From July 9 to 14, 40 ninth grade students took part in the English Access Microscholarship program's Winter Holiday School at the Diepsloot Combined School in the township of Atteridgeville.
Led by English Access Microscholarship teacher Ann Marie Olufuwa, the six days were packed with instructional activities based on the week's theme, "The Value of NGOs." Olufuwa collaborated with two local NGOs, Green Beings and Zizanani Women and Youth Empowerment.
Green Beings is a registered non-profit that educates youth about the environment and the impact humans have on it. Green Beings provided workshops on biodiversity, recycling, and water testing and led an interactive trek through the Diepsloot Nature Reserve.
Zizanani is an NGO that carries out a wide range of community development programs all over the country. The students visited a Zizanani literacy project in Kya Sands, and also interviewed the founder about her life and work. One learner said of her experience, "I want to come back and help them again."
The week concluded with a celebration where U.S Consular General Earl Miller awarded the students their English Access Microscholarship Program enrollment certificates. The young learners representedthemselves proudly by taking to the stage with songs, dances, and comedy. Additionally, two studentspresented their "Vision Boards", inspiring the audience by describing their goals and their determination to reach them.
The English Access Microscholarship Program
The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 14-18 year-olds from disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive summer sessions. Access students gain an appreciation for American culture and democratic values, increase their ability to participate successfully in the socio-economic development of their countries, and gain the ability to compete for and participate in future U.S. exchange and study programs.
Since its inception in 2004, approximately 70,000 students in more than 85 countries have participated in the Access Program.