Adult education

Pictured at the FutureLife-Now! Sharing Meeting (from left) Amir Fouad, Assistant Regional Director, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Dr Lamboly G.N Kumbonek, Senior Programme Officer, SADC Secretariat, Thandi Chaane, CEO, MIET AFRICA, and Prof Robin Sannassee, SPO Education, Skills & Development, SADC Secretariat

A total of 130 representatives came together – some virtually and others in person – to participate in the first regional FutureLife-Now! Sharing Meeting of 2022.

The successful hybrid meeting took place in Cape Town from 15 to18 February and attendees included 74 government officials from 14 of the 16 SADC Member States, as well as representatives from the SADC Secretariat, the Swiss Agency for Co-operation and Development, MIET AFRICA and various development partners.

The meeting provided the SADC Member States with updates on FutureLife-Now! activities, the ESA Commitment evaluation and recommitment process, status of CSTL mainstreaming and the #1 Million Ubuntu Youth Leaders Movement.

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Learners at Semonkong High School celebrate with traditional dancing

11 March 2022 was a busy day for Lesotho in general and for Semonkong High School in particular. Known as Moshoeshoe’s Day, it is an annual celebration in remembrance of the founder of the Basotho nation, the late King Moshoeshoe I, who died on the 11 March, 1870. A public holiday in Lesotho, this day is often celebrated by schools through sports activities such as athletics and soccer.

These festivities were interrupted by COVID-19, and did not take place during 2020 or 2021. However, this year, FutureLife-Now! project youth facilitator, Thabiso Samuel Sello, together with the school’s sports and cultural committees, made the decision to celebrate this year’s event. The day’s programme included many traditional dances and songs such as Ndlamo, Mokhibo, Selialia, Motebuko, Liphotha, and other cultural activities – all part of the Sesotho Arts and Culture curriculum.

It was an eye-catching event that started with a fun walk from the school to the small town of Semonkong. Students and teachers marched proudly in their African traditional attire while ululating residents from the nearby villages provided encouragement.

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Grade 12 learners Moonga Bristol and Hakabwa Charloty preparing to water the school garden

Without clean water teachers and learners suffer, and schools cannot reach their educational potential, even if they have skilled teachers and knowledge-hungry learners. It is difficult for even the most motivated learners to learn when they are thirsty, or sick from drinking dirty water, or have to use bathrooms without water. These were some of the challenges Lusitu Secondary School in Zambia faced prior to receiving water.

According to Mweene Andrew Mulimba, one of the senior villagers, “The Lusitu area can be best described as a living hell. It is a hot and drought prone desert, with scorching heat, high temperatures and bare lands, and fresh water is unavailable.” At the secondary school the situation was even more dire for girls reaching puberty. Said one of the teachers, “The bathroom situation was very discouraging. Most female learners dropped out of school when they hit puberty, out of embarrassment due to the lack of privacy and a conducive sanitation environment.”

Since 2019, however, the situation has improved considerably. Through FutureLife-Now!, a 5 000 litre water tank was erected and three garden taps installed; one inside the schoolyard, one near the girls’ dormitories and a third outside the school near the teachers’ houses. This tap also catered for community members.

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Learners celebrate through singing songs about climate change

Climate change has had an alarming effect on the weather in many parts of the world, and Fort Rixon in south-central Zimbabwe is no exception. Initially founded as a British military post during the Ndebele uprisings, it is now an agricultural and ranching hub. However, over time the weather has changed and the area is currently receiving far less rainfall than in years gone past, with negative consequences for agricultural activities and cattle ranching.

But this has not gone unnoticed. Thanks to the Climate Change Club at Fort Rixon High School, there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. Led by the FutureLife-Now! peer educators, school initiatives have been introduced that address the effects of climate change. Much of this has begun with small changes in behaviour and the planting of trees.

Early this year, the club decided to host a tree planting ceremony in order to raise awareness. The idea was to reach out to strategic stakeholders and bring other neighbouring schools into their campaign.

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Executive members of Madisi Youth Club planning how to protect Monjeza forest

Monjeza forest sits alongside the community of Madisi, and is part of the Dowa highland in central Malawi. It was once home to an abundance of wildlife. Nowadays, although the 30-kilometre reserve is still home to over 300 hyenas, many bushbucks and a range of endangered species, it is sadly not the place it once was.

Overpopulation, overdependence on natural resources and overgrazing by domesticated animals have led to deforestation and contributed to the loss of Monjeza’s magnificent reserve.

But all is not lost. The youth of Madisi are taking matters in hand. Over the past two years, the Madisi Youth Club, assisted by FutureLife-Now! youth facilitator, Isaac Dyson, embarked on a project to protect the Monjeza Forest Reserve.

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Register your participation to this webinar which will introduce the CSTL community to the SADC Child and Youth Agency Framework. This useful webinar will also share information on available resources and support to encourage all Member States to use the Framework to enrich their education systems.

Click here for the invitation with the link to register, and here for the Information Note.

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Moomba Boarding Secondary School in the Chibombo District of Zambia held a series of workshops under the CSTL Community, which focused on Human Agency,  Educational Community, and Evaluating our Journey. 

The workshops, which included the School's Community Partners, addressed issues surrounding the importance of children becoming Change Agents for the present and the future. 

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The Education Plus Initiative (EPI) is a high-profile, high-level political advocacy drive to accelerate actions and investments to prevent HIV. This initiative provides an opportunity for the government to reaffirm its commitment to creating an environment in which young girls can reach their full potential using the education system as an entry point to provide a holistic “plus” package of essential elements that adolescent girls and young women need as they become adults.

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