Posted in Giving back, Press releases

WWF SA SOUNDSCAPE PLAYLIST BRINGS NATURE INSIDE

To put us all back in touch with nature, WWF South Africa has launched a restful playlist of the unique sounds and features of Africa’s natural heritage for enjoyment safely at home, while observing the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.


The WWF playlist, titled ‘Bring Nature Inside’, captures the soundscapes of our beautiful natural world and features the sounds of projects and areas where WWF is actively working.

“We wanted to allow people to experience the richness of nature. With many of us feeling overwhelmed by the current state of the world and the unique disruptions we are facing, it is imperative for us to take care of our mental and emotional well-being. Nature provides the perfect ‘escape’ that we need during this time,” says Justin Smith, head of business development at WWF South Africa.

From the enchanting sounds of rhino translocations, to the soothing backdrop of a free-flowing river and the rhythmic sound of the Atlantic Ocean, each authentic track features immersive sounds with a description that brings together the beauty and significance of our natural resources,and showcases the work WWF is doing to help protect South Africa’s natural heritage.

Contribute by listening

“Fostering a connection with nature during these unsettling times is essential for our well-being and a reminder of the ways in which we can look after our environment, especially as the world searches for a new normal in how we live,” says Justin.

With its 10-hour long mix of different calming and inspirational tracks, the WWF SA soundscapes can be enjoyed in any setting; whether you are working, exercising, cooking, gardening or simply taking a break from your home desk.

For access to the WWF SA Soundscape Playlist please visit wwf.org.za or click on the below links:

1. SoutPansberg

2. HighVeld

3. Fishing

4. Rhino

5. Beach

6.Bees

7.Sugarbird

8. National Park

9. Windfarm

10. Pastures

The soundscapes will also be available on various streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Deezer, Google Play and Amazon.

A percentage of the streaming royalties will go to support WWF SA’s ongoing conservation work, at no cost to the platform user.

“We are excited to share soundscapes with our audiences. Distance does not mean disconnect, and we hope that with this platform we can help bring some solace and peace to people in these extraordinarily trying times. At the same time, we want to highlight that nature still matters; we must continue safeguarding it so that we can all enjoy it together again in the future. As an added benefit, every time a track is streamed, WWF will earn a modest amount of much-needed money to put towards its conservation efforts,” says Justin.

Posted in Giving back, Press releases

How chocolate is giving the gift of play

Finally found some of the limited edition Cadbury chocolate slabs ….

Many of you will remember the wonderful generosity shop by Cadbury last year, where our children exchanged new and pre loved toys for chocolate to assist vunerable children in South Africa.

Once again, in the spirit of generosity, Cadbury Dairy Milk is shining a light on South Africa’s orphaned and vulnerable children.

For a limited period, when you purchase one of five specially wrapped Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates,depicting images of tots and learning, you help give the precious gift of childhood:- the gift of play by contributing towards R1-million worth of educational toy, books and games for orphaned and vulnerable children.

Cadbury’s initiative comes at a time when this generous nature is truly needed and Cadbury Dairy Milk is once again calling on all South Africans to help.

Our children are our nation’s most important and most neglected asset. We need to change this, and play is one of the most profound ways in which to do so.

Show your support and buy a slab today.

#glassandahalf

Posted in Education, Giving back, Press releases

Educo Solutions provides free online accredited SETA courses

Educo Solutions, the organisation that supplies free, accredited education to our country’s youth, has fast-tracked its digital services, launching Educo Academy in an attempt to counter the negative impact Covid-19 is having on the educational environment.

The online learning portal allows all Educo students to conduct their courses remotely and for free, helping them to continue progressing during lockdown.

Educo Academy won’t replace the existing learning centres situated in Alex Mall, Protea Glen Shopping Mall, Diepkloof Library and the newest addition in the Libridge Building, Braamfontein. It is, instead, an easy-to-access tool for students to keep learning whilst locked down, one that they will continue to use at their respective centres when they return to class.

The launch of Educo Academy means Educo is also not limiting its services to the physical learning centres in Gauteng.

“Since we announced Educo Academy last week on social media, we have had dozens of registration requests from potential students all over the country,” says Ayanda Makwanazi. “This bodes well for a mobile platform that aims to provide South Africa’s qualifying youth with much-needed opportunities to up-skill themselves through education, no matter where they live.”

“With Educo Academy, all a student needs is a device to connect to the site,” explains Ayanda Mankwanazi, Educo’s Head of Academics and Facilitation. “This innovation in remote learning opens up our services to the nation. Our existing students can continue their studies uninterrupted, and many more now have the opportunity to join our programme and better themselves.”

In addition to the Q&A function on Educo Academy, each student is assigned to a facilitator who offers support on WhatsApp, either to their group or on a one-on-one basis.

Educo Academy is a positive development that aims to alleviate the stress and uncertainty of these difficult and testing times. It is easy to use and, most importantly, the data is zero-rated, with Educo Solutions picking up all the data costs involved. For the thousands of students currently stuck at home, it offers enormous benefits and hope.

Educo Solutions began registering new students immediately after the launch of Educo Academy, and is encouraging all qualifying South Africans to register and apply for their new 3 -month Digital Business Skills Program.

The course covers a wide variety of skills including Microsoft office and business communication to, and very relevant right now, dealing with HIV and Pandemics in the workplace.

Students will receive a certificate of completion after their 3-month Digital Business Skills programme, as well as earning Unit Standard credits towards a 12 Month National Certificate should they wish to continue their studies.

With youth unemployment on the rise, South Africa’s younger generation are in desperate need of skills that set them apart and enable them to gain access to the labour market.

Educo Solutions is directly addressing the country’s educational and skills gap by providing free, quality NQF and SETA-accredited education to unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 28. And with the launch of Educo Academy any qualifying individual can do this course from their mobile phone free of charge and reap the benefits.

On completion of a 12-month course contract focusing on relevant skills like end-user computing and business communication, these up-skilled graduates find themselves in an ideal position to enter the formal job market and apply for jobs like secretaries, data capturers, admin staff and customer service agents.

To qualify

  • one must be South African
  • unemployed
  • and between the age of 18 and 28.

For interested individuals, you can register at this link:https://bit.ly/EducoDigital
Or email:Hello@educosolutions.co.za

For more information:www.educosolutions.co.za

Posted in Covid-19/ Coronavirus, Education, Giving back, Parenting, Press releases, Tweens & Teens

Hope for South African matric learners as radio lessons are launched

The premature closure of schools due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Africa has resulted in both challenges and opportunities, with many learners missing out on large pieces of work especially in term two. In an effort to support rural learners without access to television classes, computers or data, Kagiso Trust has partnered with the Limpopo Department of Education to provide radio lessons to our grade 12 learners. The scheduled lessons will commence via Capricorn FM radio from Monday 11 May 2020.

“Kagiso Trust has long believed that education is the key to overcoming poverty,” says the organisation’s CEO, Mankodi Moitse, “ Over the past 16 years we have created education programmes structured to have the highest impact and greatest sustainability. Our work in the Free State is testament to that.”

Radio lessons will be hosted on Capricorn FM, Sekhukhune FM and Tubatse FM from Monday to Sunday hourly.

The Limpopo MEC for Education Ms Polly Boshielo said, “Crafted lessons will be offered by expert appointed subject teachers with an excellent track record in the subject that they offer. These are the teachers who recorded 80% and more pass rate in the subjects that they have been teaching since 2017. We believe that their expert content knowledge will benefit more than 80% of the current grade 12 learners in Limpopo.”

COO of Kagsio Trust, Themba Mola said, “Grade 12 learners have already lost more than 30 days since the lockdown coupled with the possibility of losing another month if the phase-in model announced by Minister becomes a 1st of June return. This model of mediating learning will strengthen teaching and learning in the absence of face to face conventional classes.”

Capricorn FM will focus on MST subjects (Mathematics, Sciences and Technologies), including Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Agricultural Sciences. “These are the subjects that are highly enrolled and determine the standard and quality of education offered in Limpopo province.

Currently, the main subject of the five, that still poses a serious challenge in the province is Mathematics, whose performance is still below the threshold,” said Mola.
“These are the subjects that are highly enrolled and determine the standard and quality of education offered in Limpopo province.

The other 7 non-MST subjects will be broadcast by the community radio stations in the both Sekhukhune East and South education districts. They include English FAL, Sepedi HL, Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, History and Geography.

Each live broadcast lesson will last for an hour per day during and after the lockdown period. The first 30 minutes is allocated to the teacher to mediate learning and the other 30 minutes will be reserved to the learners to interact with the teacher through questions or comments.

Content will largely cover term 1 and 2 scope and will be supplemented by face to face contact sessions after learners shall have returned back to school.

“In a province as large as Limpopo, radio is the perfect platform to reach most learners,” says Moitse. “ This is about inclusivity. It is about access to information. It is about gathering together around a radio like we once all did. This is the new normal. We call upon everyone to support the radio lessons and #KagisoRadioTeachers – local teachers, broadcasting across Limpopo, straight into the homes of learners.”

Detail:

  • Capricorn FM willbroadcast lessons 5-6pm Monday to Friday on the Just Drive show.

  • And every Saturday and Sunday 9-10am on The Saturday Breakfast and The Sunday Restoration respectively.

  • Podcasts will be available on the station’s website and learners from other provinces can listen via livestreaming

For more information please visit the following stakeholder websites for schedule information on classes:

Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Giving back, Parenting

Prayer for a pandemic

As we end our third week of lockdown, I wanted to share this beautiful poem I came across.

Prayer for a pandemic

– Camren Wiggins Bellim

May we who are mearly inconvenienced

Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors

Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home

Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close

Remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips

Remember those who have no place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult if the economic market

Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for quarantine at home

Remember those who have no home.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,

Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.

Amen

Posted in Education, Family Life, Giving back, Parenting

We’re going on a bear hunt

Image :Harcourts

We are in week 3 of lock down, and as a mom with a 3 year old I’ve been encouraged by the beautiful community inciative around the world to keep our children inspired and encouraged.

One of those is the bear hunt.

What is a bear hunt ?

Children are encouraged to place a teddy bear in a window for other children to see and remain hopeful.

During self distancing and for those countries whose lock down still allows them to take daily walks, this is used to allow the kids to count the bears and read the beautiful messages the bears may be holding, eliminating the sense of loneliness and isolation in our children.

Who is the bear hunt for ?

The bear hunt was started for children during social isolation but anyone can place a teddy in the window.

Facebook is full of soft plushies, like Disney characters, that have been placed in the windows instead of bears.

Our bear

We live in a complex that is not road facing nor do we have too many neighbours who can peep into our windows but we have put a bear in the window none the less.

Using the bears to teach community service

Hamish strongly believes that he is making other children happy by doing this and it’s a wonderful way to teach community service.

He may only be 3 years old, but with us as a family taking part in these seemingly ‘silly’ initiatives we are currently keeping him busy, sharing the message of hope, teaching him to have empathy for other children who are also bored and stuck inside and allowing him to do what he can to give back to his community.

Teaching our children to serve others is a valuable lesson.

Why teach community service to kids ?

Many parents share the goal of instilling a sense of community involvement, being kind and giving back within their children. It is never too early to start.

You can start to teach them these valuable lessons by :

  • Exposing your children to various causes. – Whilst there are many causes out there you will soon notice those that capture your children’s passions. It is important to remember that your child may support a different cause to you and will not be interested in every cause. Both of those are OK.
  • Discuss community involvement as a family. – Talk openly and honestly about the causes, initiatives and community involvement projects that you are interested in or that they could take part in.
  • Set an example. – Our children learn from our actions more than our words. If we are natural community helpers, they will automatically be inspired to find their own causes to join and exhibit a heart of giving.

So, whilst it may seem like just another hashtag and Instagram opportunity, let’s see the lessons behind this and how we as moms can use these to help our little ones become the best they can be.

Posted in Giving back

10 Amazing displays of Unity during Covid-19

One of the positive aspects to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has been the sense of unity that have seen so many people standing together.

Some of the most memorable for me will be :

1. Fun mamma Rainbow kids craft club

I was inspired by the Italian children who placed pictures of rainbow to symbolize hope to those passing by, to start a group where our children could feel connected by joining in a group and all completing the same crafts or activities daily and then sharing them.

You can join the group here

2. Rainbow in the window

I love this inciative and there have been so many dynamic individuals getting children to paint, draw and create rainbows to show our unity as a planet.

We asked Hamish where he wanted to paint his rainbow and he chose the sliding doors.

In the mornings as the sun shines through our back door this rainbow is projected onto the tiles inside making this an extra special rainbow.

3. Bloggers united with domestic flights sa

I’m always excited to see the fantastic collaborations between bloggers and how they are using their platforms, now especially, to uplift and inspire others during lockdown.

So, when domestic flights sa asked me to share my thoughts on their latest blog Bloggers collaboration: Unity during Covid-19 I was excited to be part of the amazing bloggers helping to share positivity.

Credit domestic flights sa

4. Teddy in the window

Another great initiative that I first saw on a New zealand site us the teddy in the window , which is the same concept of hope and unity as the rainbows.

Children are encouraged to go on a bear hunt and look out for the bears if the are walking or driving outside should they need to leave home for any reason. Or if you live in a complex for children to spot the bears in others windows.

5. Rainbow rocks

The rock painting group I belong to on Facebook, Cape Town rocks, started this awesome initiative to paint the rainbows on the rocks and hide them for others to find and spread a little hope this way.

Hamish and I spent a few days painting rainbows onto rocks but were not able to hide any before lockdown.

6. The time capsule project

Tomorow we make our family time capsule. As we are living through history right now, I thought it would be a great idea if we put together a time capsule and kept journals of this time.

I was not alone and the generous people at Long creations put together this FREE, easy to use guide for kids to use to add to their capsules.

7. Chalk your walk

This is another creative way of spreading messages of hope to your neighbours.

Using sidewalk chalk people are drawing rainbows and leaving positive messages on their driveways.

8. The many displays of neighbours looking out for each other

From notes in post boxes offering to shop for those who can’t to leaving toilet paper sanitizer and tin food for the refuse collectors.

People and businesses who have spare masks and gloves donating to hospitals.

Before lockdown we sent toys and games to a local children’s home to keep them busy and piles of books up an old age facility to help them get through the 21 days.

The feeling of community and unity is certainly shining through.

9.The beautiful way in which our destitute and vulnerable people of South Africa have been looked after.

One of my biggest fears were for those who found themselves destitute, on the street or vulnerable during this time and I find myself incredibly proud of South Africa for finding shelter and food in such a short time for the huge number needing it.

10. Clap for champions

All around the world there are various clap for champions inciative.

Even Prince William and Kate have recorded their beautiful children clapping to thank the selfless health workers and other essential staff.

Well done South Africa on standing together ….

Posted in Giving back

CHOC Flip flop day 2020

CHOC is launching a brand new initiative to assist children and teens fighting childhood cancer.

For 2020 they have launched the brand new FLIP FLOP DAY.

What is Flip Flop Day?

On Friday the 14th of February 2020, the public will get the chance to show their “sole” by purchasing a Flip Flop Day sticker and wearing their Flip Flops for the day.

It’s the vision of CHOC to take over the country on Flip Flop Day – from boardrooms to classrooms and everything in-between.

And for just R10 you can show your support and set your toes free!

How to show your support

There are three ways in which you can support Flip Flop Day:

1. You can purchase a Flip Flop Day sticker as an individual and wear your Flip Flops for the day.

2. Your company can purchase each staff member a Flip Flop Day sticker and allow them to wear their Flip Flops on the 14th February 2020.

3.As a business your company can order stickers on consignment and allow staff to purchase their Flip Flop Day sticker and set their toes free on the 14th February 2020. All unused stickers will then be returned to CHOC.

Where to buy Flip Flop stickers

You can purchase your stickers online at http://www.choc.org.za or from one of the CHOC regions closest to you.

For more information contact fundraiser.westerncape@choc.org.za.

Posted in Christmas, Family Time, Giving back, Parenting

What to say when your child no longer believes in Santa

Living in a home where my kids range in ages can get tricky when trying to keep the Christmas magic alive and some don’t believe in Santa any more.

I remember threatening not to bring gifts to the older kids if they dared breathe a word to their younger still innocent siblings.

So, when I found this beautifully written explanation online I couldn’t help but share it with everyone.

To me this message is the perfect way to explain why we keep the Santa Christmas magic alive .

What to say when your child no longer believes in Santa

**ATTENTION ALL PARENTS WHO MIGHT NEED TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT SANTA 🎅🏼 **

Son: “Dad, I think I’m old enough now. Is there a Santa Claus?”
Dad: “Okay, I agree that you’re old enough. But before I tell you, I have a question for you. You see, the “truth” is a dangerous gift. Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. Once you know the truth about Santa Claus, you’ll never again understand and relate to him as you do now. So my question is: Are you sure you want to know?”
*Brief pause*
Son: “Yes, I want to know.”
Dad: “Okay, then I’ll tell you. Yes, there is a Santa Claus.”
Son: “Really?”
Dad: Yes, really, but he’s not an old man with a beard in a red suit. That’s just what we tell kids. You see, kids are too young to understand the true nature of Santa Claus, so we explain it to them in a way that they can understand. The truth about Santa Claus is that he’s not a person at all; he’s an idea. Think of all those presents Santa gave you over the years. We bought those for you. We watched you open them. And did it bother us that you didn’t know? Of course not! In fact it gave us great pleasure. You see, Santa Claus is THE IDEA OF GIVING FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING, without thought of thanks or acknowledgement.
When I saw that woman collapse in town last week and I called for help, I knew that she’d never know that it was me that called an ambulance. I was being Santa Claus when I did that.”
Son: “Oh.”
Dad: “So now that you know, you’re a part of it too. You have to be Santa Claus now. That means you can never tell a young kid the secret, you have to help us select Santa presents for them, and most important, you have to look for opportunities to help other people. Got it?” ☺️

Look out for and help each other this Christmas🎄🎅 and… always be kind ❤💕

( original author unknown)

How did you explain to your kids? Please share in the comments .
Posted in Brands we love, Christmas, Education, Family Life, Family Time, Giving back, Parenting, preschoolers, Tweens & Teens

Superbook brings back the heart of Christmas

As a mom I love watching my children enjoy all the magic of Christmas.

We decorate the tree and make our gingerbread houses. We fill our stockings, put up the lights,remember to move the Christmas elf and enjoy the many other traditions around this holiday.

But

As a mom I also very much want my children to grow up understanding the real meaning of Christmas and know that Jesus is the heart of this magical celebration.

So how do I do that?

Looking after their hearts

When my older children were younger we would prepare for the festive season by attending Sunday school and reading a chapter of Luke in the Bible a day.

We made nativity scenes and told the story of the birth of Jesus.

Often on Christmas day I would read to them from their children’s Bible all about the story of Jesus.

As my children grew older, these traditions faded and aside from my lonely nativity scene and a few Christimes carols there was very little to remind them of the true reason to celebrate.

A new beginning

After Hamish was born, it became important to me to once again share the true meaning behind Christmas and each year I’ve tried to include him so that he would understand that Christmas is so much more than just a day of gifts.

Last year was his first Christmas, at 2 years old, that I felt he could understand.

Last year I bought him a new Children’s Bible and we read the Christmas story before making a homemade advent spiral using some tree angels and a lot of imagination.

Each day we would move the Mary and Joseph up a bead and he would tell me it was nearly time for Jesus to be born.

But was this enough?

A heart for God

Would these simple acts over a month a year bring my child’s heart to God?

I was convinced I needed more and as I sat pondering this I came across the CBN Superbook advert on Facebook.

An invitation to experience the Bible like bever before.

For just R99 I could invest in :

  • A DVD combo with two stories (The First Christmas & The birth of John the Baptist)
  • Family discussion guide which help to open discussion and extend on the teachings behind Christmas time and how to apply the scriptural lessons in their little lives.
  • Stickers of the Superbook character

To order your own click here

Screen time

We were away the weekend Hamish recieved his DVD package and on our first Monday home I settled him just before nap time and told him we were going to watch the story of Jesus.

He was intrigued from the first minute. The characters, Chris, Joy and Gismo, are fun and relatable. Modern day kids just like him that set off on a big adventure to discover the Bible through animation.

Gizmo the lovable robot is Hamish’s favourite character and I was impressed that the Biblical character’s dialogue is mostly taken from scripture, whilst great care has been placed on the careful attention to detail within the illustrations.

Children love animated stories and I know how much knowledge Hamish picks up from the other animated stories he watches so I was certain he would walk away from this story understanding the birth of Jesus.

I was also sure he would have many question and was really greatful for the famiy discussion sheet that I pre read and assisted me to explain the story to his little heart.

About Superbook

The Superbook mission is to take the stories of the Bible to children of all ages and has been broadcast in over 90 countries and translated into 50 languages.

Superbook is created by an award-winning team of artists and storyteller, who have worked on some amazing Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Mulan.

Each episode invites you into the pages of the Bible to experience God’s word as never before through captivating animation videos.

Now, children of all ages can learn to apply scriptural principles to their daily lives by watching the biblical events unfold on a TV, and through the Superbook App on a computer,tablet or Phone.

The App is aimed at children 6 -12 years but Hamish who is 3 has been able to play some of the games.

We watch the videos, discover the heroes of the Bible, enjoy the daily devotions and have fun learning new fun facts.

You can download the Superbook App from Aapple App store, Google Play or Amazon Apps or for more information http://www.Superbook.CBN.com

A new Tradition

We will certainly be watching The first Christmas many times before Christmas and have added it to our Christmas traditions.

But

More than that, I now have a little boy who understands the true meaning behind Christmas time and I will be using the Superbook App, videos and activity books daily to build his heart and character.