This week, the first unit of the Happiness Project has reached the children we work with in De Kop informal settlement. It is the beginning of a new phase in our efforts to work with children remotely instead of through workshops. During lockdown – from early March to late September – we sent out 100 packs of reading and reading activities every week to CBN children so that children of all ages had something to do when they could not go to school. (Learning packs were also distributed to the older children by the schools.)
Now we are focusing again on the age group we usually work with most closely – 10 to 12 (Grades 5,6 and 7 with special dispensation for Grade 4s who can read well). We are also asking for more commitment from the children, and from the community. Children are being asked to register as CBN members and this involves their parents signing permission for them to receive the new packs and be members of the book club.
This is a trial both of the new registration method and of the material, which is of a more difficult reading level. We aim to challenge the children with stimulating and interesting material, based on the theme of happiness and pointing out that the big things in life (turning twenty-one, getting married, graduating) are once in a lifetime events. We are concentrating on the small, small things that can make life happier through our senses – sight, hearing, scent, touch and smell.
The first unit introduces the ideas. After consultation with Vuyo Lase who is facilitating the programme in De Kop, we will try to roll it out to other under resourced children in our area – and beyond.
Anyone who would like to help in this endeavor is directed to:
There is also a video on this page outlining the general principles behind CBN.
For information on the book club, please go to:
Note on images: Vuyo and her husband, Phumlani, have the CBN camera on a regular basis. As children wearing masks (and all of them are) are not so photogenic, we will sometimes use photographs from earlier workshops. At all times, the safety of our children and CBN team are paramount.