“Partnerships are about making a better world and better people; a better you and me.” Prof John Volmink.
IPN2012 has come and gone!
MIET AFRICA would like to thank all our delegates, speakers and organizers, partners and sponsors who made the 11th International education business Partnership Network conference, held from the 25-28 September 2012 such a great success.
Partnerships form the foundation upon which MIET AFRICA builds its work. This includes partnerships with government, business, NGOs, development agencies and school communities. It was therefore a real privilege to partner with the International education business Partnership Network on their 2012 conference.
The conference theme of “Learn to Earn” was especially significant as we struggle to bridge the gap between South Africa’s education and training system and the workplace. As the local host, we were delighted to welcome such a diverse group of delegates to Durban –
Eyethu Impilo (Our Lives) is the apt name proposed by learners for the Youth Friendly Health Centres (YFCH) that have been set up to service all RHIVA schools. These mobile clinics were introduced because learners felt there was no confidentiality in their local clinics and were therefore not keen to get help there.
The services offered in the mobile health centre are:
Sexual and reproductive health information: contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV related issues.
Career guidance, with access to the internet
Displays of books relevant to adolescents, including teen novels such as the popular titles Sugar Daddy and Broken Promises.
How the YFHC works
Each RHIVA school is visited twice a month for two successive days where possible.
Afternoon information sessions are conducted by primary health care professionals –
How can we close the gap between policy and practice by better preparing teachers for inclusive and democratic classroom practice? From November 2011 to December 2013, MIET AFRICA collaborated with Stockholm University and representatives from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to research democratic and inclusive approaches to learning in teacher education and come up with recommendations and guidance for pre-service and in-service teacher training.
The country partner teams met in Windhoek, Namibia in March 2012 to present and discuss findings from desktop reviews of the status of inclusive education and teacher training in each of the four countries involved.Since then, the partners have been working to create a consolidated document that considers the following aspects from each country: 1) inclusive education policy, 2) existing pre- and in-service teacher training programmes and 3) a literature review evaluating to what extent teacher programmes are preparing teachers for inclusive and democratic classrooms.
“Aaaa…..li…li….li….saphindesadlasingasaqali!” These ululations are prominent at RHIVA advocacy events thus far, and express the profound impact RHIVA has had within the Vulindlela community. The RHIVA team recently hosted advocacy events across 14 RHIVA schools. This year’s advocacy work encompasses RHIVA learners, parents and community members.
A high point has been the presentation of certificates to parents who participated in the gardening training last year. Community members were very happy and emphasized that MIET AFRICA has been the only organization that caters for their needs as communities.
For the RHIVA learners, a giant board game on Staying Healthy has been the highlight of the advocacy event as they have had an opportunity to play in bigger groups and interact with their peers. In most of the schools we found it difficult to stop the learners from playing the game when the time was up! They were highly delighted to receive individual boardgames,
A strong message around supporting children and protecting them against all forms of abuse went out to schools and community members attending the Child Protection Activity held by MIET AFRICA and Fumana High School in the Vryheid District on 29 May.
Over 700 people attended the Child Protection Activity, which was coupled with service delivery by various government departments including the Departments of Education,Social Development, Health, Agriculture and Home Affairs. The activity was aimed at increasing community awareness of different forms of abuse and also at instilling a sense of protection of children both in schools and in the community.
The guest speaker, Mrs. Dludla, the DoE Social Worker, spoke powerfully about sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, child labour, neglect, statutory rape, HIV and AIDS and the right to education. Parents were warned against hiding bad things happening in their homes or communities. She also reminded educators to facilitate the learning process effectively by supporting children and protecting them from any form of abuse.
Schools in the Othukela District, KZN, have been chosen for the pilot of an exciting new phase in inclusive school development that will be supported by MIET AFRICA. The learning from the pilot will be shared with all countries participating in the Inclusive Education in Action: Worldwide Experience Project.
Leadership of nominated schools in the Othukela District, together with District officials and MIET AFRICA, attended a meeting earlier on this year at which the new project was introduced by Mrs Khumsila Naidoo of the Provincial office. She explained how so far the inclusive education strategy had managed to reach mainstream schools around the full service schools,and that much effort had gone into establishing institution level support teams (ILSTs), circuit based support teams (CBSTs) and district based support teams (DBSTs).
However, the role of the special school as resource centre (SSRC) had not been fully explored. The new project will give the opportunity to pilot development of a continuum of support across all three levels of support in the system.
A Grade 12 learner at Huba High who joined the Reducing HIV in Adolescents(RHIVA) programme two years ago, celebrates what she has gained:
“… to test for HIV/AIDS is a wonderful experience with a reward at the end… because I know my status and can keep living healthy by the knowledge I am getting from RHIVA …and the best part is…this information is for free, absolutely no costs involved…”.
The learner says she has even improved academically since RHIVA has taught her that education and hard work will enable her to pursue her dreams for the future. With both her parents deceased, the RHIVA cash incentives enable her to buy her own toiletries – a big help at home where her grandmother is already struggling to feed them.
“I’m aiming to make my grandmother and myself proud with the information that I’ve gained from this wonderful youth project…
From 22 to 27 July, MIET AFRICA participated in an exciting opportunity to share lessons learned and success stories with partners from around the world: the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington DC, themed “Turning the Tide Together”.
Two representatives from MIET AFRICA were among the 17 000 delegates from 183 countries at the conference. They heard key international leaders in the worlds of policy, science, philanthropy and entertainment discussing progress to date in the fight against HIV and AIDS, as well as work that still needs to be done.
MIET AFRICA also shared an exhibition stand with other South African NGOs that work with children, namely: the Regional Inter Agency Task Team on Children and AIDS- Eastern and Southern Africa (RIATT-ESA); the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund; the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI); and Voluntary Service Overseas- Regional AIDS Initiative of Southern Africa (VSO RAISA).
Along with the other benefits of attending the conference,