the children who don’t understand or speak English.There are a number of children who come from DRC and a lot who only speak Swahili or French. It’s hard for our volunteers to help these children with homework because of the language barrier, so we are looking at running one-on-one basic literacy classes with these children in the mornings before school.

So far, we are so pleased at the impact our homework club and drama group are having, but we can definitely do more.If you are keen or know of someone who wants to help out in any way with this ministry, please get in touch with someone from CAST. We always appreciate suggestions and support and we love seeing people in our community getting involved hands-on. Small things can have an eternal impact.