We are on a three-year journey with Star for Life at Folweni High school in Durban, South Africa. Star for Life is a non-profit organization that provides programs to young people. These programs are aimed to empower impoverished young people, provide HIV prevention, strengthen students’ self-esteem and a belief in the future where their dreams can come true. We hope that through our support, Star for Life will be successful in their programs at Folweni High school. We have received the latest report on Folweni High school during the period of August 2016 to February 2017 and would like to share their progress!
Our support continues to have a positive impact on the lives of the young students at Folweni. They continue to be eager in pursuing their dreams! Many learners centered activities were held such as classroom sessions. A Star for Life coach has gone around to the classrooms to teach the students about issues related to reproductive health issues, career choices and life skills. These sessions were mainly aimed towards grade nine students. They asked the students many questions to figure out what type of learner they are, kinesthetic, auditory and visual or thereafter. Once they figured out which type of learner they were, then they were given tips on how they may learn the best way.
Star for Life held awareness events around violence and drug abuse. They even had local police and social workers come to the school to educate students on these topics. Ten students from Folweni were trained as peer educators and given training in how to support their peers in educational programs. They were also given education in how to answer questions regarding health matters, crime, leadership and other community issues, this way they could have students helping other students.
A career path workshop was held with the grade 12 students to help students prepare for further education and how to deal with life issues in the world. Inspirational workshops were held for grades 8 to 11 to remind the young students that despite the crime, poverty and socio-economic problems in their community, that there is hope for a better future. Psychosocial support was given to students through a coach as many students do not have parents or parent figure to share their issues with. The coach has also handled three cases of attempted suicide and cases of substance abuse. Having a coach available to help with psychological issues in the students at Folweni High school has been very beneficial.
Not only are the students participating in programs, teachers and the school principal have taken part in a leadership development workshop and educator workshops. These workshops give the principal and teachers more education in how to provide effective leadership and gain counselling skills. Star for Life held an inspirational workshop for Folweni teachers to motivate and strengthen the teacher’s relationships and increase the spirit of working together!
Folweni High school and Star for Life have faced some challenges, such as demonstrations and protests that delayed certain program times and high rates of crime in the community that affected the life of some students. However, Star for Life is back on track with giving their planned programs!