GWF & Sabi Sabi Launch the Lillydale Digital Learning Campus

Tuesday 13 November – Good Work Foundation (GWF) together with its partners, Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Pfunanani Trust (SSPT), the Lillydale Literacy Project and the All Heart Fund, launched Lillydale Digital Learning Campus, the foundation’s fourth digital learning campus as part of the Hazyview Cluster.

From left to right: Albert Wessels (Albert Wessels Trust), Sandra Sebuyi (Hlomani High School), Honourable Advocate Ngoake Ramatlhodi, Mr. Jacques Smit (Sabi Sabi Marketing Director), Isaac Hlatshwayo (Sabi Sand Pfunanani Trust), Rabie Mhlaba (Lillydale Ward Councilor), Lindiwe Hlatshwayo (Ximhungwe Circuit Manager), Kate Groch (GWF CEO) and her daughter Maya Groch (front), and Fumani Mathumbu (Lillydale Head of Campus)

From left to right: Albert Wessels (Albert Wessels Trust), Sandra Sebuyi (Hlomani High School), Honourable Advocate Ngoake Ramatlhodi, Mr. Jacques Smit (Sabi Sabi Marketing Director), Isaac Hlatshwayo (Sabi Sand Pfunanani Trust), Rabie Mhlaba (Lillydale Ward Councilor), Lindiwe Hlatshwayo (Ximhungwe Circuit Manager), Kate Groch (GWF CEO) and her daughter Maya Groch (front), and Fumani Mathumbu (Lillydale Head of Campus)

Lillydale-signage

By 2020, the Hazyview Cluster of digital learning campuses will comprise of six campuses , all of them serving the rural communities that hug the western boundary of the Greater Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Once fully operational, the Hazyview Cluster will provide access to digital learning programmes for more than 26,000 youth and scholars.

Working closely with the Mpumalanga Department of Education, the Hazyview Cluster already supports digital learning for more than 22 schools, supporting the urgent task of leveraging technology to create wonder-filled learning and student agency. As well as education technology supporting improvements in English and math’s, students are already coding, programming robots, and creating their own blogs.

GWF Open Learning Academy Facilitator, Teaman Manzini, acts as the guide for a group of Ezweni Primary School students. Students are split into groups of no more than 10, and are encouraged to work together to solve problems using gamified apps.

GWF Open Learning Academy Facilitator, Teaman Manzini, acts as the guide for a group of Ezweni Primary School students. Students are split into groups of no more than 10, and are encouraged to work together to solve problems using gamified apps. Thank you to Investec Rhino Lifeline for kindly donating all of the technology and software to get Lillydale Digital Learning Campus up and running!

The digital learning campuses also offer year-long programmes for young adults. In an area where youth unemployment is as high as 65 percent, 75 percent of GWF’s 2017 alumni have sought out full-time jobs, internships, or positions at South African universities.

The Honourable Advocate Ngoake Ramadhlodi, the first Premier of Limpopo Province and a former South African national minister, said that the new digital learning campus was “a sterling contribution to the future of our country. A colossal project.”

Kate Groch, GWF Chief Executive, in her speech mentioned the unprecedented collaborative support that the foundation has received from the lodges within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. At Lillydale Digital Learning Campus, Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is the primary funding partner and, together with the support of the Albert Wessels Trust, the Sabi Sabi executive management team has worked tirelessly over the last three years with GWF to see this project come to life.

Mr. Jacques Smit, Sabi Sabi Marketing Director.

Mr. Jacques Smit, Sabi Sabi Marketing Director.

The same can be said about community collaboration. From Hlomani High School, to the Mpumalanga Department of Education, the Sabi Sand Pfunanani Trust, the local community structures, and the Lillydale Literacy Project, there has been an enormous amount of support from the community. There is no doubt that South Africans, rural or not, understand the urgency of exploring new ways to learn in a world that demands dynamic new skills and ideas.

During the launch, the campus partners also had the opportunity to pay their respects to the late Sam Nzima, who passed away earlier in 2018. Sam Nzima, born and raised in Lillydale, was a South African photographer made famous by his photo of Hector Pieterson. In honour of Mr. Nzima, a GWF alumni, Hlengiwe Nkuna, created a beautiful painting celebrating Sam Nzima’s photography. The painting was presented to the Nzima family and will be displayed permanently at the Lillydale campus.

GWF Head of Development, Ryan James, (left) and GWF CEO, Kate Groch, present a Sam Nzima tribute painting to the late Sam Nzima’s son, Madoda.

GWF Head of Development, Ryan James, (left) and GWF CEO, Kate Groch, present a Sam Nzima tribute painting to the late Sam Nzima’s son, Madoda.

The Good Work Foundation choir in front of the new Lillydale Digital Learning Campus.

The Good Work Foundation choir in front of the new Lillydale Digital Learning Campus.

“As we celebrate the launch of this beautiful, world class and wonder-filled learning space today,” said Ms. Groch,  “I remind you of the Martin Luther King quote: ‘Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.’”

More information

Good Work Foundation (GWF) has been working with grassroots education in Africa since 2003. The mission of GWF is to uplift rural communities through access to world-class education and, to this end, GWF was one of the first organisations in Africa to bring tablet computing and learning apps to rural learners, and now, they are the only sub-Saharan organisation working with Stanford University on inquiry-based learning.

GWF currently operates four digital learning campuses where each campus is made up of academies that deliver basic literacy and career training to school-aged and adult learners. Open Learning Academies focus on English literacy, math’s literacy, digital literacy, conservation and life skills for school-aged learners. Bridging Academies provide vocational skills courses and digital literacy tuition to adult learners. In all areas, and collaborating with strategic partners, GWF focuses on delivering digital curriculums, state-of-the-art facilities and expert tuition.

www.goodworkfoundation.org

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