The Life and Times Foundation emanates from a simple concept of compassion and unsurpassed love for community development and education by the members of the organisation. The foundation is involved in a myriad of initiatives aimed at equaling access to information and opportunities, bridging the quality gap between township and urban school pupils, cultivating more math and science learners, teach Computer Applications Technology (CAT), equip students with essay writing / debating skills and encourage more Bachelor passes from learners. Furthermore, the organisation through its academic packages cognitively emancipate the youth from local and remotely secluded schools in and around Pietermaritzburg; such that, they leave school having same level of information and skills as those from urban schools. The organisation extends its services to the KwaZulu-Natal province particularly to rural schools outside Pietermaritzburg. The founders of the organisation excelled in their own right and firmly believe that the contemporary school pupils can do even better with the services of the organisation within reach.
The Life and Times Foundation's team constitutes of males and females from executive levels to management committee and staff that harbor skills and qualifications parallel to the organisation’s vision 'towards a well-schooled society'. Unequivocally, the team understands and upholds the principle of emotional intelligence as a sine qua non for advancing its mission and goals. By emotional intelligence the organisation takes into account the cultural diversities of our subjects and empathises with them in any possible way. The team firmly believes that before one can start imparting knowledge to a subject, first, one must be able to view the world from a standing position of the subject. As a consequence, beyond the academic packages the organisation offers to school going pupils around Pietermaritzburg the team also teach Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health, Contraceptive, HIV and AIDS. Youth and children are our focal point and we are cognisant of the challenges they face on daily bases in and outside classroom. Education starts not at school rather at home, as such, the organisation’s counseling services come handy for early detection of stress, violation, discrimination etc. Zipho Makhoba is the Chairperson of Life and Times Foundation, 076 734 1021, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The organisation’s vehemence in leveling the playing field between local and urban schools is to encourage same education outcome. As the organisation we believe that any unequal distribution of academic assistance and material breeds social inequalities and therefore limit one group of the opportunities. The Life and Times Foundation seeks to resuscitate hope amongst the local school going youth. With our strings of initiatives contemplated in (Sect II); the foundation changes the mindset / attitude of the youth to wanting to further their studies post matric. And also get of the mindset of being poverty stricken, and wanting to improve their living conditions and contribute meaningfully to the society. The foundation strives to furnish the local school going youth with all the academic material and psychological support that makes of them resourceful students and citizens of the state.
The Life and Times Foundation declares school going youth as its top priority merely because of the potential they have ‘youth is our fertile ground for development’. Most importantly though, is to emancipate their cognitive faculties towards life and education in general. They should not feel any less when they intermingle with students from urban schools especially when they start tertiary. The foundation also ensures equal access to education, information and subsequently widens their pool of options after school. The Foundation objectives tally with the National Strategic Plan and the Millennium development goals of significantly reducing poverty, illiteracy and unemployment in South Africa.
The Life and Times Foundation is committed to advancing the Millennium development goals, Education for All Campaign and Schooling 2025 has these as cog in its developments trajectory. The foundation understands that the realisation of a well-educated, skilled and highly developed citizenry as envisaged by the Department of Education would require a collective effort. This is the foundation’s contribution towards the realization of this future. All of the foundation initiatives are meticulously structured and applied in such a manner that there is improvements in areas like; numeracy, mathematics, literature, grade 12 pass rate, number of Bachelor passes, reading and writing. The foundation will be cognisance of the Annual National Assessment (ANA) as a yardstick indicating the efficacy of the system.
The organisation offers the following:
- Computer Applications Technology to school going children from primary to secondary level, here we targeting the remotely located schools within the parameters of KwaZulu-Natal. We familiarise them with Microsoft Office products, E-mail and Internet Communication. The programmes are structured in such a manner as to equip students with basic understanding of computers. By the time students leave high school they are confident and computers literate;
- Career Development to our pupils in so far as exposing them to various career paths post metric. This is accomplished in two ways, first, in career expos to be held once a year (April), second, on continuous basis where we assess student’s strength and interests and we channel them towards that path. A student who is excelling in general studies is given as much information as possible about options available to them at varsity, colleges and FET’s;
- Funding to those who are financially needy and academically deserving. We select the latter based on their academic excellence in previous grades. While with the former we fund those from child-headed households. The school where the organisation is stationed will organise school uniforms, shoes and socks for those students who have loss either or both of their parents to AIDS. This is to ensure that schools are educational facilities rather than a place where poor kids are reminded of their state of poverty;
- Literature and Advocacy Skills, such as forming debate teams where we allow students to debate on current issues. The aim here is to improve advocacy skills of our students. Book clubs are part of the package; here we inculcate a culture of reading amongst school pupils. Lastly, we sharpen their writing skills through short essay writing, these essays are based on the books / short stories they would have read in their book club meetings;
- Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health, students are taught and admonished about unsafe sex and its consequences, are also taught about HIV/AIDS and these are taboo issues in our black communities but they exist and young people are becoming victims every day. Counseling services are also offered by our well trained counselors to those students needing them.
Short, Medium and Long-Term Goals
- Disseminate as much information, resources and academic support to the school going youth of Kwa Zulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg in particular;
- Academically develop our school pupils thus ensuring a smooth transition to tertiary;
- Start inculcating a culture of reading and writing as early as possible;
- Increase a number of Bachelor passes while reducing drop-out in tertiary through career guidance / development
- Networking / partnering with as many NGO’s around the province with similar mission as ours thus forming a formidable movement;
- Reach out to the most remote of rural schools in the province;
- All grade 12 pupils in the province by the time they leave school should be computer literate.
- Well lettered society that can read, write, and count, regardless of age, sex, gender and race;
- Society that participates meaningfully in economic, political and social realms;
- Society that lives in harmony and tolerant of other ethnic groups;
- Society with an indivisible national identity.
The Life and Times Foundation subscribes to the following sets of values:
- Caring: Advancing our goals in a generous and kind manner while being contemplative of our constituencies needs and wants
- Integrity: We ensure consistency in championing our goals and we do so without any fear or favor
- Honesty: We have no room for fraudulent and corrupt activities, anything that will tarnish the image of what we stand for
- Teamwork: Identifying and maintaining common goals, and collectively rally towards better service delivery
- Excellence: Sustaining optimal standards of performance in everything we do, no room for mediocrity