MASIFUNDE Learner Development officially opened their Changemaker Academy, an educational hub, in the heart of Walmer Township on September 1. Masifunde provides educational support to more than 600 motivated learners from impoverished communities through academic support, life skills training and extracurricular activities in the fields of arts, media and sports. The Masifunde Changemaker Academy (MCA) aims to mould holistically well-educated learners with solid values, self-confidence and eloquence. The learners are empowered to take responsibility for their own lives, as well as their social environment, and thereby act as changemakers. In the mornings, MCA functions as a service provider to out-of-school youth and the three local schools, offering computer and visual arts classes. It is also home to Masifunde’s Montessori Preschool. In the afternoons, the centre offers computer, visual arts, music and drama classes. More than 200 guests celebrated the joyful occasion of the grand opening of the centre, together with the team and beneficiaries of Masifunde. In his keynote speech, Jonathan Lawack of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM), said, “Education is more than just the books; it must look at the learner in a holistic manner. That’s what Masifunde does by offering not only academic support, but also life skills, extracurricular activities and social assistance.” Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education of Nelson Mandela University, Muki Moeng, added, “Many children unfortunately loose the curiosity and eagerness to learn when they enter the mainstream school system. It is, therefore, important to find ways how to ignite the fire again within them – just like Masifunde does with their extramural programmes.” Zukiswa Maku, principal of Walmer Lower Primary School, emphasised the mutual benefits that can be created between schools and non-profits. The school provides space for Masifunde’s programme in the afternoons, and in return, Masifunde established a computer lab in their school, renovated classrooms and runs their school library. Maku was excited about the upcoming developments, which will train her learners in a visual arts and life skills curriculum, as well as in computer literacy, from next year. The ceremony was mastered by Sibabalwe Singeni and Sibusiso Kelemana, two beneficiaries of Masifunde, while highly professional and entertaining choir and drama performances gave an insight into the creative programmes Masifunde has to offer. For more info on the Masifunde Changemaker Academy contact Jonas at 078 646 8056 or email@example.com.