Call 2 Care houses 7 different initiatives which focus on various ways of giving back to under-resourced communities through the central ethos of improving lives and making a sustainable difference. REVAMP is one of Call 2 Care’s 7 initiatives, uniquely designed to address transforming educational spaces. REVAMP focuses on upgrading neglected community spaces such as schools, day cares, and community centres. Through this upgrading and transformation process, these spaces become safe, secure and inspiring environments for all those who make use of them. REVAMP is focused not only on restoring these under-resourced spaces functionally but also through general maintenance and upgrades in appliances. By creating an inspiring and interactive environment, these schools and community spaces are educationally transformed. The transformation of each space is facilitated by the creative ideas of volunteers and the use of interesting materials such as infographics, upcycle materials and tactile surfaces/circuits, all to ensure a dynamic environment for the beneficiary while maintaining the integrity of the space.
REVAMP involves events that include volunteers and corporate sponsors heading out to a space to transform it and get their hands dirty to uplift and improve under-resourced communities. After weeks of budgeting, planning and corporate liaison, events provide the opportunity for volunteers, beneficiaries and the community members to come together in a fun and exciting atmosphere to transform the space. One of REVAMP’s successful events include the transformation that took place at the Sibongile Creche in Kayamandi. Volunteers from Sage and Pentravel, painted the creche interior, exterior and installed a new jungle gym for the learners. This event was a major success and resulted in continued general renovations being made throughout the year. Another successful REVAMP event involved the B&M Analysts CSR team-build with Soul Buddies at Thembani Primary School, a long-time beneficiary partner of Call 2 Care. Team members spent the day using the square foot gardening and companion planting principles, which they had just learned, to plant new seedlings, as well as painting educational infographics on the walls surrounding the school garden. REVAMP has also had great success in keeping consistent corporate sponsorships for events. In a recent event taken on by REVAMP, in partnership with Thembani’s iGardi Club, Call 2 Care worked with UniSky Trade, a regular and always eager corporate sponsor, to paint the tired interior of the classrooms at Thembani Primary School. Currently REVAMP’s focus is on the upcoming partnership with JustSpace Academy in recognition of International Literacy, on the 8th of September.
International Literacy Day, 8th September
REVAMP has had a number of fruitful projects and continues to be a supportive presence in the communities the initiative has served. REVAMP’s most recent focus has been on the upcoming International Literacy Day on the 8th of September. International Literacy Day, initiated and recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is celebrated each year in recognition of the importance of literacy as a basic human right. Established in 1967, International Literacy Day has been a global staple, dedicated to progressing efforts to combat illiteracy. Although just one day may sound insignificant, the day symbolises the holistic and important efforts made by UNESCO all year round, and throughout the years. UNESCO’s vision sees the potential to provide basic education amongst children, the youth, and adults, improve and further develop literate environments, and address early childhood development. According to UNESCO, 773 million youth and adults are unable to read and write, while 250 million children do not have access to basic education. This hinders citizens from actively participating in the growth and development of their communities. Ultimately, International Literacy Day affords us all a chance to come together, celebrate, and reflect on the progress that has been made, and still needs to be made, about the issues surrounding literacy.
The theme for this year’s Literacy Day is: “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”. This theme speaks to the necessity created for digital devices by the Covid-19 pandemic. In short, the Covid-19 pandemic caused a complete lockdown, stagnating teaching and literacy programmes in schools and communities across the country. While schools in wealthier, more urban areas were able to adapt to this drastic change by moving their teaching and learning platforms online, schools and children in low-income and rural areas did not have the digital resources to continue their scholastic commitments. Thus, having major repercussions for their education. According to the International Telecommunication Union statistics, the digital divide, i.e., the difference in access to the digital sphere, is a global pandemic in and of itself. In 2019, only 53.6% of the global population have had access to and used the internet. South Africa, in particular, has just 37% of its households with internet access. With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing its unpredictable ebb and flow, there is a great urgency for rural areas to overcome their digital barriers.
Literacy Day Initiative with JustSpace Academy
Call 2 Care, through its Revamp Initiative, is using the significance of this day and UNESCO’s theme to drive forth the educational and digital advancements of a local After School Facility, JustSpace Academy. Focused on early childhood development, JustSpace Academy is an afterschool program that houses and hopes to transform the lives of children from Grade R-4. This project was conceived when the founders, Lelethu and Fenwick, recognised that Lwandle, Nomzamo, and Asanda Village, 3 forgotten communities on the outskirts of Somerset West, Cape Town, were under supported, with no NGO support or supplementary learning facilities. This sadly means fewer opportunities for the youth of these communities, which remains the driving force behind JustSpace. The facility is located in an industrial area of Somerset West; what used to be a wood burning factory was cleaned and slowly turned into a learning space now known as JustSpace. While education is at the forefront of the Academy’s mission, the founders hope to nurture leadership, integrity, healing and restoration, meritocracy, and community. The centre also aims to provide homework support, digital and information literacy education, physical education and life skills, and counselling support. They provide the children with food and transport to and from the community as well. The founders have a great passion for helping and educating children; they treat the children who are a part of JustSpace as their own. However, to achieve all their goals, they rely heavily on donations, which have become infrequent.
Call 2 Care, in partnership with JustSpace and in line with UNESCO’s vision for childhood development, has decided to tackle these problems with a Literacy Day project. This project aims to collect a variety of literacy resources and to host an event on Literacy Day at the JustSpace Academy. Call 2 Care’s long-term goal is to build an inspiring reading and learning environment and to compile a library of literary resources and digital media at JustSpace. This is the first step of an overall revamp of this space, where Call 2 Care aims to create an inspiring space for the learners to continue learning. The Literacy Day event, which will be held on Wednesday 8th September, provides the opportunity for Call 2 Care and volunteers to deliver the literacy resources donated, to interact with and read to the children, to plan on how the revamp will take place and to share the importance of Literacy Day with JustSpace and the public.
The collaboration between Call 2 Care and JustSpace Academy is ultimately a donation driven project. Therefore, Call 2 Care is appealing to the public to donate both literacy resources (such as books, puzzles, board games, working books and stationery) and digital literacy resources (such as keyboards, monitors, mouses, tablets, educational electronic toys and books, and robotics toys) for the use of children aged between 1-9 years old. These items can be dropped off at one of the many collection points across Cape Town, from Gardens Center to Constantia Emporium and all the way to Kalk Bay. For all digital resources, please contact Call 2 Care directly and a representative will collect these from you. Monetary donations are also encouraged, as these will be used to buy online learning tools for the kids, as well as aid in purchasing tools and materials to revamp the JustSpace library. If you prefer a more ‘hands-on’ approach, you are welcome to join the Call 2 Care team on the day and help make plans to revamp the library and learning space, and even read to the kids. This would be the perfect project for any corporate team or student situated in Somerset West, as this event will not only directly contribute to and enhance the lives of the members in your community, but it will take us a step closer to becoming a more literate global society.