Read Sparrow Schools News - December 2008! text version

A great end to 2008... we achieve SETA programme approval!

It is with great excitement that we share the good news with you - three of our learning programmes at Sparrow Schools' Combined Vocational Skills Training Centre received SETA approval! Our Carpentry (Furniture Making), Welding and Motor Mechanics skills programmes have now been approved by the relevant Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA). This approval is an essential step to our learners' future success. They can now graduate with a nationally recognised qualification. Taking into account that the youth at Sparrow Schools cannot cope in mainstream schools due to barriers to learning - access to recognised qualifications is a major breakthrough in their quest to make a livelihood. The Forest Industries Education & Training Authority (FIETA) approved our carpentry programme. The MERSETA is the SETA for manufacturing, engineering and related services, covering the metal and engineering, auto manufacturing, motor retail and components, new tyres and plastics industries. MERSETA approved our welding and motor mechanics programmes. We are delighted to finish off 2008 with this wonderful accomplishment. In 2009 our management team will continue to pursue SETA approval of our clothing production, catering and creative design & technology programmes.

Motor Mechanics training with our Mr. Errol

Carpentry training in Mr. Ronnie's workshop

Sophiatown's history comes to life in the UK and Ireland...

Eighteen talented Sparrow Schools' learners from both our Foundation School and Sparrow Combined seized the opportunity of a lifetime when they performed in our play "Lavela Ilanga ­ The Sun Rose" on a 3-week whirlwind tour through the UK and Ireland in October 2008. The play tells the story of the birthplace of South African jazz, in words, music and dance. As a spectator from England commented: "The performance was both a highly enjoyable and a humbling experience; this was the first time the young people had been to Europe or been in a play and their dedication and talent is extraordinary." The drama group did Sparrow Schools and South Africa proud as they travelled and performed at various venues in London, Oxford, and Liverpool before ending off the tour on a high note in the City of Wexford, Ireland. Whilst the young people wowed the crowds ­ evidenced in the standing ovations and even being asked for their autographs at some London schools, they in turn greatly enjoyed and learnt from the extensive cultural exchange. Amongst other exciting excursions, the group visited Thorpe Park, the Liverpool City Football Club, the Beatles Museum and the Heritage Park in Ireland. All the hard work of the Sparrow Schools Foundation UK, the Sparrow Support Group Ireland and our local organisers was greatly rewarded!

On tour with Bev Booker, Lucy Downs and Sarah-Kate Hanna

In action on stage!

Don Mattera visits Sparrow Schools' Head Office

The Sparrow Schools' Head Office girls were treated to an impromptu reading of two of Don Mattera's poems by the poet himself. Don read his two poems: "This land, South of Africa" and "If Ever" recently published in the collection named "Faces of Trees, poems of Struggle, Freedom and Kin." Don is a cherished patron of Sparrow Schools. Over many years he has continuously contributed to and supported our work and initiatives. This year Don wrote a poem that formed part of our "Lavela Ilanga ­ The Sun Rose" drama script. We immediately took hold of the opportunity to get a photo! Jackie Gallagher and Don Mattera

Sparrow Schools' learners reaching out to our community

We always have something to share with others... even when our own situation is not as favourable as we would like it to be. This is an important lesson that we continuously instill in our learners' lives... In 2008 Sparrow Schools acted upon opportunities to reach out to others. Sparrow Combined learners reached out to the elderly by providing a "Christmas in July" function at a local Old Age Home. We received a donation of personal hygiene items through the Pappilon Foundation ­ and shared the donated products with the elderly folk. In turn, our Foundation School children performed a Christmas play in November, once again retired community members were treated to entertainment and delicious eats.

Combined's "Christmas in July!"

Enjoying Foundation's hospitality!

Thank you and Best Wishes for the Festive Season

Thank you to everyone who came alongside vulnerable children and youth by supporting Sparrow Schools' work in 2008. With every minute of volunteering, cent donated, service or product given, or connection made you made a contribution to our almost 600 learners' lives. Thank you for sharing our vision to ensure that children and youth with learning difficulties and special needs can gain access to skills and be empowered to make a livelihood whilst contributing positively to society. Our organisation will be closed from 5 December 2008 until 5 January 2009. We wish you and your loved ones a peaceful blessed festive season and look forward to continuing the journey with you in 2009!

Contact us or visit our website!

There are many ways to get involved in Sparrow Schools' work as we continue to provide specialised education, vocational skills training and extensive learner support to children and youth. We welcome your involvement! Contact Sparrow Schools' Head Office on (+27) 011 673 4410/9 or [email protected] or visit www.sparrowschools.co.za for more information. Non Profit Organisation No: 000-401NPO Section 18A Tax Registration Ref No: 18/11/13/1399 In supporting Sparrow Schools financially you will receive a Section 18a Tax Receipt and companies can gain improved performance ratings on their BEE scorecard.

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Sparrow Schools News - December 2008!

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