It’s Your Move - preparing for High School

The Sinawe Team in Langa has the privilege of working with all five primary schools in Langa. Having been in a position to provide psycho-social, emotional spiritual support to learners who are vulnerable, some having behavioural challenges, "It's Your Move" is a much-needed personal empowerment tool for the current grade 7 learners to prepare for grade 8. It goes without saying that the majority of the Primary Schools township learners are absorbed into the local High Schools, especially post COVID-19 as this solves part of the financial struggles parents faced and are still facing. 

The "It's Your Move" program covers three areas: 

  • Fear & Phobias
  • Identity & Choices
  • Dilemma & creativity 

The team went through some challenges in the first school where we were still finding our feet and learning to navigate the material while keeping the therapeutic atmosphere in the room. The maize/blind fold game, where friends gave each other directions to get to a target, was the highlight of the first section. The learners were challenged by the content and the educators joined in too because they wanted to experience the learning environment. This was an added blessing and their presence helped thwart questionable behaviour! 

It was an eye-opener for the learners to realise that many of them were facing an identity crisis. They realised they were relying on what their friends and other people were saying about them. We used a powerful video snippet to address the lack of self-love and self-confidence. This process showed the impact of negative words which get internalised and later acted out. We took a session to unpacked the idea that the person that knows who they are will feel secure and make choices from this place of strength. 

In one session we came up with a mantra from the bible verse in 1 Cor 10:23. It rhymes well in IsiXhosa: Zintle zonke-azindilungelanga zonke. The learners instantly fell in love with this verse! Learners received an encouragement to choose wisely in life, doing the right thing even when no one is watching. 

The feedback from the learners in all the schools was overwhelming. The educators were equally excited and thankful. They witnessed the power of setting ground rules before every session commenced and how easy it was to call back to order anyone who was overstepping those rules. We reinforced the importance of speaking positively to each other, how to give and receive compliments, and the importance of apologizing to the next person. The Sinawe Schools Workers are looking forward to implementing this program again next year with much more precision and more time given to each section. 

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Author: Grant Peers
Grant is married to Joanne and together they have two teenage boys, Seth and Ben. He is an ordained minister in the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa and served two local congregations before making the move to become the Regional Director of Scripture Union Western Cape. Grant loves working with his hands, especially with wood and leather. He also plays the odd game of Sunday cricket where he can be seen trying to bowl faster that his body allows him to.
Published: 23 February 2023
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