Our Masi-team recently went on a personal growth training by FAMSA, families South Africa, which was facilitated by Bongi and Fezeka Magaba. The main objectives was for the team was develop self knowledge and have experienced self growth, to have improved communication skills and gained insight into reactions and behaviour regarding conflict situation. The training also dealt with values-personal values that guide you and make you the person that you are and the acceptance of others, understanding how our own experiences shape our perceptions and behaviours , learning to remove something’s in our lives so that there is space to grow and bonding as a group, gaining experience in giving and receiving feedback.
The training was held over a period of 3-days, the training looked at exploring yourself, who you are, discovering things about yourself and looking at what factors have contributed to who you are today. In order to do this the facilitators incorporated activities to establish who you are, where you are coming from and what are the things that are keeping you going. Looking at yourself with a different view through realizing the things that make you happy and sad, and different types of conflict and how you react towards conflict. The team had so much fun at the training, they learnt so much more about each other that they otherwise would not have known, through sharing the most difficult stories of their lives. They learnt the importance of ‘me time’ and gained knowledge and insight into being a better person.
Our Grade 5 learners met Porcia and Jenny, nature conservers at the Swartkops river estuary. The Swartkops river meets up with the open sea and the point at which the two meet is called the Swartkops estuary. They learnt about the life cycles and food chains of the sea creatures that live in the estuary. The study conducted looked at reasons as to why fish choose Swartkops estuary as a nursery, the five main reasons which they focused on were: Nutrients, because the water is not too salty;  The water temperature is good for the fish;  There are no larger fish which can be seen as predators in the estuary which could potentially harm the smaller fish; There are no ships which pass through the estuary leaking oil which is harmful to the fish; and  There are no strong waves which could wash away the fish. The purpose of the excursion was to look at how these creatures live in the water and how they survive, also looking at other aspects which affect how they live and survive such as waste pollution around the estuary. They learnt that mostly crabs, prawns, tiny fish, bloodworms and tapeworms are the types of creatures that live in the estuary and call it home.
Masifunde continues to further its vision and mission by stimulating and motivating international cooperation. Early this year for about five weeks Masifunde had a boost from students of the École Spéciale d’Architecture, France. The seven students were in Port Elizabeth on their internship to assist Kevin Kimwelle, who is researching on ways to encourage to sustainable development in the community for Masifunde. École Spéciale d’Architecture is the oldest school of architecture in France, founded in 1865. It is also the only private school of architecture in France and a member of the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles – the only Grande Ecole dedicated to architecture and the city of Paris.
The students assisted in the mapping of Masifunde’s precinct area in Walmer Township. This included mapping the demographic and population data with focus on the resources and assets within the community. They also developed green concepts using alternative material and technologies. During this period Kimwelle and the French team limited themselves to the source the alternative materials to avoid adding carbon miles (the sum of all emissions of carbon dioxide induced by an activity/s in a given time frame based on the fuel consumption). They collected and recycled various materials; paper tubes to the easily accessible pallets. In exchange the students had an opportunity visit and engage with the Port Elizabeth’s art, architectural and cultural life. They visited the apartheid Red Location museum, Port Elizabeth’s 2010 World Cup Stadium, and trailed the cities heritage route among other things.
The French students visit also coincided with the celebrations of the Élysée Treaty (also known as the Treaty of Friendship established between France and Germany to foster partnership and cooperation). The celebrations where held at the Port Elizabeth Alliance Française and celebrated in partnership with the German Chair in Port Elizabeth. The students also assisted in the research work of Indalo, another green initiative project in Port Elizabeth by the Alliance Française of Port Elizabeth that promotes sustainable development with its global network.
Though they are met with stares and questions when they are out and about, four young German women who are living in Walmer Township say that they are loving their experience . Simone Strobel, 26 (far right) says “My favorite part of living in the township is sitting on the roof and staring at sunsets”. The article of their experience has been published in our local newspaper THE HERALD please see above for the complete article
In the beginning of the year our Learn2Swim facilitators were overwhelmed with the number of learners who were interested in learning to swim. After a very successful year Our Learn2Swim team ended off their year with an excursion and prize-giving. Our learners spent some time with the Bay Nelson Mandela Bay Lifesavers. They did their warm-ups and were eager to use their practical skills which they were taught during the year in the sea. The lifesaver also showed them how to swim with the waves which they thoroughly enjoyed, and were awarded certificates for their years efforts.
Our grade 6 learners hosted a ‘Religion & Tradition’ Exhibition on Saturday 20 April 2013 from 10am till noon, at the Xolelanani Youth Centre situated in Walmer Township. The main aim of the exhibition was to introduce what tradition is through showcasing the different clothes that different religions wear for various celebrations and types of dances, these included traditions like the Xhosa and Zulu cultures, also looking at their beliefs and how they differ from each other. Our learners welcomed their guests with a typical Xhosa traditional dance after which guests where led into the exhibition room which included a stall-like set-up which displayed the various costumes and jewellery. Two learners were responsible for each stall and as their guests visited their stalls they were required to enlighten their guests about the garments displayed at their stall. To end off the exhibition each guest indulged in a Xhosa traditional meal which included – chicken stew & pap which was made by the learners as a token of appreciation.