Future Sparks - Bringing hope through education!
Future Sparks has been in existence for 4 years and continues to work with passion and faith as we support teens living in Westlake through their High School years, by providing an after school tutoring and mentoring programme. We’re delighted to bring you up to date with the last two terms of 2023!
In July we were able to take our Grade 9 and & 10 learners to a Career Expo which was hosted by CCFM radio station. The event was impactful for the students, they had the opportunity to walk through a career fair showcasing many different work opportunities, and networking with various individuals about their jobs. They attended 3 engaging workshops on how to prepare yourself in high school for the job market, each speaker was in inspirational motivator. The reward was free cokes and donuts for all! One of our learners won R500 cash for submitting a piece of writing in a competition set by one of the speakers!
Thobelani Mbala joined the Future Sparks team, he leads the Grade 7 Programme at Westlake Primary School programme and is a programme manager for the high school programme. His experience and passion working with youth, as well as his skill at leading large groups of noisy teenagers make him an amazing addition to the team.
In July and August, we met with Old Mutual Foundation and Open Box Software to discuss funding and to update them on Future Sparks, we are grateful for their interest and support in this regard as they have both committed to funding the programme in 2024. We continue to look for new funding avenues as the programme continues to grow each year and our needs increase.
September was another busy month, the Grade 8’s had a trip to the Two Oceans aquarium at the Waterfront.
The Grade 9 and 10 learners had an opportunity to visit False Bay College (Westlake Campus). This was arranged through Erin September a member of staff at False Bay college Muizenberg, who heard about Future Sparks through the CHS Life Centre, she linked up with Jenny and the planning began! It was wonderful to see the learners being engaged with educators who presented all the opportunities
available at three of the campuses in the South Peninsula.
A huge effort was made for our
learners, and we are deeply thankful to the FBC staff for their enthusiasm and passion for Westlake teens.
To comply with Child protection laws in South Africa, our tutors all had police clearance checks done in the 3rd term (a yearly task). We held a tutor event to review and review the year, and an opportunity to train new tutors and keep us all aligned and enthusiastic about what we do at Future Sparks. Food and fun are always an important part of these gatherings! In November we had an end of year thank you dinner for all our tutors and coaches. We have so much to be thankful for!
Our second parent meeting this year, was in October, we had a fruitful time building relationships with families, discussing the work we do with their children, and introducing new members of the team. Life in Westlake is not easy, and many struggle with providing basic needs and increased levels of crime as gangs infiltrate the area putting families at risk. It was rewarding to hear parents express their thanks and specific stories of the impact which Future Sparks has had on their children.
The last few weeks of the term included exam revision for the learners, as well as a successful stationery collection in collaboration with two Grade 5 learners from Kirstenhof Primary School. We were able to give out 190 stationery packs to all at Future Sparks Grade 7 to 11. Thanks to everyone who partnered with Future Sparks, a great community effort!
After exams were over, it was then time to celebrate the end of year. The CHS Life Centre was the venue for the end of year celebration for our grade 8, 9 and 10 learners! Food, fun, drawing, dancing and reflecting were all part of the event.
Change in leadership:
Nomaphelo Magadla took over as Team Leader and Programme Coordinator of Future Sparks in September. In December Jenny and her family moved to England, she continues to support and fundraise from abroad and misses the learners, tutors, and the team greatly.
Thank you to our supporters:
We would like to express our sincere thanks to all those who have supported Future Sparks through this past year with donations of their time, expertise and financial resources. We could not continue this work without all the support from the community around us! We would love others to consider partnering with us by donating monthly so that the programme can continue to grow and impact the youth of Westlake.