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June Update!

June Update!

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Nothing captures what is happening on the ground better than words from our amazing friend, Brenna. Here is the latest!

“-Aviwe is riding a flippin lekker bicycle now! He’s training with a team in Bellville that we met at the Velodrome and Johandre has recently joined him as well. They cycle out to Soneike and ride on Tuesday and Thursday nights and on Wednesday they train at the velodrome. Johandre and aviwe now have lights for their bicycles and don’t mind riding there and back on their own. I usually pack some food for them to take on Wednesdays (they stop by the workshop and say hi before heading off), and have put airtime on Aviwe’s phone in case of emergency. On poor weather days, we can coordinate the taxi return for them as we have done in the past.

These two boys, specifically, are two of the boys in the program whose future is COMPLETELY ameliorated because of their involvement with this team/coach and with Fisantekraal Bike Club. They both struggle a little academically (like most of the students?) , have had friends of bad-influence in the past, and whose home lives/financial situations haven’t exactly given them the leg up on life. Anyway, they cycled to FRANSCHOEK and back this weekend – 150 km! – and are looking fitter than ever.

– The girls. Are awesome. I took 4 to a self defense class in Durbanville this week and they had so much fun. The man who teaches here is great and really wants to pass on his knowledge to empower women of all ages and circumstances to defend themselves. He offers this class once a month (last monday) and I’d love to take the girls every time. He’s also open to having them come in during their regular classes sometimes, so we’ll see what hooks and if anyone becomes inspired to train further. Maybe one of them can become a star and eventually TEACH self defense at the school someday…

– Past events – The Jive Slave route saw 2 of our youth run the half marathon and 13 more take part in the 5-10 km races in Cape Town. Everyone had a blast! Douw came out to help coordinate the students, supply sandwiches, and ran the 10km with them.

– Events – June is chockablock.

June 13 – Greyton Classic MTB Race – I’m entering 3 of our MTB stars in this (tickets R160 each but it sounds like we may get a sponsor from Tygerberg…) . Douw is keen to take part and facilitate some transportation and lunch with them. I may have to stay in town and work, but the kids will be taken care of on that side.

June 14 – Greyton Classic Trail Runs – I’ll coordinate this one and will open it to any of our kids who want to take part.
Will likely hire one taxi for round trip.

June 16 – Youth Day Trail Run – Near Stellenbosch. I have 10 kids signed up already. This one will be super lekker! 5km, 7.5km, 12.5 km and 15km. It’s a pretty route and challenging in the longer distances.

June 20 -Spur MTB School League Series – near Stellenbosch. Dirtopia/Delvera invited us to participate in this. We’ll have to rent some mountain bikes which they have available but it will be a great opportunity to meet some other youth riders from different communities.

June-August – Delvera/Dirtopia offer MTB skills workshops on various Sundays throughout the month. I’m coordinating with the ladies here to get our kids attending these, maybe a small group of 10 per sunday when they run it. They’ll learn some technical skills and gain confidence in riding Mountain bike trails.

Klipheuwel – Eventually we’ll get there…. Just feels like we’ve got so much going on I can’t schedule the meetings in to get the ball rolling again. But everyone’s happy :)

Fisantekraal Bike Club update

Fisantekraal Bike Club update

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“It has been one year since the Fisantekraal Bike Club was born out of an empty shipping container behind the rural community’s High School, 10 km from the Northern Cape Town suburb of Durbanville. Naturally there have been obstacles, challenges, joys and accomplishments along the way and it is in the reflecting – in looking back at where we started – that we can truly see how far we’ve come. It overwhelms me with gratitude to remember all those who have supported the project along the way. For this, I wish to express, on behalf of everyone here on the ground, our immense thanks to our supporters, donors and cheerleaders – to YOU! Thanks for being part of our journey in 2014 and we hope you will continue to follow the Fisantekraal Bike Club as it grows and evolves in 2015.

Since school recommenced in January this year, we’ve been busy like bees. Here’s a taste of what we’ve been up to:

Cycle of Giving – In partnership with Bellville Track Cycling, we tuned up nearly 20 children’s bicycles donated by our local community at the Bellville Velodrome in January. Bicycles are currently being assigned to youth aged 3-12 who have been nominated by Bike Club members (brothers, sisters and neighbors) and will be distributed by our high school youth over the next 6 weeks.

Open Streets on Bree Street – A dozen of our club members took part in the Open Streets (car free) celebration on Bree Street this January, riding bicycles our friends at Rondies Bikes from Observatory to the CBD. Our youth participated in a bicycle scavenger hunt with The Riding Hood, tested out the Blenda-Venda pedal powered smoothie machine and took a ride on the electric bicycles with Pedego!

Bike Fix – This January, our youth members joined Bicycle Cape Town in the southern suburb of Woodstock to learn with the fabulous mechanics at Woodstock Cycleworks!

Cape Town Cycle Tour – 23 of our members competed in the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2015, 47km (shortened) road cycling race, in Cape Town! This is a massive event where nearly 35 000 cyclists race through the stunning scenery (and challenging terrain!) of the Cape Town Peninsula. 20 of our youth completed the course including 2 from our girls’ group, with 10 in total finishing in under two hours!

Cape Argus MTB Challenge – This year we received a couple of substitution entries for mountain bike version of the Cycle Tour and 2 of our enthusiastic members stepped up to the challenge! Mzwanele competed in the 22 km course on the Saturday and Atang in the full 55 km course on the Sunday. We were so proud when our members returned from the races and shared their results: Mzwanele completed in 1h05m and Atang in 4h20m!

Upcoming

As we go forward in 2015, we will be concentrating on excelling within these main objectives of Bike Club:

1) Coordinating community improvement and upliftment projects together (garbage clean up and recycling education, children’s bicycling and safety workshops at the primary school, an the earn-a-bike program at the high school etc.)

2) Supporting all of our members to improve and learn in various aspects of cycling, including mechanics and riding skills, as well as expose our team to local opportunities involving bicycles (business, painting, events, etc). Furthermore, we wish to support specific members to excel in areas where they show great commitment, enthusiasm and aptitude in a specific style of cycling (track, mountain, road, etc).

3) Coordinating a cycling team and facilitating group rides and participation in local cycling events.

4) Maintaining a workshop facility whereby Fisantekraal Bike Club members can use tools and guidance from leaders and other members to maintain and repair their bicycles.

Watch out for these exciting events!

1) April 18: Bike Wash at Philadelphia MTB competition – 5 of our members will be assisting Brunox Lubricants at this exciting mountain bike event and earning cash for the Fisantekraal Bike Club.

2) May 28: Corporate Social Responsibility project – 6 of our enthusiastic mechanics will assist nearly 200 staff from a Cape Town company to assemble 50 Avalanche bicycles at as part of a CSR event being hosted in Langa. The Fisantekraal Bike Club is honoured to have been invited to participate in the event and to be the recipients of the assembled bicycles!

To all of our ‘cheerleaders’, local and international: We have come so far and will continue to grow and thrive because of your support. On behalf of myself and our youth members, thank you SO much for being a part of Fisantekraal Bike Club’s very first year! Let’s make 2015 an even better year – ride on!

Brenna Coupland
Project Coordinator
Fisantekraal Bike Club”

Sponsor a Bike!

Sponsor a Bike!

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We have updated our website adding a new way to help by sponsoring a bike, an event, a helmet or some healthy snacks for our Fisanterkraal Bike Club project in Cape Town. Check it out, help us and be a part of something super cool!

FBC: Letter of gratitude

FBC: Letter of gratitude

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Our awesome Fisantekraal Bike Club coordinator, Brenna Coupland, wrote a thank you letter and we wanted to share it with you. Click here to see some photos and read about our year.

Indigogo campaign update

Indigogo campaign update

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We want to thank all of our backers for supporting out Indigogo campaign. Thanks to your support we are able to continue going strong. We managed to raise just under $2000 and we are elated! Please watch your mailbox for stickers and thank you cards!

If you missed our campaign, you can see visit it here.

Fisantekraal Bike Club

Fisantekraal Bike Club

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It all started about a year ago when a unique individual by the name of Brenna Coupland decided to join PLI’s efforts in Cape Town. She got things off to a big start! In order to develop a new initiative with us, she cycled from Canada to South America in order to raise money for what was to become a wonderful project called the Fisantekraal Bike Club. A short time after this journey, Brenna flew to South Africa, ready to make a serious impact. She joined our existing efforts at Fisantekraal High School, creating the new bike club. This process was not easy, but she went on to convert one of our containerized learning spaces into a full-blow repair work shop.

Since then the Club has participated in workshops and races and the program continues to expand. In 2015 we plan on moving the project out of the high school in order to reach a greater number of youth to involve. To keep up with the progress you can watch this space or visit Brenna’s page.

Fisantekraal Bike Club from Carrie Buckmaster on Vimeo.

Each 1 Teach 1: A Tutor’s Perspective

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“The thirst to learn is as strong and buoyant as ever…”

A tutor’s perspective: words by Sofia Viruly. Photos by Laura Viruly.


There have been few times this year that I have been truly amazed.

If anything, there must be only a handful of times when one is gifted such an emotion. However, working for Each1Teach1 has provided such moments with astonishing regularity.

Not only has the organisation grown this year but also the achievements, both big and small, have truly been noteworthy. Saturday tutoring has been one of our greatest achievements. The commitment from the tutors has been amazingly dedicated; we were unable to tutor on only five Saturdays this entire year. We have a group of about eight tutors who I have come to know, and hugely appreciate.

Our tutors have not only grown together as a group, but the children have made close bonds with them too. The children we have worked with this year have been very special. Not only have they become more confident in their spoken English but also their written English is improving at an astonishing level. Yes, grammatically there is much to teach them, but they are not short of creativity. We have had stories about cows transforming into goats, and ghost stories mixed in with romantic poems. They all love to act, sing and dance; a spectacle we got to see with our Fisantekraal Has Talent.

Maths has also seen a steady improvement. Our tutors have taught Maths (many times without a textbook) and the classes have remained at a steady number thought the year. While there is still a language barrier, which proves to be problematic at times, it is wonderful to see how both tutors and students interact and find common ground.

There is no doubt that the tutoring is seminal, but we have always been about more than just the academic sphere. The children have not only had the chance to go on outings but have taken part in workshops on drugs and teen pregnancy. This holistic and multifaceted approach is something that we value with the highest of importance.

It has certainly been a year of significant challenges and there have been many obstacles to overcome; but the tangible results and the positivity exude at every meeting with these young learners has been ever reaffirming. The thirst to learn is as strong and buoyant as ever. I have no doubt that there is a bright future for Each1Teach1; our own motivation to further establish channels of opportunity is certainly as high as ever.  

Peace & Love.

Peace & Love International MUSIC PROGRAMME

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It’s incredible what can happen in just a few days when wonderful, dedicated, and giving people share their talents. Peace & Love International’s Music Programme took a giant leap forward this week- the music centre and recording studio now has mains power and it has been completely soundproofed.

Amazing people creating invaluable opportunities. The sounds will start to emerge very soon.

Share Privilege.

Peace & Love.

Each1Teach1 is expanding – get involved!

Each1Teach1 is expanding – get involved!

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It is a new school year in South Africa and we are eager to restart our tutoring initiative. Our aim is to significantly increase the subjects and number of days we tutor, as well as introduce workshops on (on topics such as teen pregnancy, drugs, and rape). Having completed the construction of a netball court last year, we are excited to support the school in starting teams, as well.

We will be engaging people at the University of Cape Town from February 4th to 6th on the main campus. If you would like to meaningfully contribute to our greater community, please some see us between 10am and 2pm.

PLI 2012 highlights: teaching, building, and sharing

PLI 2012 highlights: teaching, building, and sharing

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PLI 2012 highlights: teaching, building, and sharing

As this year comes to a close, and upon reflecting on the progress we’ve been able to make, we feel excited about what, with the help of our supporters, will be done next year. Below is a glimpse of programs we will be expanding upon in 2013. We thank you for all for your support!

Teaching:

Upon consultation with the Fisantekraal High School staff and parents of learners, Peace and Love International began developing a much needed academic tutoring program for the youths called Each1Teach1. At the time we began recruiting talented tutors from the University of Cape Town (UCT) we were dismayed by the fact that 86% of the school’s pupils were failing their grades. Our program got off to a strong start thanks to the assistance of UCT student group called Ubunye who for years has developed and maintained tutoring efforts in marginalized communities. By bringing dozens of university students to the high school we managed to assist students eager to improve their academic performance. Though we certainly cannot take credit, students, staff, and the school’s principal are adamant that the program has demonstrated results, and we are thankful that at the end of the school year majority of the students were moving onto the next grade.

We wrapped up our tutoring effort with a unique celebration for the academically-committed high school students who participated in our tutoring effort, taking them on a nature outing thanks to a transportation grant by the HCI Foundation. At the end of 2013 we hope to take even more students on this celebration as we intend to expand our tutoring program to all grades of students at the school (8,9,10, and 11) while diversifying the subjects offered for tutoring. Similarly, our energetic Each1Teach1 steering committee members have been busy planning a recruitment drive for the new year, naturally making us very excited about the wonderful tutors joining our team in the months to come.

Sharing

In 2012 Peace and Love International received a generous Matching Grant from Rotary Clubs in Canada and South Africa which saw the shipment of a 12 meter container from Vancouver to Cape Town. The contents of the container were thoughtfully gathered by The Rotary World Help Network and packed by kind Rotarians who made every effort to fill the container to its maximum capacity with medical supplies, educational materials, sporting equipment, musical instruments, and everything in between! We were eager to receive this support not only for the fact that it allowed up to expand and enhance our initiatives, but equally for the fact that it enabled us to reach out to our community partners doing quality work for those in need. To this end, PLI was able to share thousands of items with over +20 organizations, including Red Cross Children’s Hospital, 2 under-resourced government hospitals, 7 Rotary Clubs, and over 15 community organizations such as Noluthando School for the Deaf, Education Without Borders, and the South African Education and Environment Project. The ripple effect created by the Rotarians who worked so hard to deliver these goods to us is beyond measure and we thank them on behalf of all our community partners in Cape Town.

 

Building
This year we broke ground at Fisantekraal High School and were able to construct a netball court for the new school’s first pupils. Netball is a sport traditionally played by woman, but our aim to break this gender barrier at the school by offering a program for male students while providing a rare opportunity for the school’s female students to participate in a meaningful, empowering group activity. Like all our other programs this one too shall focus on life-skills, using sport as a medium for confidence building and positive decision making while academic stipulations of the program will seek to enhance educational performance. The court was completed in December 2012 and the first teams will be offered to the youths in the new school year. The construction of the court was sponsored by Rotary Clubs in North America and South Africa.

    Thank YOU

 
2012 has been PLI’s most successful year yet. We would not have been able to do what we’ve done without the support of people like you, countless Rotarians, school staff, community members, organizations like Ubunye, Rotary, and the HCI Foundation, dedicated volunteer from the University of Cape Town, and extraordinary individuals serving on our board of directors in South Africa and Canada. If you believe in the work we do, please share this post – hopefully it will result in us meeting more people like you, allowing us to continually expand our efforts for those in need.

Wishing you a wonderful new year,

The Peace and Love International Team

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