Western Cape Cultural Affairs and Sport, on its support for the Lights On After School campaign

28 Oct 2021

WCG supports international #LightsOnAfterSchool and After School sector in SA

Today, 28 October we celebrate the 2nd Annual #LightsOnAfterSchool Campaign in South Africa. Reflecting on the devastating impacts of Covid-19 on children and youth this year the global ‘Lights On’ theme is #HelpingKidsRecover.  The local campaign which was birthed from the international campaign led by the Afterschool Alliance in the US, puts the spotlight on the humans who work with and are the champions of children in these programmes. After School Programmes help children and youth find and pursue their passions. These programmes are also an integral part of the development of our youth and their mental wellbeing and resilience.

DCAS leads the Province’s youth work and has been championing the value of After School Programmes to close the opportunity gap between children and youth in under-resourced areas and their counterparts in more resourced contexts.

Head of Department: Mr Guy Redman said, “COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of the family, communities and the NGO sector in the education eco-system in order to ensure the holistic development of children. These actors all stepped up to keep learning alive during lockdown and reminded us that the education of our next generation involves so much more than the formal school day. Today we shine the light on all the thousands of people who are playing a role in #helpingkidsrecover. We salute the humans of the After School sector for their tireless commitment to ensuring that no child is left behind.”

Over the last two months, campaign partners, our Youth and After School Programme Office, DCAS, The Community Chest of the Western Cape and The Learning Trust, have called on After School Programmes in South Africa, community and development organisations, donors and policy makers, and interested individuals to join the international Lights On Afterschool! Activations.

Taking part in the celebrations today, Minister Anroux Marais visited an After School Programme at Masonwabe Primary in Delft which focuses on helping struggling learners build a love of reading and numbers. This is one of hundreds of programmes shining the LightsOn After School Programmes today, advocating for the sector and recognizing its role in #helpingkidsrecover.

Minister Marais said, “Reading opens a world of possibilities, it ignites the imagination, creates opportunities for reflection and introduces children to different places, people and situations, It was exciting to see how young unemployed youth have been trained to support the reading programme and offering numeracy support to learners, acting as big brothers and sisters to the children on the programme. These and hundreds of other humans are the faces of After School Programmes. DCAS has always supported after school and has invests in sports, arts, and reading programmes. It is in these programmes that children and youth build new positive peer networks, confidence and grit. These are all essential skills for young people to grow into productive, active residents of the Western Cape.”

Bronagh Hammond, Spokesperson for the Western Cape Education Department also shared their appreciation for the role that many individuals and organisations play in bringing after-school programmes into our schools and communities. Hammond said, “The holistic development of a child is important and we value the contributions made to improve the lives’ of learners both mentally, physically and emotionally. We have so many examples in the Western Cape of best practice and programmes that bring about absolute and sheer joy to the lives of many children – whether it be on a soccer field, dancing on stage or the sudden understanding of a mathematical equation, it all adds to their development and hope for their future. Let us celebrate and acknowledge these champions!”

Chief Director: Youth and After School Programmes, Jacqui Boulle said, "While only in its second year in South Africa, we are excited to see so many well-known South Africans also supporting the After School Movement and this campaign. We have had sport stars, JP Duminy and Bianca Buitendag, actors Jolene Martin and Roberto Kyle, the Western Cape Children’s Commisioner, Chrisina Nomdo and many others all share their support for the sector. We believe every young person should have access to a range of opportunities to develop their skills and enrich their educational experience. This is the work of After School Programmes.”

Follow #LightsOnAfterSchool #AfterSchoolSA and #HelpingKidsRecover on social media to see all the activities taking place.

Media enquiries:
Stacy McLean
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
083 504 1171

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