We are two French volunteers, part of an exchange programme between the Amy Biehl Foundation and the CEMEA Bourgogne, which are two associations acting for education, respectively in Cape Town and in Burgundy. This programme has been sending young volunteers for a period of 6 months from Burgundy to Cape Town and vice versa for the last 5 years.
We lived and worked in Cape Town, South Africa, from July to December of 2015. We worked with the Amy Biehl Foundation, which is a non-profit organisation that offers programmes to develop and empower youth living in challenged and vulnerable communities within the Western Cape.
As volunteers for this NGO, we taught French to the children of Gugulethu township. Through this experience we realised the potential value and impact these lessons were having on the children. Learning the French language and culture gave the children a sense of empowerment because the communities they come from are historically sidelined and do not get the opportunity to learn foreign languages and cultures.
We would like to continue these lessons so that the children can learn french during one entire school year and obtain the “DELF Prim” certificate (Diploma of French Language Studies, level A1.1), internationally recognized.
· Mégane Morillo, 20 years old.
"In July 2015 I graduated with a BTS in Tourism from school. Even so, I have always been drawn and motivated to work with children. My experience in South African has aroused the motivation for me to start a new vocation in teaching and I now plan on making this my profession. Working with children and teaching them has made me mature quite quickly, and their thirst for knowledge inspires me to surpass myself every day in order to give back to them.”
Fanny Métais, 26 years old.
“I graduated as a Social Worker in 2013 from school. After gaining different professional experience within Social Work in France, I felt the need to gain further experience in a different country. This led me to my volunteering service mission in Cape Town, South Africa.
I discovered what it really meant to be a teacher, French and Art in particular, and experienced first-hand how resourceful children can be with the right guidance. The children’s craving for learning really inspired me and I felt they gave back to me at least as much as I gave them.”
From this, we are both motivated by a strong desire to continue what we have started in teaching them the French language.
THE TARGET GROUP
Children from the Gugulethu Township.
Age: Between 8 and 20 years old.
· OUR AIM
To give the children from the township the chance to learn French.
· OUR OBJECTIVES
For the children:
- Obtain the “DELF Prim” certificate (Diploma of French Language Studies, level A1.1), internationally recognized.
- Expand their horizons to a different culture.
- Learn the French language which is used in several countries in Africa and in tourist cities like Cape Town.
- Develop their general learning skills.
- Learn a language close to English that can improve their English by extending their glossary.
- Reduce the exclusion feeling of the township population permitting them to attend a class that they usually don’t have the access to.
- Learn a language that is used by a large number of other African nationals living in the townships and so aiding in the fight against xenophobia by encouraging better understanding and cohabitation between people.
- Facilitate their integration into the working world.
- Prepare the young South African people who will take part in the exchange programme and go to France.
For the French organisations:
- Spread the French culture within townships and their inhabitants.
- Broaden their activities to a social field.
· THE SCHEDULE
- Number of classes : 4
- Duration: the school year from January to December 2016
- The teaching volunteers :
Mégane and Fanny from January to July 2016 and two other French volunteers for the rest of the year (part of the exchange programme with the CEMEA Bourgogne and the Service Civique).
All the volunteers will attend training and mentoring sessions in order to teach Francais Langue Etrangere (FLE) to these children. This will be provided by the Cape Town Alliance Française. Some educational aids will also be provided by the Alliance Française.
Content of the training :
o FLE methodology for courses towards young students
o Using of the “Loustics” method
o Play approach in teaching FLE to children
- Organisation of the lessons :
o A French lesson for one group per day, 4 days a week, as a part of the Amy Biehl Foundation after school programs, given by the volunteers.
o Monthly French lessons at the Alliance Française with a professional teacher
o DELF prim exam at the end of the year
- Preparation of the young people who will go to France with the exchange programme and support during their stay in France.
IN PICTURES !
Mornings at the office of Amy Biehl Foundation : lesson preparation
The french lessons at Gugulethu
Visits and lessons at the Alliance française du Cap
AND IN A SONG !
· POSSIBLE EXPANSION OF THE PROJECT
French can also be useful for the young South Africans from the EESD program who are trained in the hospitality field by ABF. Every new group could have one or two French lessons by the volunteers or at the Alliance française, so that they can know the basic vocabularies and grammar used in the hospitality industry.
THE DIRECTOR WORD