Advance Edukos Foundation was among the top three finalists while their director won an award at The Lights on Afterschool Campaign 2023.
The Youth and After School Programme Office, Western Cape, The Learning Trust, and Community Chest of the Western Cape have joined forces to drive the fourth Lights On Afterschool campaign (#LOAS) in South Africa. The 2023 theme is Rally for After School Programmes.
Advance Edukos Foundation was recently in the top three finalists in the category for Best Arts and Culture Programme Award, after-school Programme, in the Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport’s 21st Cultural Affairs Awards.
Director Wendy Abrahams won the award for Afterschool Arts and Culture coaching Excellence.
Taking place on Thursday October 26, this year’s focus is on emphasising the significant role of after-school programmes in enabling pupils to explore new horizons, unlock their potential, discover their passion in art, sport, leadership and to receive academic support, and access essential psychosocial assistance.
“As Advance Edukos Foundation we are actively taking part in the campaign. We will be creating artwork to showcase the value, the importance and the appreciation for safe spaces that are being provided by after-school programmes,” said Ms Abrahams.
The #LOAS movement was started by a US organisation, the Afterschool Alliance, to highlight the critical role after-school programmes play in childhood development. It’s been running for over two decades, she said.
Sibongile Khumalo, executive director of The Learning Trust, said: “There’s never been a better time to rally behind after-school programmes than now – well into recovering after Covid-19 and activating plans around catch-up, supporting pupils and young people who are the number one employee in the after-school space,” she said.
“We know that more than 65% of staff of after-school programmes are young people, so it is a youth employer and a youth development initiative. We need to find ways that employment outcomes, especially employing young people, as well as learning outcomes, particularly in the earlier grades, somehow can coexist and that this government, civil society, funders, and corporates can rally behind after-school collectively so that South Africa as a country can succeed,” she said.