Extra-Curricular Enrichment

GAPA is currently a flourishing program providing programming in the area of: educational workshops, support groups, income generation activities, pre-school bursaries, relief funds and aftercare programs for residents in the community.

Project located in Western Cape, South Africa
Project focused on Empowering Communities

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Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS (GAPA) is located in Khayelitsha, which is a partially informal township in Western Cape, outside of Cape Town. GAPA was started in October 2001 as a direct result of the implementation phase of a research project undertaken by the University of Cape Town.

An occupational therapist organized workshops and support groups for grandmothers who were affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The intervention program was designed to meet the needs articulated by grandmothers who were part of the study. After the completion of the study, the group of grandmothers formed a committee with the occupational therapist and made plans to spread the information and support to others. GAPA is currently a flourishing program in the Khayelitsha community and provides programming in the area of: educational workshops, support groups, income generation activities, pre-school bursaries, relief funds and aftercare programs for residents in the community.

The low standard of living in the community too often means that families and schools in Khayelitsha are unable to provide children with important educational extra-mural trips. Many children in the community do not have access to visit educationally enriching places around their own communities due to limited finances.

The Aftercare program at GAPA aims to provide children with a safe environment afterschool to do home work, eat a healthy meal and just ‘be kids’ by playing games and doing crafts in a safe and secure environment. This is especially important during the afterschool hours as child abuse rates spike during this time.

The GAPA aftercare program has been very successful, bringing in approximately 200 children from the surrounding area. Unfortunately, due to a loss of funding, GAPA can no longer provide a means for the children to experience educational outings in the Cape Town area.

The project enriches the children’s in-class education by supplementing the funds needed to pay for educational outings twice per year. These extra-mural trips will allow children to visit places around Cape Town that they would not otherwise have access to due to financial restraints. While providing a fun outing to children, the trips will also be educational and equip children with practical life skills taught through tactile learning and fun experiences.
In partnership with the grandmothers on staff, African Impact volunteers will also help facilitate learning during the trip and supervise children to ensure safety.

As a part of our commitment to children’s education, assessment tools will also be put into place after the outing to measure the skills that have been learnt through the educational trip.

Short Term Impact:
Educational extra-mural trips enable all children to attend culturally enriching institutions and engage with hands-on learning through fun and exploration, despite financial backgrounds. Learning is both age and development appropriate and encourages well-rounded learning outside of the classroom.
Long Term Impact:
Providing educational trips to children improves long term critical thinking, increases exposure to cultural institutions in the community, facilitates group learning and will ultimately empower children to grow mentally from the new experience. By enriching children’s education, you also enrich their families and the community as a whole.

GAPA is located in Khayelitsha, which is a partially informal township in Western Cape, South Africa. Located in the Cape Flats area in the City of Cape Town, Khayelitsha means ‘New Home’ in Xhosa. It is noted to be the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. Today Khayelitsha has an estimated official population of over 500,000 people but the unofficial number counts just under two million people including informal settlement areas as well. The ethnic makeup of Khayelitsha consists mainly of Black African residents, who predominantly speak Xhosa. Khayelitsha has a very young population with over 40% of residents being under the age of 19. As with other settlement communities, residents in Khayelitsha have limited access to basic utilities such as water, sewage, electricity and health care.

Thanks to group and individual donors along with hard work from the Cape Town team, GAPA enrichment saw two extramural trips take place in 2014: Two Oceans Aquarium in June and The Cape Town Stadium and Green Point Biodiversity Park in November.

In 2015 we took our GAPA ladies and 169 children up Table Mountain over the course of two days, which was a massive success. Both days started off in Company’s Garden, enjoying a picnic lunch, face paint and circle games and songs, and even a yoga class in the Garden. From Company’s Garden, our country-coordinated troops headed off to the main event – Table Mountain. On the mountain, children partook in an educational course about the surrounding views and floral and fauna in the area before they set off to explore. In October our volunteers and staff along with 152 children and 12 grannies set off on their adventure to Kirstenbosch Gardens. Not only was this excursion fun and exciting, it was educational too, with plenty of opportunities to learn about the dinosaurs in exhibit, and the glorious nature surrounding the children at every turn.

In 2016 we planned two unforgettable experiences for the children: Students in Grade R to three explored Boulders Beach to observe the African Penguin colony in a protected natural environment, and Grades four to seven took part in a two day venture, learning about sea life, ocean conservation, and feeling comfortable in the ocean – eventually snorkeling in two different locations on the Cape Peninsula.