Cry ‘Bingo’ for youth development

2020-02-25 06:02
McDonald Phambaniso and Natasha Thomas run programmes at Steenberg High School through The Healing Heart Foundation.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

McDonald Phambaniso and Natasha Thomas run programmes at Steenberg High School through The Healing Heart Foundation.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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The Healing Heart Foundation (THHF), founded by an alumnus of Steenberg High School, Natasha Thomas, is raising funds for a computer centre at the school where classes and extra-mural activities can take place.

On Saturday 7 March, the organisation will host a Bingo event at Coniston Park recreation centre.

For the past two years, Thomas has run the Jam (Joyfully Applying Myself) Centre from the school to bring about a mind shift in youth affected by crime, drugs, gangsterism and the lack of positive role models.

“We run personal development programmes with them. It teaches life skills to our learners from Grade 8 to 12.”

Thomas adds: “The objective of the centre is to enhance social development, to encourage the children to successfully complete their high school education, to access opportunities and to reduce the school drop-out rate.”

To this end, THHF works with the school, providing programmes and activities to keep learners academically involved.

Next term, Thomas will launch an after-school tutoring support programme.

With the funds raised, THHF hopes to make use of the three classrooms offered by the school, who supports the programme. “One is a centre where Grade 8 to 10 learners currently have programmes. THHF facilitates sessions with learners to guide them to identify their talents, gifts, passions and to encourage them to not be afraid to pursue their dreams,” she says.

These programmes are complemented by a career expo held each year to make learners aware of opportunities.

She continues: “The second room is designated as a counselling room where we will do parent and scholar counselling sessions, and soon we will do development and debriefing for educators. The last classroom is for the computer centre.

“We want to use the centre as a research resource because 30% of learners’ year-end grade is made up of tasks and projects.

“We also hope to partner with an organisation to facilitate basic computer and coding courses so that learners are computer literate by the time they matriculate.”

Funds to provide the much-needed services to the learners and to help develop the community are being raised through a series of events such as the Bingo game.

Bingo cards (R10) and booklets (R50) can be purchased to support the project and prizes will be up for grabs during the event, running from 15:00 to 18:00.

  • Email admin@thehealingheartfoundation.org or call Natasha on 021 180 3068 or 068 000 4901 for more information.

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