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The March school holiday workshops (1) Songs

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Two Day-Workshops on 18 and 19 March

On 18th March (Stanford) and 19 March (Enlighten Education Trust in Zwelihle in Hermanus).

The theme of both workshops was ‘US!’ and they also formed the launch of our Monitoring and Evaluation structure, which will enable us to present more detail of just who exactly comes to our workshops – and what they get from the whole experience.

For both workshops, we had the help of out longest serving facilitator, Janine van Rooy (Blaq Pearl). Janine has given workshops for us in Simon’s Town, Clanwilliam, Stanford and Hermanus over the last four years and is immensely popular with CBN children. She is a Hip-Hop singer, writer, performer, actress and published poet. She brings many skills to excite our children about reading. She is also founder and Director of an NPO in Mitchell’s Plain to assist and promote skills among young women in her community

I have watched her do it many times, but HOW she does it remains a mystery. She stands in front of a group of children and invites them to provide words to incorporate into a song – words that reflect their lives. The results can be totally unexpected. In Zwelihle the very first words were ‘load shedding’ (power cuts) which indicates the state of the national grid in South Africa right now. In Clanwilliam, we once had children tell us that they ‘Love Clanwilliam and we love eating donkeys’. None of them have ever eaten donkey (or ever will), and they decided to retract that the following day, but if they say it, it is incorporated into the song.

This time we had a lively group, including the girl who rapped some of the chorus and had ambitions to do a crowd leap from the stage into the group of children in the hall. (We dissuaded her.) The resultant songs may not be ready for the Albert Hall and the great symphony orchestras of the world, but they were heartfelt. We took our CBN Djembe drum, and two of our favourite Zimbabwean musicians dropped in at the perfect moment to accompany the song with guitar and drum. It was – as always – a perfect moment. Thank you, Janine, Terry and friend and the rest of the CBN team who supported us with the other activities.

For the words of the song, go to: https://www.childrensbook.co.za/news/2019/04/01/cbn-children-sing-their-...

Our thanks also to Enlighten Education Trust for letting us use their facilities on the second day, to Nini Stevens who generously provided the food for the children on both days and to our funder for these workshops, ZA-FM Public Interest Fund, and other funders who help with the structure and framework of CBN.