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ASSITEJ SA is excited to share our Arts4Youth programme, which extends our current activities (Theatre4Youth) in supporting members around the country to provide arts access to children and young people either in school and after school. The programme has allowed us to employ 1650 artists part-time (16 hours a week), who collectively reach around 50 000 children and young people nationally through their activities, and are paid the basic minimum wage. We are working with 132 member organisations that oversee the activities of the artists.

The programme is funded through South Africa’s Social Employment Fund which aims to support organisations doing social good.

The programme allows us to hold training activities for the artists and organisations. The training covers a range of skills including our Kickstarter educational empowerment approaches, Creative Arts facilitation techniques, Literacy and language enrichment through Storytelling, a host of arts-based workshops (Puppetry, Mime, Movement, Physical theatre etc), and then a number of workshops linked to Administration, Project management, Positive discipline, and more… 

Again, this in-person training has brought the programme home to the participants as something real and valuable. Having ASSITEJ SA Core team members and provincial coordinators visit SEF participants on the ground has also increased the level of engagement and trust and we have seen an explosion of information and sharing of experiences between our organisational partners which is starting to build communities of practice in an exciting way.

Here is how some of the participants describe the impact of the Arts4Youth Programme:

BOTS FEATHER organisation:

“When I started my organisation last year I had one facilitator and myself, few kids who attended my classes, but since my organisation being part of SEF project, I have plus minus 70 participants (Kids, Teenagers and Adults), four public schools where we are working with 246 learners per week, facilitating Creative Arts. Also I have managed to employ 10 unemployed facilitators who are now benefiting from this project and able to support their families.”

“I Moloi Maitse Dennis as a leader of Free State Arts Production since we started the ASSITEJ project in 01 June 2022 it has brought a big positive energy in me because am doing what I like, I mean my career today am pushing through it. Again I’ve created a new family with my cast it also brought back the hope that one day the seeds of my work through ASSITEJ will bring changes in my community.”

Onalerona productions: Lebohang Moroe

“It emphasizes the importance that creative arts and arts in general hold for communities that look into arts as a therapeutic tool to confront societal challenges that confronts young people, youth and the community on a daily basis. It also puts a highlight on the need for project such as SEF for accessibility of knowledge transfer between the practitioners, schools, and communities as the benefit goes to all involved parties.”

Maraba A Diarts: Tshepang Matebesi

“This project impacted on my life and the other people who are involved in it – I can say it’s positive due to the fact that this project created employment for us and and financially it has a huge impact in each and every person involved in it.”

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Please note that these are AI translations that have not yet been manually checked.