Archive for August, 2011
The second VSA AGM took place on Saturday, the 20th of August 2011 at 11am in Grahamstown, South Africa at the VSA headquarters. Seven VSA members attended the meeting incl. all board members. 3 members joined the meeting via skype or telephone. 12 members apologised.
- Welcome, introduction of board and regular members, apologies.
- Presentation of financial report by Amanda McPhail. (Please, contact us for details.)
- Presentation of annual report incl. strategy and future planning by Anna and Ron Wertlen (Find a presentation here.)
- General discussion and networking, planning of future projects and collaborations.
We would like to thank all attending members and members that provided input, collaboration opportunities or financial support by paying their membership fees. Your contributions were and are very much appreciated!
awareNet is aiming for something bigger this year. The Village Scribe Association decided that either awareNet will become more famous and used by more learners pretty soon, or it’s not worth investing into it anymore. So, we hope that this will become a great success story…!
It all started with the rather unpleasant and surprising news that Thozi Ngeju, our community coordinator, decided that he will rather work for Rhodes University now than for us. That means that Anna Wertlen is now the new temporary community coordinator and manager of the current music project on awareNet, which involves the production of a professional awareNet theme song which will be made public on Peace Day (21/09). The trick is that 6 awareNet schools are involved and the whole progress is being documented on awareNet as an educational resource. We found absolutely amazing partners:
- Gabriel Spilkin who produced the instrumental version of the song
- Corinne Cooper and her Sonic Art Studio in conjunction with the Inyaniso HipHop band who train the kids to rhyme, rap, sing and perform on stage with the promise to record them afterwards
- Richard Strickland from eKhaya ICT who constantly adapts the software to our needs
- Jeremy Gilley from Peace One Day who promised to screen a 2 min video clip of our project at his own music event on Peace Day in the O2 Arena in London, UK
- Akua Afram from Aries Music, UK, who promised to find a patron for our project.
- Jayne Morgan from Radio Grahamstown Y4Y who promised to broadcast a show on our project on the 22/08/11
At the moment, we are negotiating with the Makana Municipality how they are going to support us, eg. by sponsoring Noluthando Hall for the battle of songs on stage and some finance for the recording. We further try to persuade the Sakhuluntu Cultural Group to do a Chalk4Peace picture on Peace Day next to Noluthando Hall. And most of all, we are practising with the learners every day. They are fantastic and surprise us every single time. They show everyone that they are keen to learn something and can commit to a project. Watch them on YouTube!
The Grahamstown Foundation awarded 4 awareNet users with free tickets for the National Schools Festival in Grahamstown (10.-14.7.11) after they had successfully proven that they are good reporters by documenting their experiences at the National Arts Festival on awareNet. Faith du Plessies, Krista du Plooy, Ayanda Twani and Siyamtanda Tokwe went out and thoroughly enjoyed the Festival. They were very grateful for this opportunity to learn so much while having a lot of fun!
In return, the 4 learners started a project on awareNet in which they reported about their experiences at the Schools Festival for other awareNet users to read, take part and leave comments. Other awareNet users actually became so interested in the project that they joined and also added their experiences. So, thank you very much to: Hannah Godlonton, Motolani Adesina, Jessica Wentworth, Neliswa Mamani, Tamani Chithambo and Siyanda Makunga. You collaborated in a great way! (Non users can also read the project, but will not able to leave comments or read personal information. The awareNet project can be found here.)
I would like to add a heartwarming message (sms) that I received from Ayanda after the Festival: “I would just like to thank you for allowing me to experience what is now the best zenith of my matric year. All the memories and the powerful productions are ones that I will treasure forever. Thank you and I hope that next year more girls can have the same upliftment as I.”
awareNet learners in Grahamstown were awarded with free tickets to the show ‘Vagina Monologues’ on Thursday 11/08/11 at Rhodes’ Nun’s Chapel. The ‘Vagina Monologues’ is a play written by Eve Ensler, performed every year worldwide. In Grahamstown is was performed by a variety of Rhodes students which proved to be very skilled and presented an excellent and moving performance.
9 learners from Victoria Girls High School attended the show and reflected their experience, thoughts and feelings about the show and it’s different topics afterwards on awareNet. They discussed it in a forum and will start a project about their own women’s monologues.
The VSA is very grateful to Amy Caroline Goodenough for establishing this cooperation and attending one of the awareNet sessions at VGHS to answer questions and give some background about the show. She also provided her own literature for awareNet’s data base, which can be read and commented by all awareNet users now. Thank you very much, Amy!