Net Vir Pret Building Extension Progress Report No.3, 09.03.14

R306 552,02 later and all with the help of many generous and wonderful people we have a building that when finished will make a major impact on our community. We knew we only had enough to get started and by the end of this week we will be up to roof level.  Regretfully this is as far as we can go without further help.
Installing the roof, glazing the windows and hanging two exterior doors to weather tight the building will cost another R100,000 (£5,500, $9,100). To complete the interior, plumbing, electrics, plaster finishes, staircase, a further R150,000 (£8,200, $13,750).

We urgently need help to complete this project.

extensionsApril-5The new double-storey extension will provide a spacious playroom, a pottery, an art studio, a music room and an E-centre.
Please contact Derek if you can in any way help bring this building into use before the winter and give the children of Barrydale a place to learn, read, dance, paint and make music.
Derek’s contact details: (home) 028 5721979; (cell)  073 26 44 399; (email) derek.joubert@gmail.com

Those who have helped so far:

the late Lyn Alison; Zoe Wicomb; Michael & Carmel Chanarin; Brian Wides & family; Clive Strawbridge; Andew Whittingdale; Marion Barton; Daniel Barton; EA Storey; P Gurney; A Stone; M Wyld; Clive Nel; Joachim Bittkau; Willie van der Berg; Lynn Hilton; Sharon Dean; Enrique Zapata; R Brown; M Whitman; Janet Vaux; Ruth Thackeray; A Ockleford; Tela Zasloff; David & Susan Hall; Cheryl Walker; Oona Xoxo; Tanya Barben; D-Tox Cycling Club; Loraine Cripwell; Peter Simon; The Dragon School (UK); The Orchard School (Canterbury); Education for Democracy in South Africa; Pierre le Grange; Joyce Minnie; Daniel Southey; Jean du Plessis; Atma; Anne Page; Kim van Lingen; Geoff Budlender; Mitzi & Nils Hugo; Riekie Harm; Chabad de Jaeger; Nigel Hewitt; Heidi Nel; Richard & Heather Glasstone; Dick & Leila Pointer; Leon McLintock; Dennis Riley; Adrianne Blue; Terri Williams; Leslie Howard; John Sacks, Chris & Margie Middleton; a group of US tourists.

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Net Vir Pret Building Extension Progress Report No2 09.12.13

We have been digging for a fortnight and the workmen have moved a mountain of rock, using picks and shovels rather than machinery for fear of disturbing the existing building. In the coming week, a start will be made on the foundations.

In the meantime news of the passing of Nelson Mandela has saddened the world. Net vir Pret issued the following appeal which was read out at churches in Barrydale on the day of mourning, Sunday 8 December.

MANDELA APPEAL

Next week Net vir Pret will start pouring the foundations for the extension to our Youth Centre.

The new double-storey building will bring opportunities to and change the lives of Barrydale children

for the better in all the years to come.

Net vir Pret is struggling to meet costs and we ask you to pledge a bag of cement to this venture in

honour of Nelson Mandela at this sad time. A foundation stone in his name will be laid to commemorate

the event.

WPK have opened an account on our behalf at the cost price of R85 per bag and will arrange delivery.

Help us lay a strong foundation for the future of the precious children of our village in honour of a great man.

Acknowledgements:

A very big thanks to Geoff Budlender, Mitzi and Nils Hugo, Terri Williams, Chabad de Jaeger and an anonymous donor who have donated either cash or cement in the past fortnight.

If you can help in any way please contact Derek Joubert at 073 26 44 399 or on derek.joubert@gmail.com

Our intention is to peramanently acknowledge everyone who has helped us on the building itself when we have the official opening in February.

Those who have helped so far:

the late Lyn Alison; Zoe Wicomb; Clive Strawbridge; Andew Whittingdale; Marion Barton; EA Storey; P Gurney; A Stone; M Wyld; Jan Vaux; Joachim Bittkau; Willie van der Berg; Tela Zasloff (USA); The Dragon School (UK); The Orchard School (Canterbury); Education for Democracy in South Africa; Pierre le Grange; Joyce Minnie; Daniel Southey; Jean du Plessis; Anne Page; Kim van Lingen; Geoff Budlender; Mitzi & Nils Hugo; Chabad de Jaeger; Terri Williams

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Net Vir Pret Building Extension Progress Report No1

After 2 years of planning we are delighted to report:  WE HAVE STARTED !!!!

At last, the desperately needed extension to the Net vir Pret Youth Centre is underway. A double-storied structure with two spacious floors, it will offer the opportunity for exciting new ventures and will take the work of Net vir Pret to new levels. We are aiming towards a completion date in mid-February 2014.

Acknowledgements:

A very big thanks to Daniel Southey, Andrew Whittingdale and Pierre le Grange who have helped over this past week with getting the project going by providing important materials and services. And to Willie van der Berg for handling the drawing and planning application. Many others have been involved so far and they are listed below.

Funding

The extension will cost around R400,000, of which we already have half. We are hoping that a good part of the balance will come from public donations, large or small, in cash or building materials, or services of some kind. So if you are in a position to help please contact Derek Joubert on derek.joubert@gmail.com or 073 26 44 399.

Our first urgent need is for cement for the foundations which we will cast in the next fortnight. WPK, Barrydale, has offered to supply at the cost price of R 85,36 per bag and we are appealing for your help. If you wish to speed us on our way, you may buy us a bag at WPK who will store it on our behalf.

We would like to record our thanks to the many people who have helped to get the project off the ground, with either donations or expertise and we are hoping to acknowlede this peramanently on the building itself when we have the official opening in February.

 

Those who have helped so far:

the late Lyn Alison; Zoe Wicomb; Clive Strawbridge; Andew Wittingdale; Marion Barton; Joachim Bittkau; Willie van der Berg; Tela Zasloff (USA); The Dragon School (UK); The Orchard School (Cantebury); Education for Democracy in South Africa; Pierre le Grange; Joyce Minnie; Daniel Southey; Kim van Lingen; Jean du Plessis; Anne Page;

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PROGRESS REPORT: October, November, December 2013, January 2014

THE DAY OF RECONCILIATION PARADE
The December Holiday School and the Day of Reconciliation Parade mark the culmination of the year for Net vir Pret, involving not only the children and youth who have been with us throughout the year but also bringing in the participation of many local groups.  The2013 parade marked the fourth year of support from the Handspring Puppet Company in terms of funding for the event, training and expertise. We were also honoured to have the presence of Mongi Mthombeni, artist in residence at the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape, who acted as overall director. Handspring had also secured funding from the Blumberg Family Foundation in Toronto.

DOWNLOAD ORIGINAL REPORT (reportDec-Feb2014)

It had been agreed that theme for the 2013 Parade would involve bringing the sea back to the Karoo and a story gradually unfolded in which a baby elephant slipped at the waterhole, but was saved from certain death by drowning by a mermaid who had been trapped there when the seas receded aeons ago.

flying fish puppet

Showing his Flying Fish

The elephant parents were so grateful they gave the mermaid one wish and she asked to be able to return to the sea. A conch was sounded and Neptune (accompanied by his glamorous wife, Isabella) arrived, bringing the waves and sea creatures with him to rescue his daughter.

Mongi demonstrating a point

Mongi demonstrating a point

Preparations began as early as September when Handspring’s Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones and Mongi joined the Net vir Pret staff and Young Leaders for a Saturday workshop at the farmhouse to brainstorm the story.

Serious work got underway in November when staff and the seven Interns (see below) travelled to Cape Town for a week at the Handspring workshop, where they were given the opportunity of working alongside the Handspring team, designing and beginning construction of the giant elephant puppets, the mermaid and Isabella.

The following week saw the arrival of Jill Joubert to run a training week with staff, Interns and Young Leaders who would work with the 150 children and youth we expected to join us the week after.

 

Young leaders bring on the Mermaid

Young leaders bring on the Mermaid

Isabella Queen of the Sea

Isabella Queen of the Sea

Jill is an old friend and, under the sponsorship of the Handspring Trust, has worked with us on the parade for four years now. She has established a wonderful rapport with the Young Leaders and this is clear in the affection they hold for her and in the quality of the work that is produced.  She had prepared designs for small puppets which would be made by the children (jelly fish, kite fish, small mermaids, bokkies ) and she then set about training the large team (7 interns, 4 staff, 21 young leaders) in constructing them.

 Making flying jellyfish

Making flying jellyfish

In her report on the workshop Jill says “I was thrilled to see during the parade that the young leaders had conveyed all they had learned to the children in the week they had with them.  The construction and design of the puppets made by the children was of a very high standard. Peter says, if you show energy as a young leader,  it’ll be infectious and the children will echo that energy in their own participation and work.  This clearly happened and is a huge achievement for the Young Leaders of Net vir Pret.”

The Handspring team arrived from Cape Town in the same week and while Jill was running her training at the farmhouse, the Handspring team set up their workshop in the Karoolkie Kelder, a cool and commodious space kindly offered by the Gerald Phillips.  There they continued construction of the giant puppets and some of the interns were delegated to assist them.

In the midst of these preparations, Nelson Mandela passed away.  We gathered the next morning to mourn his passing.  The parade was planned for 15 December, the day of the funeral in Qunu. It was agreed that our event would be held to honour his memory and both sections of the parade were accordingly led by giant banners carrying his image.  145 children and youth registered and, under the guidance of Young Leaders and Interns, they spent the week making the smaller puppets and practising songs and dances for the performance. Scott from the Magpie Collective joined us to construct wonderful jewel-encrusted fabrics which were to serve as waves.

 

The riel dancers perform

The riel dancers perform

Baby Elephant

Baby Elephant

During all this time, Net vir Pret’s new jazz group, The Jazz Monkeys and their teacher, were rehearsing , writing lyrics and composing songs for the performance.

The Parade started in the late afternoon with a giant elephant coming through the village and another through the township, each drawing crowds which met at the BF Oosthuizen Primary School on the hill between the two localities where the performance took place. The giant elephants and their gambolling baby made their appearance to the delight of the huge crowd which had assembled.   The Sarafina Dancers, the Young Crusaders Brass Band, the Vleiplaas Spiritual Dancers, the Gifted Ones choir all took part and the performance, under Mongi’s

Scott and helper at work

Scott and helper at work

spirited and excellent direction, ended on a high note.

DECEMBER HOLIDAY SCHOOL WEEKS 2 & 3

 

Vleiplaas children making puppets

Vleiplaas children making puppets

In the week after the parade, staff took the Holiday School to Vleiplaas, one of the neighbouring farms.  65 children attended, making puppets and developing stories around them which were performed on the final day.

 

The Three Little Pigs

The Three Little Pigs

After a Christmas and New Year break, the Holiday School resumed for a final week when 16 teenagers from the surrounding farms (9 girls, 7 boys) were invited to spend the week at Net vir Pret’s farmhouse.

Dividing into 3 groups, each was asked to choose a children’s story, create their own version of it, script and rehearse it, construct masks and props, and then to perform on the final day.

The groups chose three traditional tales, Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the Three Little Pigs. They came up with highly inventive, entertaining and often hilarious material. Magpie’s Shane and Scott adjudicated. The groups were managed by the Interns who later edited the scripts with the help of Barrydale librarian Rina de Villiers and Riekie Harm, translator for the PETS teaching and learning material. The Interns have collected the stories in booklets which are available for other groups to perform.

The three farm children groups pose for the camera

THE CHRSITMAS TOY RIDE

christmas toy ride

Christmas toy ride

On 24 December no fewer than three Father Christmases accompanied by a bakkie full of toys set off for the farms surrounding Barrydale.

Half of the 150 toys came from Louise Pharo and family and the rest from the residents of Barrydale.

Seven farms were visited in all and 150 indigent children were given presents, much to their delight.

 

 

 

THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME

 

Interns constructing tusks for the elephants

Interns constructing tusks for the elephants

A second meeting with David Abrahams, Head of Ministry for Social Development, Basil and Adrian from Handspring and Prof. Premesh Lalu, Director of the Centre for Humanities Research at UWC in attendance, resulted in the creation of ten 6-month internships, seven placed at Net vir Pret and three in Masipumelelo in Noordhoek.

 

The Interns receive a daily stipend from the Department.  The objective is skills transfer in two fields:

  • puppet  construction and performance

recording of oral histories

Dr Rice & Interns with their newspaper

Dr Rice & Interns with their newspaper

Interns rehearsing with Adrian Kohler

Interns rehearsing with Adrian Kohler

As mentioned above, as part of their puppetry training the Interns have been privileged to work with the world-renowned Handspring Company both in Cape Town and in Barrydale and also with Jill Joubert.    In Cape Town Mongi worked with the group to redesign and strengthen Net vir Pret’s children’s puppet play about the tortoise who wanted to fly and this was performed at the UNIMA festival in Gugulethu in October. Negotiations are underway to take the play to the Zabalaza Festival later this year.

In the second component of their training, Dr. Michael Rice (chair of the PETS Foundation and well-known to readers of these reports as the person heading the work we are doing in teacher development) came to run a three-day workshop with them which saw them interviewing personalities in Barrydale, writing up the interviews, editing, arranging layout and finally publishing them in a community wall newspaper in the village. Their work on story-telling and story capture in the final week of the holiday school is described above.

 

Constructing the Mermaid's tail

Constructing the Mermaid’s tail

They have interviewed people for a publication to mark Net vir Pret’s tenth year and are presently engaged on a project to record oral histories as related by old people on the local farms. Shirley Marx, who herself has done considerable work in the field, has come forward to help.

 

THE JAZZ MONKEYS

 

The Jazz Monkeys in performance

The Jazz Monkeys in performance

In October we were approached by music teacher Gary Crawford who had relocated from Cape Town to the nearby village of Suurbraak.  Gary brought instruments and amps with him and soon gathered a group of excited teenagers, meeting twice a week.  They made such astonishing progress that within a few weeks they were playing Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ebrahim and were already composing their own songs for the coming Reconciliation Parade.

The problem was to find instruments for them and miraculously a large group of cyclists from Action for Charity in the UK who were on a sponsored tour to support the Urology Foundation visited our project.  Our blikkies band and riel dancers entertained them, they passed the hat around and then handed across a packet which contained a very generous R9 650.  We decided to spend it all on instruments and immediately acquired a drum kit and a lead guitar; a keyboard and bass guitar following later.

The Jazz Monkeys meet Gary twice a week and have just been commissioned to play at the Barrydale Karoo Hotel on the first Saturday of the month.   Their music held the December performance together. Gary has started teaching them to read music and they will write Royal College Grade 1, 2 and 3 theory examinations before the end of the year.

There are several teenagers waiting in the wings and we are also keen to make the music programme accessible to the younger children.

 

BUILDING EXTENSION

 

The slab is cast

The slab is cast

Most readers will have heard the distressing news that our builder Andrew Whittingdale disappeared in the first week of January under mysterious circumstances and has not been heard of since.  Andrew was an enthusiastic supporter of Net vir Pret and was offering his services without charge, also donating most of the window frames we need.  His team has carried on the work, however, and we have been fortunate in securing the services of painter and sculptor Nigel Hewitt, who is himself an experienced and accomplished builder.  The work has progressed by leaps and bounds since Nigel’s arrival; the excavation completed, the foundations dug and filled, the flooring slab cast and work has now started on the walls.

The double storey extension is going to extend the scope of our work

The excavation begins

The excavation begins

immeasurably and bring new and exciting possibilities to our children and youth.  Many people have come forward to make this possible.  First among them is winner of the prestigious Windham Campbell Literature Prize,  Zoë Wicomb who gave us the initial boost which set the development in motion.  Zoë will visit us from her home in Glasgow in February.

 

The walls near window height

The walls near window height

The following contributions in cash and kind have been received to date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUILDING FUND:    01.11.13 – 31.01.14

Donations                                          R’s                               Gifts of Cement

Zoë Wicomb (UK)

120 000

Mitzi & Nils Hugo

6 bags

Anonymous

1 000

Chabad de Jaeger

2 bags

Geoff Budlender

2 500

Terri Williams

1 bag

Riekie Harm

750

Tourists Jam Tarts

5 bags

Atma

1 500

Richard & Heather Glasstone

2 bags

Clive Nel

425

Leon McLintock & Dennis Riley

2 bags

David & Susan Hall

85

Adrianne Blue

1 bag

Anon (in memory of Nelson Mandela)

500

In memory of Lyn Alison

1 bag

Cheryl Walker

1 000

Tela Zasloff (US)

256

Oona Xoxo

400

Anonymous

25 000

Tanya Barben

400

Brian Wides & family (UK)

19 991

Loraine Cripwell

500

Total

174 307

 

MATRIC OUTREACH

 

Herschelle Swart and Clarence Moses

Herschelle Swart and Clarence Moses

Readers may remember that at this time last year we launched an appeal for funding for Herschelle Swart, a Barrydale matriculant who had been offered a place at the South Cape College for Further Education in Oudtshoorn.  Thanks to your generosity we were not only able to fund Herschelle fully for the year but also to assist his fellow student Clarence Moses with initial registration costs.  We are delighted to report that both young men passed all their modules (Clarence with 2 distinctions) and are now registered at the University of the Free State for the second year, B Admin.  Their costs are now being met by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

We were able to assist 7 of the 2013 matriculants into tertiary study this year. This involved not only countless phone calls, emails, faxes, appeals and trips to Paarl and Cape Town but also financial assistance.  Although in theory NSFAS support is available to indigent students even for initial registration, in practice we found that students were required to pay their own steep registration fee (R3 900 at CPUT for instance) and hostel deposit.  None of the 7 were able to do so and would not have been able to register without assistance.

Fortunately we were able to find support; a donation of R17 000 from Anne Page was put to the Bursary Fund, as was R25 000 from a R50 000 donation by an anonymous donor.

Details of the 7 are provided below. All 7 were Net vir Pret Young Leaders.

Name Institution Course
Lorenzo Alexander Boland College National Diploma Hospitality
Callen-Lee Windvogel Boland College National Diploma Management
Ashwill Malan Boland College National Diploma Hospitality
Vanessa van Rooi CPUT*  (Hotel School) B Tech Catering & Hospitality
Rowan Snyman CPUT* B Tech Management
Fiogen Joubert CPUT* B Tech Tourism Management
Deslin Pekeur West Coast College National Diploma Office Practice

* Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Other Net vir pret Young Leaders from previous years include Franco Afrika who passed his first year at UWC (BA Education),  Zanwill Pokwas (BA Tourism), also at UWC, now in third year, as are Cecil Levendal (BCom) and Marisca Marais (BEd). Ricarlo Herdien from Vleiplaas is registered for a Diploma in Management at Boland College. Grace Nel is doing the second year in the Diploma for Community Safety and Security at South Cape College in Oudtshoorn.

Work has already started with the 2014 matric class and four have been admitted to the REAP (Rural Education Access Programme) early selection scheme for possible support in 2015.

BURSARY FUND:         01.10.13-31.01.14

Income                                        R’s

Anne Page (UK)

17 000

Anonymous

25 000

Total

42 000

Disbursements

24 410

Balance remaining

17 590

 

KULA WALAIKA

 

The 5 Barrydale participants with one other

The 5 Barrydale participants with one other

The Kula Walaika Foundation outside Wilderness on the south Cape coast runs a three-year residential training programme for unemployed, out-of-school youth, designed to equip them with skills which will make them employable or self-sufficient. The programme starts with a one-month survival bush camp; participants who get through that are invited to join the course.

 

Their home for the month

Their home for the month

The foundation is about to start a new cycle and director Watson Nyembe offered Net vir Pret the opportunity to fill 5 places from Barrydale.  We selected 5 young men from the 12 who applied (Gerald Swanepoel,  JanPeter Ewerts, Charles Davids, Herchell Phillips and Virgille Michaels) and they are presently on the survival camp.  Derek and Ann Harries, co-founder of Net vir Pret with Peter Takelo, who was visiting from Britain, dropped in to see how they were doing and found them happy and hard at work clearing a site for planting. The course will offer options for training in cabinet making, fabric design and printing, animal husbandry and vegetable production.

THE PETS PILOT PROJECT

The PETS In-Service Teacher Education and Professional Development Pilot Project concluded the year with a meeting of all participants in December.

The pilot is testing the effectiveness of distance in-service training by means of information communication technology. There are 17 participants, drawn from both the Primary and High schools in Barrydale, the Weltevrede, Lemoenshoek and Vleiplaas Farm Schools, and the Net vir Pret staff.  The project is the brain-child of Dr Michael Rice, chair of the PETS Foundation. Net vir Pret is the facilitating partner.

To quote Michael, “Literacy and numeracy levels, the bedrock of our education system, are, by common consent, disastrous. Every year hundreds of thousands of youngsters leave the system to all intents and purposes illiterate and innumerate with little prospect of employment. The impact on South Africa’s capacity to compete globally is undermined at its very foundations.” He goes on to cite research that revealed that only 32% of Grade 6 maths teachers in the country had “desirable subject knowledge” and agrees with the researcher that this situation can be attributed to “ineffective in-service training”.

The project has two components; a numeracy component which in 2013 aimed to improve teachers’ content knowledge and teaching skills in fractions and a literacy component run in conjunction with the PRAESA Nal’ibali programme which aims to develop literacy though story-telling and reading clubs.

An inter-active website (www.trainingteacher.org.za) loaded with all the relevant Nal’ibali and PETS learning material and with access to other support sites, was launched in August.  The participants have received a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet, and an Elonex e-reader loaded with Nal’ibali material.

In 2014 the numeracy component will go forward with work on decimals and percentages.

The CozaCares Foundation has donated an E-learning Toolbox kiosk where teachers and learners can download a range of learning and teaching support materials, including educational videos, past examination papers and marking memoranda and Wikipedia.  The kiosk will be housed at Barrydale High School and a team of Young Leaders is being trained to supervise its use.

OTHER NEWS

Noëlle and Kevin Ablitt, cycling from George to Cape Town to raise support for the Bicycling Empowerment Network South Africa.  Stopped by to visit in November. They have now offered to donate a substantial number of bicycles to us so that we can start our own cycling club. Our need now is for a container which could house 50 bicycles and also provide space for a repair workshop area.

Two of our young artists, Benjamin Joubert and Joseph Faro, exhibited their work with their teacher Joan Peeters in Barrydale in December.

FUNDING

In our last report we mentioned that we would run into serious financial difficulties in October if support did not come in.  It is with great relief and gratitude that we can report a decided improvement in our situation.

First, Bill Frankel, chair of the Claude Leon Foundation, wrote to express his concern and then awarded  R100 000, thereby doubling the Foundation’s grant for the year.  In November our founding donor, Education for Democracy in South Africa (EDSA) sent a substantial amount and in January the Belgian King Baudouin Foundation responded to our appeal by renewing their 2012 funding.

Local residents Brendan and Kirsten Flack have undertaken to contribute a monthly amount during 2014 and Swellendam High School gave us R600 in appreciation of a drumming workshop Peter had run with their teaching staff.

The D-Tox Motor Cycle Club not only donated R4 000 but also took their bikes up to the township and gave the Net vir Pret youngsters the ride of their lives.

 

A bike ride with D-Tox

A bike ride with D-Tox

We are also pleased to report that after lengthy negotiations the Department of Social Development has finally agreed to support our Aftercare programme and the first tranche of their support of R4 950 per month arrived in December.

Table 3 provides details.

 

 

 

 

Income 01.10.13-31.01.14                                                R’s

Claude Leon Foundation

100 000

King Baudouin Foundation (BE)

98 000

Education for Democracy in South Africa (UK)

63 836

Dept Social Development

14 850

Other donations

19 160

Total

295 846

 

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Christmas Toy Ride

Net vir Pret will make its annual TOY RIDE to children on the Barrydale farms on 24 December
Please help us bring the joy of Christmas to these young people by donating a toy to our ride
Boys and Girls infants to 15 years
Toys may be left at the Collection Box at OK Grocer
***
If you are able to wrap the gift, please indicate Boy or Girl and the approximate age group
***
Toys in good condition no longer used by your children are also welcome
***
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Building progress & Mandela appeal

We have been digging for a fortnight and the workmen have moved a mountain of rock, using picks and shovels rather than machinery for fear of disturbing the existing building.  In the coming week, a start will be made on the foundations.
In the meantime news of the passing of Nelson Mandela has saddened the world. Net vir Pret issued the following appeal which was read out at churches in Barrydale on the day of mourning, Sunday 8 December.

MANDELA APPEAL

Next week Net vir Pret will start pouring the foundations for the extension to our Youth Centre.
The new double-storey building will bring opportunities to and change the lives of Barrydale children
for the better in all the years to come.
Net vir Pret is struggling to meet costs and we ask you to pledge a bag of cement to this venture in
honour of Nelson Mandela at this sad time.   A foundation stone in his name will be laid to commemorate
the event.
WPK have opened an account on our behalf at the cost price of R85 per bag and will arrange delivery.
Help us lay a strong foundation for the future of the precious children of our village in honour of a great man.

Acknowledgements:

A very big thanks to Geoff Budlender, Mitzi and Nils Hugo, Terri Williams, Chabad de Jaeger and an anonymous donor  who have donated either cash or cement in the past fortnight.
If you can help in any way please contact Derek Joubert at 073 26 44 399 or on derek.joubert@gmail.com
Our intention is to peramanently acknowledge everyone who has helped us on the building itself when we have the official opening in February.
Those who have helped so far:
the late Lyn Alison; Zoe Wicomb; Clive Strawbridge; Andew Whittingdale; Marion Barton; Joachim Bittkau; Willie van der Berg; Tela Zasloff (USA); The Dragon School (UK); The Orchard School (Canterbury); Education for Democracy in South Africa; Pierre le Grange; Joyce Minnie; Daniel Southey; Kim van Lingen; Jean du Plessis; Anne Page; Geoff Budlender, Mitzi & Nils Hugo, Chabad de Jaeger, Terri Williams

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Net Vir Pret Building Extension

 Progress Report No. 1 :

At last, the desperately needed extension to the Net vir Pret Youth Centre is underway. A double-storied structure with two spacious floors, it will offer the opportunity for exciting new ventures and will take the work of Net vir Pret to new levels.  We are aiming towards a completion date in mid-February 2014. Acknowledgements: A very big thanks to Daniel Southey, Andrew Whittingdale and Pierre le Grange who have helped over this past week with getting the project going by providing important materials and services. And to Willie van der Berg for handling the drawing and planning application. Many others have been involved so far and they are listed below. Funding The extension will cost around R400,000, of which we already have half.  We are hoping that a good part of the balance will come from public donations, large or small, in cash or building materials, or services of some kind. So if you are in a position to help please contact Derek Joubert on derek.joubert@gmail.com or 073 26 44 399. Our first urgent need is for cement for the foundations which we will cast in the next fortnight.  WPK, Barrydale, has offered to supply at the cost price of R 85,36 per bag and we are appealing for your help.  If you wish to speed us on our way, you may buy us a bag at WPK who will store it on our behalf. We would like to record our thanks to the many people who have helped to get the project off the ground, with either donations or expertise and we are hoping to acknowlede this peramanently on the building itself when we have the official opening in February. Those who have helped so far: the late Lyn Alison; Zoe Wicomb; Clive Strawbridge; Andew Wittingdale; Marion Barton; Joachim Bittkau; Willie van der Berg; Tela Zasloff (USA); The Dragon School (UK); The Orchard School (Cantebury); Education for Democracy in South Africa; Pierre le Grange; Joyce Minnie; Daniel Southey; Kim van Lingen; Jean du Plessis; Anne Page;

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Progress Report: July, August, September 2013

SPRING HOLIDAY SCHOOL.

DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT WITH IMAGES .

The Spring Holiday School ran for 5 days from the 23rd to 27th September. 125 children and youth attended and 21 Young Leaders were on hand to help. The ages ranged from 4 to 15 as follows:

ages

 

The theme was Celebrating Spring and on Day One the younger children accompanied by Herman and Janice Mentz (an old friend of Net vir Pret) went on a fun walk into the wild, singing songs to welcome spring and eventually settling down to do drawings of what was around them. Janice noticed that butterflies began appearing in the drawings and then saw that they were around in large numbers. In Barrydale itself they are rarely seen, perhaps the consequence of the widespread use of pesticides.

The older youth were led on an expedition in three groups by Angelo and Young Leaders. They had been primed by Flora Cameron to identify and collect specific indigenous plants which have medicinal properties.
Once these had been assembled, the group knocked on the doors of old-timers in the township to ask if they knew the plants and what they might be used for. This research was written up later and the group are producing a poster with the information.

The koppie (hill) which separates the township from the village carries a huge load of pollution in the form of discarded bottles, plastic bags and the like. On Day 2 after breakfast and warm-up games, the entire group, armed with big black refuse bags, set out to collect this rubbish. By midday, 65 bags had been filled and after lunch the haul was sorted into what could be recycled and what could not.
At the suggestion of Flora, the Net vir Pret children and youth are spearheading a petition to the municipality to provide rubbish bins on the path that crosses the koppie from village to township.

Days 3 and 4 were spent cutting the plastic bottles which had been collected, fashioning them into flowers and then colouring them.
The plan was to tie these to Net vir Pret’s front fence on Day 5 and then to have a celebration but the weather turned foul and an impromptu concert was held instead with each group rehearsing and performing. The flowers were attached the next day.

The concert was a great success and the Holiday School ended on a high note. Our particular thanks go to Flora and Janice who helped to make it a success and to our Young Leaders upon whom so much depended.

We also express our great appreciation to the Department of Social Development who kindly provided breakfast and lunch on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and also to the Barrydale OK who donated bottles of flavoured milk, much enjoyed by everyone.

THE AFTERCARE PROGRAMME

Net vir Pret’s aftercare programme runs on weekdays after school and is attended by 30-35 children. The programme is carefully structured and is run by Donna with the help of our two internees, Clarissa and Jackwill.
Recent activities have included making spring blossom trees, learning to write your own name and a visit to the pig farm.
The programme is registered with the Department of Social Development and we hope to be able to increase the intake once we are able to extend our premises.

GARDEN PROGRAMME

Herman’s gardeners have been busy harvesting and planting new crops. They are now taking the project to the community and are starting food gardens at a different site each week.
The team go in with their implements, clear the site, prepare the ground and then plant seedlings. Advice is given to the residents on watering and correct cultivation and the team promise to visit regularly to make sure all is well.

HANDSPRING PUPPET COMPANY & THE CENTRE FOR HUMANITIES RESEARCH (UWC)

As readers of this newsletter will know, the Handspring Puppet Company and the Handspring Trust have been central to the development of Net vir Pret in recent years.
In a recent advance, Prof. Jane Taylor, chair of the Handspring Trust, has introduced Prof. Premesh Lalu, Director of the Centre for Humanities Research at UWC to us and he in his turn has set up meetings with David Abrahams, head of the Ministry of Social Development.
There have been two very positive outcomes; the first has been that Mongi Mthombeni, a fellowship holder on the Catalytic Project on Hidden Voices in Art and Music, funded by UWC’s Charter for the Humanities and Social Sciences, has been designated to work with Net vir Pret on developing puppetry skills and the second is that, through the good offices of David Abrahams, the Department of Public Works has granted funding for 10 internships, seven of whom will be based at Net vir Pret and three at our sister project in Masipumelele outside Noordhoek. The internships, which will commence in November, are of a 6-month duration and interns will learn skills involved in story-telling, the design and construction of puppets and performance.
Handspring’s Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones brought Mongi to meet us during September and ran a Saturday workshop with him for staff and Young Leaders in which we explored options for this year’s Day of Reconciliation parade. Also present were Handspring’s Jess Jones and David Morton and Nicholas Paine from the Dead Puppet Society in Australia.

NAL’ IBALI READING CLUBS

The Nal’ibali reading clubs continue to flourish. Net vir Pret has been instrumental in setting up 7 of them, 4 in Barrydale itself and 3 on the surrounding farms.
Facilitator Ntombi Mahole and Thulile Seleka, Nal’ibali’s programme manager, came in September for a follow-up training workshop which focussed on the skills needed for the successful running of a reading club.

Peter and Derek recently visited one of the new groups, the Shining Stars Reading Club, run by Young Leader Edwina Jas.
We have agreed to establish a support group for club leaders which will focus on developing skills.

PETS FRACTIONS PROGRAMME

The in-service training programme for teachers described in previous reports continues to develop. In July the 17 participating teachers each received a state-of-the-art tablet through which they are able to access the PETS fractions website where they can find learning and teaching material. The material, composed by Mary Debrick, is in both English and Afrikaans, the translation being done by Riekie Harm. PETS director, Michael Rice, comes up to Barrydale once a month with his team to meet teachers and assess progress All indications are that the venture is a great success. The programme will continue in 2014.

Net vir Pret staff are also participating and meet weekly to work through the material. Donna is teaching fractions in the aftercare programme with the help of Clarissa and Jackwill while Peter is working with the Grade 3 class at the BF Oosthuizen Primary School. The class stay behind after school once a week for an hour. In a recent fractions test, 16 of the 17 learners scored over 70%. Peter and Derek gave them an end-of-term party to reward them for their achievement.

NEW MUSIC PROGRAMME

A new development has been the arrival of music teacher Gary Crawford who has relocated to nearby Suurbraak from Cape Town. Gary teaches guitar and keyboard. We

found four guitars lying around without strings, fixed them up, invited Gary, who brought his keyboard, and after only four sessions the group are playing Abdullah Ebrahim’s Manenberg and themes from Hugh Masekela.
There is great enthusiasm for this new venture to continue and Gary’s proposal is that he comes on two afternoons a week, one for individual tuition sessions and the second for ensemble work. This presents a new funding challenge. Gary has obtained a quote from a supplier who has offered a 26% discount on instruments. The total cost, including instruments and one year’s tuition, is R50 000.

OTHER NEWS

  • We were very pleased and honoured to be visited by our Dutch funders, Martje Boerma Nooij, trustee of the Stigting Projecten Zuid Africa, and  chairperson, Diet Grosheide. They spent the entire day with us, joining the 08h30 staff meeting, then accompanying Peter to the Vleiplaas farm school, watching the aftercare Nal’ibali session, meeting the Young Leaders, being entertained by the Blikkiesband, joining a Committee meeting and finally being entertained by the new jazz ensemble.
  • We were visited by Rita Theron, Carin Oberholzer and Esmarie Joubert from the local Renosterbos Committee. They brought the good news that the committee has awarded R5700 to us for the purchase of something special. We have decided on tables and chairs for our little ones who usually sit on the floor and also materials for redecorating our building.
  • Net vir Pret was awarded second prize in the Barrydale village Scarecrow Competition.
  • Barrydale artist Joan Peeters has taken our Art Group under her wing and meets them once a week. Joan is holding an exhibition of her work in December and the group will exhibit alongside her.
  • Music educationist Shirley Marx is helping us with voice training and with devising a musical input for the end-of-year parade and performance.
  • Derek has been invited to speak about Net vir Pret to the Montagu Rotary chapter.
  • We have been invited to perform our children’s puppet play, Skillie die Skilpad, at a forthcoming festival in Cape Town, with Angelo in the title role.
  • Two of our matric students, Fiogan Joubert and Rowann Snyman, have been shortlisted for REAP (Rural Education Access Programme) bursaries for 2014. In terms of REAP’s new Early Selection procedure, Derek has already addressed the Grade 11 class on the scheme and invited interested students to come forward.
  • Our Rieldans team ( 4 boys and 4 girls) travelled to Fraserberg to attend a Rieldans Festival and were placed second. Twenty-three groups competed.
  •   Herman’s Jungle Jim is now complete and is providing great opportunities for adventure for the aftercare children.

FUNDING

Zoe Wicomb receives her prizeIt is with great excitement and gratitude that we are able to report that author Zoë Wicomb has donated R120 000 to our building development fund from the prestigious Windham Campbell Literature Prize she has been awarded by Yale University.
We have long dreamt of being able to extend our cramped quarters and that we are now going to be able to do so will make all the difference to our work. We plan to start building as soon as next month. Zoë plans to visit us in February next year.

The difficulties mentioned in our previous report regarding general funding have not been resolved and we will encounter a cash flow crisis as soon as next month. We are R100 000 short in funding for running costs for the year. However, we still remain hopeful that the King Baudouin Foundation will respond positively to our appeal for renewal of their support.

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Progress Report May and June 2013

Winter Holiday School

The Winter Holiday School ran for three weeks from 24 June. The first week was for children and youth in Barrydale itself; in the second we moved to the surrounding farms, and in the third 20 teenagers from the farms were invited to attend a 4-day programme at the farmhouse.

Week 1

Week 1 began with a day of sport and games. In an attempt to reach new children and youth, activities were held on the open common in the centre of the township and a record number of participants registered – 156 in all, surpassing last December’s record of 134 by a wide margin.

The common had been divided in separate areas for cricket, netball, soccer, tennis and traditional games. As usual, great reliance was placed on the Young Leaders, 19 of whom helped co-ordinate the event.

Next, the action moved to the BF Oosthuizen School for a day of craft involving beading, knitting, weaving, fabric

painting and woodwork and on Day 3 the older children went on an Amazing Race during which they had to decipher clues and complete tasks to take them to the next check point, which led them all over the village.

On Day 4 each group devised and rehearsed a drama for performance on Day 5 and the Holiday School ended on a high note.

 

Week 2

The second week was held at the Vleiplaas Farm School outside Barrydale. 46 youngsters registered from 5 different farms.

The format followed that of the previous week and apart from sport and games, the children also did beading and weaving, painted rocks and made finger puppets and went on a Treasure Hunt.

The final day was set aside for drama and six groups presented their plays. Except for the youngest group who did a presentation of songs imitating animal sounds, the themes – chosen by the groups themselves – were all serious.

There was a play about tik (crystal methamphetamine) addiction, another about teenage pregnancy, another about a girl of 11 being molested by an older man and one about an unruly class that the teacher struggled to contain.

The event ended with a final song in which everyone participated – and then two of the teenage boys came forward with a surprise – they had written a rap which they

wanted to sing for us. It thanked us for coming and spending the week with them. – for the food, for the fun, for what they had learnt and for keeping everybody safe.

 

Week 3

In the third and final week, 17 teenagers from surrounding farms were invited to spend four days and nights at the Net vir Pret farmhouse for a programme which focused on nature.

The event had been planned with the help of Fran Hunziker and Flora Cameron, old friends who have taken part in previous activities. On Day 1 Fran and Flora led the group into the Tradouw Pass and up into the mountains where bushman paintings are to be found.

After spending time in the caves, the group returned to recreate their own versions of the paintings and to try and imagine what they represented.

On Day 2 Flora led the group into the countryside beyond the farmhouse in search of medicinal plants, after which participants chose a specimen to present to the group. Days 3 and 4 were spent in leisure activities and the outing ended with a talent show.

 

The PETS Project

As mentioned in earlier reports, Net vir Pret is the facilitating partner in a pilot project being run in Barrydale by Dr Michael Rice and his team from the PETS (Putting Educational Technology into Schools) Foundation with support from the DG Murray Trust. The project is assessing the viability of employing information and communications technology for delivering distance learning materials to teachers and is now in full swing. The 17 participants have formed 4 study groups from (1) Barrydale High, (2) BF Oosthuizen Primary, (3) Weltevrede, Lemoenshoek and Vleiplaas Farm Schools, with Net vir Pret staff and interns forming the fourth. The project is focusing on innovative methodology for the teaching of fractions.

In tandem, PRAESA (Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa) is establishing its Nal’ibali programme in Barrydale which uses e-readers and the mass media to form reading clubs and deliver story material and literacy teaching methodologies to teachers.

PRAESA’s Dr Carole Bloch and her team came to run a workshop on a Saturday in late May which was attended by 48 enthusiastic participants – including a large contingent of Net vir Pret’s Young Leaders. To date 7 reading clubs have been formed – including one at Net vir Pret – which also has a Fractions Club! The pilot runs until June 2014.

After-Care Activities

The After-Care programme which runs at Net vir Pret’s house on afternoons during the week is going from strength to strength, thanks to meticulous and innovative planning by staff. Some of the themes explored in the two months under review are described below.

 

Matric Outreach Programme

We are delighted to report that all three tertiary students whom we were able to assist this year thanks to private support passed their mid-year examinations. Herschelle Swart and Clarence Moses, both doing a B Admin bridging year at the South Cape College, achieved a 60% aggregate, and Franco Afrika, reading the first year BA at the University of the Western Cape, passed all modules, achieving an A for one of the Afrikaans modules, and a B in Psychology.

The Matric Outreach Programme continues to provide support to students in their final school year and in 2013 fifteen of the class of 35 have signed up. The first step has been to guide them in making appropriate choices for post-school study and we are presently helping them to follow application procedures for admission to tertiary institutions and also to bursary organisations for financial support.

Funding and Finances

May and June were stressful months financially and a cash flow problem compelled us to make a loan to get through this time. Fortunately we were able to repay this once the DG Murray Trust grant came through in July and we are again on an even keel.

However, we do have a shortfall in funding for the year and the problem will arise again in November and December.

We have approached the King Baudouin Foundation for a renewal of their much-appreciated support and we are hoping for a positive response which will resolve the problem for the year.

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Pets and Praesa

As reported previously, Net vir Pret is acting as facilitating partner for two educational initiatives which promise to have great benefits for our community. The PETS project (Putting Educational Technology into Schools) is testing the viability of employing information and communications technology for delivering distance learning materials to teachers and PRAESA (Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa) aims to establish its Nal’ibali programme in Barrydale which uses e-readers and the mass media to deliver story material and teaching methodologies to teachers and to form reading clubs.

Both projects got off the ground during April when Dr. Michael Rice, Mary Debrick and Josie Frater from PETS and Dr. Carole Bloch from PRAESA came up to meet the group of educators who have volunteered to take part. The 17 participants have formed five study groups, teachers from (1) Barrydale High, (2) BF Oosthuizen Primary, (3) Weltevrede, Lemoenshoek and Vleiplaas Farm Schools, with Net vir Pret staff and interns forming the fifth.

The PETS programme is focused on methodology for teaching fractions to Grades 3 and 4 and this is already in full swing, with Mary writing material and the different groups testing and evaluating its effectiveness while PRAESA has already delivered e-readers and block books to participants.

Downloadable Progress Report 30.04.2013

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