NET VIR PRET
Registered as a non-profit organisation with the Dept. of Social Development
NPO 055 086
1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD
Jaco Windvogel – Chairperson
Shane Petzer – Deputy Chair
Derek Joubert – Treasurer
Denisa Jackson – Secretary
Youth & Community Director – Peter Takelo
Youth Development Co-ordinator – Sudonia Kouter
Sports Co-ordinator – Angelo Endley
Sports Co-ordinator – Werner Windvogel
Admin Assistant – Mariane Jas
Established in 2003 by Ann Harries and Peter Takelo who recognised the need for a programme which would address the needs of children and youth in Barrydale and on the surrounding farms, Net vir Pret quickly took root in the township and was offered accommodation at the local BF Osthuizen Primary School.
In 2007 funding from the UK-based Education for Democracy in South Africa (EDSA), Stichting Projecten Zuid-Afrika (SPZA) and other donors made possible the appointment of a full-time director. Activities proliferated in the years that followed as the organisation grew and additional staff were appointed.
The BF Oosthuizen school, under the principalship of Mr Gerald Davids, has provided unstinting support over the years and we are particularly grateful to the two caretakers, Heinrich de Wet and François Kees, who, when they could be putting up their feet, are so welcoming to the crowds we bring for holiday schools four times a year.
The year under review, saw many new developments, chief among these were the acquisition of our own premises and transport made possible by EDSA, our long-standing UK partners.
The second was the establishment of a partnership with the Handspring Trust which is developing the skills of our staff and transforming our work.
PREMISES & TRANSPORT
The new premises at 8 Renonkel Avenue which had been renovated under the watchful eye of Joan Peters was officially opened on April 8. Having our own building has provided a much appreciated sense of security and also brought a new solidity to routines. Plans to extend the building are underway and are described below.
Discussions with Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones of the renowned Handspring Puppet Company and Jane Taylor, chair of the Handspring Trust, led to a commitment from the Trust to fund training for staff and Young Leaders to develop and enrich their work.
This training was provided by Jill Joubert (art & crafts), Pedro Espi Sanchis (music) and Lisa Espi (drama) – all highly regarded in their field – over a period of three separate weeks during the year. The training was intense and productive and the benefits for Net vir Pret can easily be seen in the description of our work that follows.
ACTIVITIES IN 2011/12
AFTER-SCHOOL CARE PROGRAMME
The After School Care ran between 14h00 and 17h00 on weekday afternoons throughout the year and was attended by about 40 children on a daily basis.
The programme was structured to include reading, story-telling, art & crafts, play-building and dance and there is a toy-library.
The “blikkies-band” which came out of this group (playing on instruments made from found objects), enjoys great popularity, is invited to perform far and wide and appeared on national television during the year.
Three of the youngsters instructed viewers on how to construct instruments out of recycled material (drums, flutes and thunder sticks) and the whole group then performed.
The School Outreach Programme ran throughout the year. Four farm schools (Weltevrede, Akkerboom, Lemoenshoek and Vleiplaas) were each visited once a week as well as the Grade R class at both the BF Oosthuizen Primary and Barrydale High Schools. The school programme included both story-telling and art and craft activities and sport. The Lemoenshoek class also featured on TV1.
Children making puppets at Lemoenshoek Farm School
The Sports Programme had two areas of operation. In the mornings sports activities were taken to the farm schools listed above. In the afternoon activities were brought to children in Barrydale between 14h00 and 17h00.
Apart from traditional games, the following sports were offered:
Summer: cricket, handball, bowling, tug-of-war, tennis, swimming
Winter: rugby, soccer, netball, bowling, table tennis
YOUNG LEADERS PROGRAMME
The 2-year programme focuses on self-awareness, leadership, team-building, conflict management, HIV Aids, alcohol and substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, as well as career guidance.
There were 23 participants in 2011. They were able to exercise their leadership skills by assisting with the running of the holiday schools described below and with other programme activities.
In October the group was taken on an excursion to Robben Island and also to a solo performance at the Baxter Theatre by Pieter Dirk Uys, veteran comic and social critic.
HOLIDAY SCHOOL PROGRAMME
Four Holiday Schools were run during the year during the four school vacations, each attended by 120+ youngsters between the ages of 5 and 16.
April: The 5-day event explored the local environment and how to care for it. Local residents offered support: Prof. Les Minter, a world authority on frogs brought live specimens to two sessions with the children and Peter Naryshkine ran sessions introducing our indigenous flora and fauna. The week ended with a clean-up of the hills surrounding the village.
July: The three-week event revolved around play-building. In the first week drama facilitator Hein Poole led a group of Young Leaders in a play-building venture that resulted in a lively production (Sevendelaan Comes to Barrydale! ) that dealt with trust and betrayal that was well-received by a large local audience.
In the second week children both in Barrydale and at Vleiplaas were conducted in their own play-building using nursery tales as a springboard. In the third week teenagers from the farms other than Vleiplaas were brought to the farmhouse for a play-building workshop. They slept over for four nights.
September: The 5-day event explored what can be made using nothing more than newspaper, glue and string. Children worked in teams, building baskets, trays and handbags and on the final day each group presented their work and the best was chosen.
December: Preparations for the Holiday School began at the end of November when the three trainers sponsored by the Handspring Trust came to work with staff and Young Leaders. The task was to prepare for a parade and performance to tale place at the lighting of the village Christmas Tree on December 16th – the National Day of Reconciliation.
The theme chosen for the event was the San story explaining the origins of the Milky Way and the week was spent workshopping a script for the performance and devising and building props. Five elements were identified (grass, fire, storm, stars and buck). Headdresses and wands were made for each, resulting in an array of fire sticks, rain trays, musical pipes and bokkie masks which were to be used in the procession. Movement sequences and songs were devised for each element.
Wonderful and creative work was produced and the participating staff and Young Leaders gained valuable new knowledge and skills.Week 1:
The children joined activities in the following week. We were privileged to have with us not only the three facilitators mentioned above, but also a team from the Handspring Puppet Company, including Adrian and Basil. They worked with staff, Young Leaders and children to put together an astounding parade that had giant puppets in the form of an enormous
songololo, twirling birds that flashed by in the wind and huge buck that kicked and sprang up in the air to the delight of the big crowd which had gathered. The children had been assigned to one of the five elements and they had made headdresses and fire, thunder, grass and star sticks as well as wonderful buck masks.
Accompanied by the township brass band, the procession moved into the village, the children singing the songs they had devised and playing the pipes and drums and gongs they had made. A performance of their play was mounted on the main road on a platform alongside the Tree created by the Magpie Collective.
The event was hugely successful. The children enjoyed it thoroughly and, most important, it provided a sharp learning experience for the staff and volunteers. They were extended in all sorts of ways and leant new approaches to their work with children and many new skills.
A total of 110 children registered for the second week where the main activity was the building of a Christmas play around the Birth of Jesus.
In different groups, children devised sequences for the play and constructed props. The sequences included The Three Wise Men, The Star of Bethlehem (which used star headdresses and star sticks), The Angel Gabriel, The Shepherd and their Sheep, Mary and Joseph Barred from the Inn, The Birth in the Manger.
The play was assembled from these contributions and a street performance was presented for the community on the evening of 23 December in the township.
In the final week, a group of 17 teenagers from the surrounding farms were invited to stay at the Farmhouse for a 4-day workshop. They were joined by 10 Young Leaders. Participants were divided into four groups and each had to choose a theme and devise a play to illustrate it.
The themes were The Lost Rag Doll (this involved a wicked wolf), a stick puppet presentation of Wolf! Wolf! What’s the Time?,
Far From Everything (about forced removals) and The Truth Will Set You Free.
CHRISTMAS TOY RIDE
An appeal for toy donations resulted in a huge load of 250 of them from the local community. On 23 December Father Christmas (aka staff member Angelo Endley) made a tour of the farms to distribute these gifts.
The children were completely taken by surprise and very pleased. It was clear that in most cases our gift was the only one the child would receive.
The art group, co-ordinated by local artist Herman van Wyk, was invited to visit Sanbona, the local wildlife reserve, where they spent the day sketching elephants and other animals from life.
In September they were the guests of the National Gallery in Cape Town where they were taken on a tour of the Peter Clarke retrospective exhibition by Annette Loubser, Chief Education Officer for Iziko Museums.
Each was then presented with a canvas and a wonderfully big box of good pastels and asked to choose one of the works and make his or her own version. Their work was mounted and two winners were chosen. After lunch, they were treated to a session the Planetarium.
The group was already preparing for an exhibition of work to open at the Magpie Gallery on the evening of the December 16 procession.
The Cape Town visit boosted their enthusiasm and then Peter Clarke offered to come up and open the exhibition. Mr Clarke is the doyen of South African community artists and this was a great honour.
There were 12 works on display, all big bold canvases, some depicting local vistas.
A visit to the matric class at the local High School showed that only 3 in a class of 35 had any clear plans for the following year. In response, Net vir Pret invited Robbie Gow Kleinschmidt, Director of the Association for Education Transformation (ASSET) in Cape Town, to address the group on options for further study. Following this, individual appointments were made for students needing advice on career-pathing, tertiary study, applications to institutions and bursary support.
In the end, with support from Barrydale Cares, a further 10 students were assisted to apply at tertiary institutions and 5 were successful, with 5 being offered bursary support by ASSET. Subsequent negotiations have led to the formation of a partnership with the Rural Education Aid Programme (REAP) and the counseling programme has continued in 2012.
The dream to extend the Net vir Pret building took a leap forward when local draughtsman Clive Strawbridge kindly offered to draw up plans. Clive came up with a handsome two storey extension running along the full length of back of the building, the bottom providing a huge playroom and the top dedicated space for a painting studio, a pottery and the like. He allowed for additional toilets and built a pleasing 3-D model.
A Building Committee met regularly under the chairmanship of Net vir Pret friend and benefactor Michael Chanarin. The challenge now is to find funding for this venture.
• Director Peter Takelo and Sports Co-ordinator Werner Windvogel attended a 2-day conference in June on Perspectives on Leadership and Development in South Africa sponsored by the DG Murray Trust and presented byTsiba Education.
• Alouise Lynch, education officer at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, with Net vir Pret acting as facilitator, ran a programme of educational visits to local schools including farms schools during the first quarter which focused on local biodiversity.
• Net vir Pret ran an art-based Peace Project sponsored by the Swellendam chapter of the Lions Club during the year.
• Volunteer Herman Witbooi who had transformed our barren yard into a thriving indigenous garden was offered an internship by the Dept. of Social Development in October and placed at Net vir Pret. Herman set about creating a food garden as a project and his team produced a crop of tomatoes, green peppers, spinach, butternut, cabbage, chillies and gooseberries. He was invited to a training week in Stellenbosch offered by Brazilian presenters under the auspices of the Dept of Agriculture and Land Reform which dealt with indigenous seeds and food plants.
• Net vir Pret continued to act for the Dept Social Development as a conduit for funding for Nutrition Programmes in Barrydale and Swellendam.
• The Blikkiesband was invited to perform at TB Day events organised by the Dept of Health on the 16th March (Barrydale), 17th (Swellendam) and 24th Grabouw. At the latter, the Young Leaders also presented a play they had devised with TB as a theme.
VOLUNTEERS AND VISITORS
• Janice Mentz continued to provide much appreciated weekly support to the Toy Library while she was in Barrydale.
• Barrydale yoga teacher Atma invited the Young Leaders (in two groups) to several full day yoga and art activities during the year.
• In preparation for an exhibition in Spain, Michael Chanarin engaged the help of five Young Leaders to do illustration work for him. A display of their work was held at the Magpie Gallery in December.
• UK visitor Marion Barton set up an exchange programme between children at the Orchard School in Canterbury and in Barrydale and also raised R3232 for the Building Fund.
• Stephan Leemhuis and Maaike Ransdorp, volunteers from the Netherlands, were with us for a month in January helping wherever they could. Their particular contribution was to start a swimming club at pools kindly made available by the Dungbeetle Restaurant and Katidale B&B.
• The full Board of new donor the DG Murray Trust honoured us by visiting in August and were entertained to a performance of rieldans and the blikkiesband.
• In December SPZA co-chair Martje Nooij and her husband, Ricus Boerma visited and were able to join in the holiday school activities, preparing for the Dec 16 Parade. Ongoing sponsors and champions of our work, they visit every year and we greatly appreciate their interest.
• In February we were very pleased to welcome Ann Harries, co-founder of Net vir Pret, now resident in Oxfordshire. She was with us for a short week during which we were able to show her the progress that has been made since her last visit and we wished she could have stayed longer.
• Hard on the heels of Ann came EDSA Director Judy Brown for a fortnight who was joined later by Ceri Johnson – a teacher in Oxford. With the energetic enthusiasm that we
have grown accustomed to, Judy threw herself into tidying up the admin systems and rewriting job descriptions and put together a fundraising appeal for the Toy Library.
The Toy Library was looking a little worn and weary; Judy and Ceri weeded out the broken and unused toys and restored it to an attractive and interesting place.
Ceri immersed herself in the Holiday School and not only joined in activities especially with the smaller children, but also helped with the preparation of meals and the cleaning up afterwards. She brought with her much appreciated gifts – puppets, learning materials, science experiment equipment, balls, beanbags and books. We enjoyed having her with us and look forward to her next visit.
A corner of the restored Toy Library
Our faithful donors, EDSA (Education for Democracy in South Africa – UK) and SPZA (Stichting Projecten Zuid Afrika – NL), who have been with us since the beginning, continued to provide their support. Breadline Africa offered a much appreciated once-off donation and the DG Murray Trust committed to a substantial 3-year grant. Two partnerships were entered into with the Department of Social Development; the first provided funding to deliver the Diversion Programme and the second for two Nutrition Programmes – of which 10% was income for Net vir Pret which acted as a conduit. Smaller donations came from Lovelife, Swellendam Tourism, Alex Pickford, Kevin Turner, NJ David, Jean Minter, Barrydale Cares, Overberg District, Barrydale Hotel, Karoo Animal Protection Society and a group of German tourists.
|DG Murray Trust||
|Dept Social Development||
|Dept Social Development||