Over the course of 2016, ALERT has been implementing its Basic Life Skills syllabus at the Rose of Charity Orphanage in Victoria Falls.
During the last week of March, we conducted two very successful Kids’ Club sessions, which saw the learners focusing on the topics of “reflection” and “innovation.”
For the children’s first session they took part in a lesson entitled “Looking After Myself”, where they were given nine options for what was important in their lives.
Two groups formed from this activity – one group that believed food was the most important to life, and one that chose school as paramount. The learners then broke into two groups and had a debate, with the group of girls who chose school as most important making the strongest case for their choice. They successfully argued that with a good education, all the other eight options – including food, health, happiness and money among others – could be obtained.
The second session of the week was all about “up-cycling”, and included a craft activity, which really got the kids into this important topic. With the objective being to instill innovation and creativity in the learners, our volunteers and staff set them on a task of “up-cycling” various materials after they had received a lesson on the importance of recycling and reusing waste. Learners spent the afternoon creating pot plant holders, candlesticks and jewelry out of discarded items like bottles and plastic.
Over the course of the past few months, our Kids’ Club has seen a massive improvement in the willingness of the afterschool club attendees to participate. With an improved attention to our staff and volunteers, the course activities are becoming more and more successful at drawing in the children for the duration of the Club.
About Kids Club
Kids Club is our opportunity to implement our Basic Life Skills Course. The aim of the course is to assist children and adolescents to gain essential skills needed to operate effectively in society in an active and constructive way. Topics in the course include; self-esteem, coping with stress, effective communication, decision making, problem solving and non-violent conflict resolution. The course has been developed by David Brackstone of John Taylor High School, UK using a programme in use at that school and adapted for use in our schools in Africa.
About ALERT Education Centres (AEC)
Basic Life Skills courses are one aspect of the work of our ALERT Education Centres. The AEC operations at Livingstone (Zambia), Victoria Falls and Antelope Park (Zimbabwe) are all aimed at supporting the formal education system by offering extra-curricular activities to enhance student learning, and assisting with access to education for vulnerable students. Current programs include the provision of classes in conservation education, basic life skills, and English literacy. In addition, we provide funding to pay the fees of vulnerable students to take part in education from pre-school to university level, and fully funded internship and facilitated research placements for university level students. Future programmes will incorporate classes in numeracy, health & nutrition, physical education and business studies/entrepreneurship, as well as a variety of vocational training. The AEC is operated in association with Coventry University (UK), Midlands State University (Zimbabwe) and Copperbelt University (Zambia), and with the assistance of David Brackstone of John Taylor High School (UK). The first AEC, at Antelope Park, was opened in 2012 by the then Zimbabwe Minister of Education, Mr. David Coltart.
Join us at the AEC
There are a number of ways you can join our AEC projects to assist in the delivery of the AECs various programmes. Click on the following links for further information:
- Those with some teaching experience can join our Teaching in Africa internship
- Researchers interested in assisting us assess AEC programmes can join our Research in the Community Internship
- If your interest is in teaching about conservation, you can also join the programme as a Conservation Education Intern
- Even if you have no teaching experience, there is still much you can do to help deliver our various courses as part of our volunteer programmes
Support the AEC
If you would like to support the activities of our AEC operations please click here.