Jan 2022 edition

Teaching the community

Written by Sphelele Ngubane

Bandile Bavuma is  a retired school teacher from Langa township in the Western Cape.Bandile Bavuma is passionate about education and community development.

He currently runs an after school programme that assists children in his community with homework.

His after-school programme is called Masifundeni Educare Programme.

"I saw a need in my community to assist young people struggling with social ills," he says.

Bavuma decided to appoach the Department of Social Development (DSD) to find a solution to what he was seeing in his community.

“A DSD representative advised me that the Langa community needed an after-school programme that would help children with schoolwork and help to keep them off the streets. I gathered five former teachers and told them that our community needed us,” he says.

As the number of children increased, the former teachers were joined by graduates who volunteered their time to the initiative. Masifundeni is run from a local church building. It helps children in any grade with homework and tutorials in critical subjects such as maths, physical science and languages. The programme started with about 30 learners in 2019, and now has about 85 children.

Bavuma urges other retired professionals to help their communities. “As retired professionals, we have experience and we can make a difference. This programme helps a lot of children and I urge other retired people to start something similar in their respective communities.”

In addition to schoolwork, the programme encourages every child to have a library card. “We also speak to parents about the need to schedule reading time at home.

Parents also need to control television and phone time so that children can grow up reading,” he says.

Support needed

Bavuma urges community members and parents to support development programmes in their communities as they need both financial and non-financial assistance.

“Programmes like these need support. Masifundeni Educare needs a bigger space so we can divide the learners according to their grades. We also need stationery, computers, more tutors, and any other resource needed in a learning environment.”

Bavuma says seeing the impact of their work on Langa youth has been worth the effort and time he and others invest in the programme.  

For more information contact Bandile Bavuma at 083 310 4371.

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