A Shot of Life

Good Work Foundation (GWF) has recently partnered with vida e caffè on a nationwide campaign to support innovative new education technologies and practices in South Africa’s rural spaces.

Until 22 March 2015, customers at vida e caffè espresso bars can add “A Shot of Life” (five rand) to their bill with the proceeds going to GWF’s Open Learning Academy model, which allows rural schools to outsource their digital learning to a GWF-operated digital learning centre.

The Open Learning Academy model that GWF has built is based on high-tech “hubs” supporting satellite public-sector schools, and uses the latest education technology to dramatically improve English, math’s, and digital literacy levels in primary school students.

"I'm a winner." Children from Siyamukela Primary School give the Math's apps a run for their money.

“I’m a winner.” Children from Siyamukela Primary School give the Math’s apps a run for their money.

“We cannot expect our country’s rural schools to build and maintain expensive media centres,” says GWF CEO, Kate Groch. “We cannot expect them all to maintain the latest educational software and apps, and we certainly cannot expect them to have the ‘digital’ expertise on their staff.

In the meantime, more and more rural students are left behind because they cannot navigate the digital world. Our model of “hub and satellite” addresses this problem. Rural schools are able to plug into an independent, established centre of digital expertise where – instead of 50 students per teacher, we have a ratio of one student to one tablet.”


Look out for the “A Shot of Life” posters across vida e caffè stores.

According to the model, five public-sector schools and up to 6000 children can plug-in to a single centre. Each centre: (1) Delivers state-of-the-art digital literacy and facilities; (2) Provides teacher training and support; (3) Delivers lessons in the cloud; (4) Provides each satellite school with a full-time digital facilitator; and (5) Guides the school’s digital curriculum.

GWF is currently piloting the Open Learning Academy model at three South African digital learning centres, with 12 participating rural public-sector schools.

“We are so excited to be able to partner with vida e caffe,” says Groch. “Both organisations have a vision that the rural children we are helping today will one day be stepping off an African street into a bustling coffee shop. They’ll be ordering a cappuccino, checking mail, and interacting with the world online. If we use technology strategically, we can change the lives of an entire generation.”

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vida e caffè in Sandton City.