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life skills

 

Life Skills Programme


Born in Africa’s life skills programme intends to expose Born in Africa children to the broader environment outside of their normal daily routine. The goal is to transfer basic or necessary skills to become well rounded, independent young adults.

 

Background & Challenges

Children in the Born in Africa program come from poor and disadvantaged communities, which leave them with little possibilities to broaden their view and experience their environment.

Because of the harsh living conditions, there is little room for children to be a child since they are asked to help out with household activities and to help taking care of their younger siblings. The limited after-school activities or sports clubs that exist in the area are not easily accessible for these children because of the distance and/or the money that is needed to participate.

It is of vital importance that children get to know the world in order to have a realistic image of what lies ahead in their future. Knowing what possibilities they might have and what they need to do to reach their potential is key. If children are excluded from developing their creative skills or discovering their hidden talents, they fall prey to apathy and become prone to abuse.

There is enough awareness as to the importance of developing “soft skills’ in schools, but unfortunately, the schools lack funding to take up this role and take the children on outings or educational trips.

What We Do


A specially assigned educational coordinator organizes camps, outings, swimming lessons together with volunteers. They act as role models and show the children how to be creative with little means.

Every year 9/10 camps are organised for a specific age group with an accompanying theme. For the younger children, the camps are less formal and filled with games and fun, playing freely within the bounds of teamwork and respect.

The older children are also provided with a fun camp but with more focus on team building, life skills, problem-solving and even health and safety. There is also room for career counselling with visits from professionals in specific fields.

The children are provided with meals and snacks as well as fun activities such as quizzes, movies and games

Every year 10 camps are organised, each for a specific age group and defined focus. For the youngest children, the camps are filled with fun and games to allow them to spend a couple of days playing freely within the boundaries of teamwork and respect.

The older children are also provided with a fun camp, but here there is more of a focus on team building, life skills, creative problem solving, and prevention.

The oldest group is also enjoying fun camps, but the focus lies heavily on learning to implement life skills in their daily lives. There is also room for career guidance, often combined with visits from professionals to give testimonies about their jobs.

Local organisations help out by lowering entrance costs to hiking trails, on boat trips, into wildlife centres and for activities. The kids get to see with wild animals in sanctuaries and even in their natural environment on nature hikes or boat during the holidays we organise outings to nature reserves, the beach, and game parks for the children who have participated in our homework classes and who have attended the individual and group sessions.

Every year we run a swimming programme with a different group of Born in Africa students in order to ensure all of our kids at each school and each grade get a turn to learn how to swim. We do a pre-test and post-test with the kids to assess their abilities and improvements.

These lessons are fun and educational but also vital as every year in South Africa children drown in the ocean, swimming pools, lakes or rivers. Teaching them basic skills and the ability to keep themselves above the water will help prevent these terrible occurrences from happening.

The children learn how to hold their breath underwater, swim underwater with their eyes open, hold themselves above the water, how to kick properly and how to use their arms properly. They also get free time in order to enjoy themselves in the water and for some this helps with a fear of the water too.

Not only for their own safety but also to widen possible job opportunities in this water-rich area, swimming lessons are organized. Pre- and post tests are performed to measure their progress.

We have also linked with another local project called Adopt a Swimmer, where they take training further with experienced instructors. See their website www.adoptaswimmer.co.za.

Children can participate in different after-school activities such as woodwork, painting, needlework, and other articles they can use at home.