Next steps for the education program [2014]

Next steps for the education program [2014]

Category : Education , Latest Blogs

“Having a good quality education is essential in order to break free from a cycle of poverty. We believe the next step for Soul Action is to partner with the Department of Education in order to train and support teachers to teach basic phonic skills. Our aim is to pilot this in one community with six schools during 2014 and 2015. By partnering with local projects, schools, and the Department of Education, we believe that we’re giving children the opportunity to develop into the people that God intended them to be”

Rachel Bowyer (June/July 2013).

I shared this (above) with some of our supporters during our tour of the UK last year; as I believed this was the next step that God was asking me to take.

Just a few days after returning from the UK in mid-July, Phil and I were facilitating training. At one point Phil asked everyone to get into pairs and to listen to God for how He ‘delights’ and what He ‘sees’ / ‘sings’ about the other person. The lady I partnered with felt that God gave her a picture of a stage door and steps leading to the stage. She felt God was saying:

“The prep and rehearsals are over; you are ready and about to step on to your stage”

Although she didn’t know what was going on, I knew straight away this was about literacy!

Recently, I was reminded how the literacy project had begun with 20 children meeting in a hut in a township. After five years of seeing 1,000’s of children benefit daily, refining our approach, and training a team of local ladies to facilitate the program, I knew it was time for the next step. It is time to take what has been learnt in the past five years, plus my experience of teaching in the UK, and to start to work directly with teachers. God’s words were confirmation.
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By late July, the Department of Education and six new schools were on board; all we needed was the funding!   During the second half of 2013 I worked with rotary clubs in Durban and our home-town of Stoke-on-Trent to try to secure funding to enable this to happen.  It was a relatively easy process for me, as most of the work was done by key people from the two rotary clubs.  All I had to do was provide the info they needed for the application. I am deeply appreciative for the amount of effort they put it.

On 6th Decemeber, the last day of the school year, we received an email to say the funding had been approved – you can imagine the celebrations that took place!   Over the next year, we’ll be working closely with 17 Grade 2 teachers and six Heads of Department from six schools, facilitating workshops, providing support in the classroom context and organising drop-in sessions; all with the aim of empowering the teachers to facilitate phonic lessons for the children in their care.


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