In the past few years, we have worked on developing a range of creative activities for teenagers so that the After Care children remain within the embrace of the Project when they reach their teens.
The workshops are set-up in a creative space, where the youngsters can feel free to experiment. This develops their self-esteem and makes them more creative and self-confident.
- The Music Programme (initiated in 2013) provides tuition in guitar (electric lead and bass, acoustic), keyboard/piano, percussion, marimba, meets 4 times a week from 14h00 to 17h00 and presently reaches 25 youngsters.
Under the guidance of Gari Crawford, the programme gives special encouragement to those who wish to pursue music seriously and two jazz groups have already progressed to the stage where they are commissioned to perform at the local hotel on Saturday nights, have played in the Swellendam Mall and are often engaged to play at weddings and other events.
The senior group, the Jazz Monkeys were featured on the TV2 show Pasella in 2015.
A girls’ jazz group has recently formed and the acquisition of junior guitars has encouraged several youngsters to join in and there is now an under-11 band as well.
2. The Art Class meets on Wednesday afternoons and runs an intensive 3-day session each school vacation. The group, presently numbering 6, exhibited (and sold) their work at the Barrydale Blooms Festival last October. Under the guidance of Joan Peeters the group are producing work of high quality.
3. The Craft Workshop started late in 2014 with the help of Michelle Berry who guided the participants in designing and producing attractive cushion covers. It now meets weekly under Cherie Roe Dirkson and consists of 9 youngsters – 4 boys and 5 girls. A different theme is presented each week and the young people are producing a range of striking objects, including cushion covers, serviette holders, paper plates, beads and jewellery.
These creations are either taken home as gifts or can be sold via the Barrydale Art Hotel, which is a great supporter of our endeavours. Half such income goes to the youngster who produced the work, and the other half goes towards buying new materials.
4. The new Pottery Studio is run by Jean Bittkau and meets twice a week. The studio is well-equipped and boasts its own kiln. The young participants are producing a range of pots, plates, bowls, chiming bells and the like which were also offered for sale at the Barrydale Blooms Festival.
Many children in the village and on the farms are victims of the Alcohol Foetal Syndrome. These children find it hard to learn and get distracted easily. Net Vir Pret tries to work in a different creative way with them so that they too can grow and develop.