When we walked into the Valleys and Mountains Development Foundation, the first thing that we was the degree of focus of the +/- 20 youth busy with their paper-maché creations. They were all incredibly immersed in their work – a buzz of teens sculpting out of recycled drink containers, cardboard boxes, and anything else they can get their hands on!
The goal of the Valleys and Mountains Development Foundation is to provide opportunities for youth who might otherwise find themselves tempted by drugs and alcohol, crime and / or getting involved with gangs.
After school activities offered by the Foundation include the visual arts, dance classes, boxing, and drama, while daytime learning opportunities are available to those youth who are no longer attending school. Starting at the beginning – with the little children – is fundamental to Foundation’s success, which is why they also offer a crèche right next door.
Positive feedback, encouragement, helping them to realise that they can choose, they can speak up for themselves, they do have a voice is summarised by the project’s slogan: “Learn today, lead tomorrow”.
One of many success factors that was mentioned by the project team was that assignments, which have certain guidelines provided are still open to interpretation in terms of how the learners want to complete them and it is this freedom that makes possible their growing confidence levels.
As pointed out by the project team, the objective is to bring out the confidence that each individual has within themselves, but hasn’t yet discovered.
The EXPEDITION Project team would like to thank the following for their generous support along the way: