While Global Citizens gathered in South Africa over the weekend to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s Centenary and raise money for deserving causes, one South African citizen was being celebrated in Zurich, Switzerland for his work in the field of child and youth development. James Urdang, CEO & Founder of Education Africa, was one of ten recipients of the 2018 Klaus J Jacobs Awards honouring social innovation and change-making in the field of child and youth development. Awardees were selected from all over the world including South Africa, Brazil, Uganda, Slovakia, Nepal, Turkey, Colombia and Jordan.
All were singled out for their commitment and tireless efforts in achieving social change. Slavinia Jacobs, president of the Swiss-based Jacobs Foundation said, “They have found affordable, sustainable ways to promote positive development that can be easily implemented. They are beyond talking –– they act.”
Urdang receives CHF 100 000.00 which will be used for the ongoing sustainability and development of Education Africa’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) project. This project, which was established in 2008, provides ongoing training and support to ECD practitioners and current or future potential caregivers with a view to ensuring children’s school readiness as they progress from preschool to primary school.
The organisation has recently changed the focus from skills based training to a SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) NQF Level 4 certified training programme. In addition to providing graduates with a tangible result to follow the completion of their training, this distinction provides them the opportunity to increase their employment prospects and, at the same time, provide the field with well qualified ECD practitioners.
Urdang says, “Our comprehensive training programme is cost-free for participants, a great benefit to ECD centres in disadvantaged areas that are already strained for resources. While many of the trainees entering this programme are already caregivers working in ECD centres, others are unemployed youths seeking a career opportunity. We are thrilled to be able to provide both with opportunities for growth.
“Our training curriculum, which takes place over a period of 18 months, consists of three core modules which include theoretical classroom workshops, practical implementation, onsite support and ongoing assessment. Additionally, we also offer a module in classroom resource making, turning scrap into much needed classroom resources that are taken for granted in most schools.”
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Issued by JT Communication Solutions on behalf of James Urdang