In 2013, the Chintsa East Drama Club was created and developed by Volunteer Africa 32o South (VA32) volunteer Charlotte Whitehead in collaboration with local Grade R teacher Phumla Pakamile in response to the lack of the creative arts being accessed by students in the local community of Chintsa East. As an experienced Freelance Drama Facilitator, Charlotte believes that drama unlocks confidence, creativity and imagination in children and young people.
After a series of after school workshops and extra rehearsals with VA32 volunteers, 20 Chintsa East Drama students performed The Ginger Bread Girl at Tea in The Trees Forest Theatre with a very positive response! The rehearsal process saw the confidence and performance skills of each participant grow, the talented cast were then invited to perform in front of their peers and teachers at Chintsa East Primary School.
In 2015 Chintsa East Drama became a Friends of Chintsa project and begun the new challenge: to take 8 students to perform Sipho at South Africa's National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The students were at the heart of the artistic journey from start to finish - from devising scenes, to helping fundraise locally, and performing at the festival. Mentored and supported by Charlotte and Phumla, the students were able to really take ownership of their play and make it their own. As part of their experience at the festival they reviewed different genres of performances, which really influenced and grew their acting skills!
Performing at the National Arts Festival was a brilliant achievement for everybody involved. Chintsa East Drama were very proud to bring back their performance of Sipho at The C Club to show their family, friends and members of the local community. On their return, the students also reflected on their experience together, and did their own project about it on computers.
Looking towards the future Chintsa East Drama are hoping to use the money raised from their performances to engage with an educational theatre workshop by a South African Community Theatre Company.
A solar powered 4x4 mobile computer lab was developed for the provision of Information and Computer Technology (ICT) lessons in rural school communities of the Chintsa, Mooiplaas and Ngxingxolo areas in the southern Wild Coast. The mobile lab allowed ICT to reach communities that had no electricity, limited space or security concerns. It also allowed an optimization of equipment as the mobility of the teaching environment meant more than one school community could be serviced by the same computers. The project was primarily run by volunteers (in partnership with African Heartland Journeys - Volunteer Africa 32o South) delivering modular based learning activities from introductory to more advanced to school learners as well as adults. In 2016 the Big Green was de-commissioned and the solar infrastructure donated to the Chintsa East Learning Centre to power the new computer hub which is being developed.
The project was made possible by: Hungry Man, First Battery, African Heartland Journeys, Countesthorpe Community College
A number of schools in the greater Chintsa region were introduced to computer literacy through the development of computer labs within the schools through a long standing partnership with African Heartland Journeys - Volunteer Africa 32o South (VA32). Starting the project at the original Byletts High School, a reconditioned classroom was set up with 24 computers and together with the school, a motivation to the Department of Basic Education led to the full time appointment of a computer literacy teacher. The Friends-VA32 partnership then took over the management and maintenance of the Bulugha Farm School computer lab initially set up by Buccaneers Backpackers. This was followed by a further two schools being equipped with computer labs.
School leadership being able to take responsibility of the maintenance and management of the lab have presented the largest challenge with facilitating computer literacy through the labs. To address this, the Big Green e-Machine was developed as a pilot project. Conceptually, this is a great way forward but a lack of resources meant this too was under-utilized. Chintsa has therefore focused on the development of the Chintsa East Learning Centre as a mechanism to address computer and language learning going forward.
Texas State University (TSU), under the leadership of their professor Lori Assaf, has visited Chintsa since 2014 running teaching and learning holiday clubs and an in-school ICT module. This work forms part of the visiting students’ university curriculum and adds a creative and innovative addition to the school based projects in the area. TSU’s support reaches across a number of local schools, organisations and pre-schools.
In 2010, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) approached Friends of Chintsa to support the implementation of a cooperative enterprise venture to pilot the feasibility of a bamboo based craft and product micro-industry. Although, in the end, the initiative proved to be not feasible, five local women received a broad range of training and experience which included crafting, small business skills, marketing, management and cooperative formalization. The project also allowed for a further 25 residents to participate in small business training facilitated by SEDA – the Small Enterprise Development Agency. Three of the five also gained experience in edible plant gardening and propagation through an initiative headed by WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa). At least two of the ladies took their skills back home and started home gardens to supplement their household food.
Inspired by the 2010 Soccer World Cup and a tour to South Africa by a corporate football team from British film company - Mother London- Friends of Chintsa together with SANCO undertook a project to build a soccer field and netball facilities. As a community with no formal sporting facilities, sport is seen as critical to galvanizing our community and creating healthy recreational opportunities for children, youth and adults.
On a limited budget and with a tremendous amount of voluntary input the first soccer field was levelled and fenced and a small clubhouse built. A follow up project saw Friends of Chintsa raise funds for the development of a netball court adjacent to the soccer field by ‘selling’ 500 square meters of land in the “Buy a Meter” campaign. Instantaneous results were seen with local football competitions being hosted, netball clubs formed and high levels of evening training on the facility taking place.
In 2015 the local municipality began a large scale overhaul of the modest facilities with the upgrading of the soccer field to accommodate rugby, a new clubhouse and ablutions. This overhaul is near completion and the Chintsa community is focusing on formalizing the sports field management body in order to partner with the local municipality to ensure management and maintenance of the facility going forward.
A one off investment was received by the Friends of Chintsa to oversee a biogas project at Chintsa East School. Motivated largely by the state of disrepair of the ablution facilities at the time, the biogas project allowed for a retro-fitting of the under-capacitated pit latrines to upgraded flush toilets with the intention that the biogas plant would provide cooking gas for the school and water for a food garden.
While achieving many of its objectives, the plant has not suitably delivered on gas production, primarily due to the high level of maintenance of the system that is required for this, for cooking and the food garden is not consistently driven as a whole school priority. The biogas infrastructure continues to be maintained by pre-school teacher and Friends champion Nokapumla Pakamile who uses the facility as a teaching and learning space while she ensures oxigination of the water is happening, digesters are managed and when possible, the garden is being utilized for food production.
A small once-off donation was received to run a partnership project with WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) to address the continued degradation of a green belt area running behind Long Beach Dune which was being used by quad bike riders and motor bikes. The response by the quad and bike riders was positive and vegetation has re-established itself in the key focus area of the project. Alien invasive plants, particularly inkberry, guavas and Port Jackson remain a high concern in the green belt and a further project to address this should be considered.
Beach Face Lift
Denver Shark Attack
Employment Reference Book
Thursday Morning Food Market
Village Grounds man
Health Clinic Refurb, Training and Committee
Ngxingxolo Crèche and toilets Refurb
Sponsorship of Early Childhood Development Training
Classroom Rebuilds and Rehabs