We ran our 6th Bootcamp during the June/July school holidays. Here’s what Manyanani Mawisa, one of our superstar learning “facilitators” had to say about the experience…
“It’s always great being invited to attend a boot camp and this time was no different. As this was to be my third boot camp it was even more exciting because I knew what a joy it was being in Zithulele and working with the learners. It is worth mentioning that when we first went to Zithulele there were only 3 of us and we drove (well Craig drove, while Mfundo and I offered “moral support” albeit with our eyes closed) in terrible weather conditions, muddy and pot-holed roads and all of this in a 1.4 VW Polo Playa which would explain why we got stuck up a hill for an a hour. It was a welcome surprise this time around to come back to Zithulele and drive on fully tarred roads.
My “job description” was to help with translating in the classroom and I was also dubbed as “Master of Sweat”, whatever that’s supposed to be. Well at a boot camp one has to be VERY flexible (scratches throat after coughing).
The first day is generally filled with a bit of uncertainty and sort of feeling your way around because the learners are still trying to get used to you and you to them. We started the week off with an ice breaker with the general theme being teamwork while also making sure to get them thinking ‘out of the box’.
The more time I spent with the learners, the more comfortable they became and the more questions they started to ask. While Michelle was teaching I sat on the side observing for any blank expressions to which I would then step in and do some translating and extra examples to help them with understanding, but for the most part I was busy with the learners on a one-on-one basis.
The aim for the week with the Grade 11s was to work through Transformations and Financial Maths but as the days went on we could see that we were being rather ambitious as completing two sections would be quite a stretch. We also ran Life skills classes where we offered career advice and educated them about community service (oh and I must mention that I was put in charge of handling the Life skills where I was told to “Just wing it”, I did mention flexibility earlier).
A very successful after school sports programme was run by Mfundo (touch rugby), Batandwa aka Arsene Wenger (soccer), Zizipho and Charloty (netball). I hope to one day play alongside Craig and the Zithulele kids in an IPT (Inter-Provincial Touch Rugby Tournament), we may not win a gold medal just yet but I’m certain that we will become a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
Special thanks to the Paxtons for the invitation and for all they have done and continue to do, Kristi Khuthala Jooste for all the time and effort she put into this boot camp including the driving and having to put up with the “crazy bunch” which is no small feat I tell you, the Axium family and indeed we have become a family, the learners for all their hard work and continued efforts through adversity, and last but definitely not least our sponsors for without them none of this would be possible, your support means the world to all of us and most especially the kids.”