30/11/12 Mbekweni Community Centre serving the whole community

November has been a very busy month at Mbekweni Community Centre with almost 3300 people visiting the centre to sign up for various government grants. The South African Social Security Association used the centre as part of a national drive to re-register all those that qualify for a government support grant.

Not only could adults register, but a further 3583 children also registered for child support, foster or disability grants. Mbekweni Community Sports Centre is always busy, but we hope that many of these new visitors will return to participate in the daily activities.

6/7/12 Mbekweni Community Sports Centre gets reading……

“Oh what an awesome book. It was like I was watching the whole thing. I couldn’t stop reading; I even burnt the food because of this book”- Siphokazi.

While Siphokazi’s family may not be so keen on their burnt dinner, the young people of Mbekweni have really caught the reading bug. We have recently joined the FunDza Literacy Trust (http://www.fundza.co.za/) and demand for the first consignment of their books for teenagers is high. The books are not only well-written and interesting, but deal with the real issues faced by young people in townships. 

“First of all I want to thank the authors for writing an inspirational book.  When I first saw the book, I was attracted by the title of the book.  It is a very good book for us teenagers and for us to learn to embrace every situation we face, but not letting your siblings/friends put pressure on you and despite what others may say” – Aviwe.

This is just the start. With levels of literacy in Mbekweni at less than 35% for grade 3 & 6 learners, we are in the process of setting up a library at the centre, together with a reading mentor programme to encourage a love of books from an early age. The books will also support our life skills programmes as they are accompanied by a workbook for facilitators to use to explore issues such as peer pressure, drugs and alcohol, making choices and life in the township.