AN INTRODUCTION TO SIZABANTWANA
The Sizabantwana Project started in 1997 with the aim of developing educator capacity to deal with psycho-social issues in their school communities. These educators have become agents of change in their contexts, and identified as resources by other community members. Approximately 47 schools (with an average of 1000 learners) are involved in this community driven initiative. The focus of the project is educator development, to assist educators to assist learners, whether in relation to academic underachievement or a child who is starving. The group engages in training around a variety of issues, whilst at the same time gaining a sense of their own power and agency. While the ultimate beneficiaries of the Sizabantwana support group are the children, the teachers involved in the group have benefited in more ways than they initially expected through the problem-solving collaboration which has been established.
The project is located in the Discipline of Psychology, in the School of Applied Human Sciences at the University of KwaZulu Natal. The development of this project over the years has provided many opportunities for student involvement through research, volunteer activities and service learning.
The Sizabantwana Team.
The project has been in existence since 1997 and currently has approximately 47 schools that participate. Volunteers from these schools attend a capacity building workshop once every two weeks where they have input about various aspects that affect the children in their classrooms (the topics range from learning difficulties to sexual abuse to art therapy).
The ultimate aim of the project is that the Sizabantwana members will become agents of change and identified as resources within their school communities, impacting on the lives of the children they encounter.