Shots from the Trip
About the Community
Good Work Foundation (GWF) is an NGO that has been working with grassroots education in Africa since 2003. Founder Kate Groch believes that in South Africa, the African marketplace increasingly demands 21st-century skills that often go unmet. She writes that "nowhere is this divide more apparent than in our rural communities where students lack basic opportunities to become proficient in the main languages of access: English and digital." These learning campuses bring in stakeholders from the remote communities and helps strengthen their abilities to "navigate the online world and all of its opportunities."
We visited their flagship Digital Learning Center in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, and the nearby Justicia. Both sit just on the lip of the famous Kruger National Park, which itself borders Mozambique in eastern South Africa, and endow these communities with a rich natural and cultural heritage. In these learning centers, GWF offers these rural communities access to world-class education and cutting-edge technology with the help of digital learning programs. Our storytelling workshops served their after-school learners in their mission to help these students communicate effectively and think critically about their environs, and live meaningfully and inspired in an environment of great pressure and flux.
We printed this child-authored storybook from the workshop:
Folk Stories of Mpumalanga
Our second ever print is a collection of stories from students from the villages of Hazyview and Justicia, Mpumalanga, whom we served in the summer of 2016 during our visit to the Good Work Foundation's after-school digital learning centers. These are coupled by an illustrated story written by Zimbabwe-born author, Bridgett Pitt, and chosen by Leo Ndlovu, a Grade 7 student from Mpumalanga. It is organized slightly differently than the other books. The stories come from the first workshop we ever did, predating Rakonto’s existence by a year and a half, and our focus during the workshop was heavier on oral storytelling. This meant we only ended up with written stories in a few classes, and shorter ones at that. So we figured letting the kids choose an author whose work has been meaningful to them could provide the happy medium alongside their stories. Readers of this book will get a taste of a colorful array of students' perspectives and visions.