I am a 2018 YAC participant originally from Madagascar, volunteering at YMCA Cape Flats. I teach 40 grade 6 pupils at Beaconview Primary school. I also teach life skills in the in HEINZ PARK community twice a week. As a facilitator in new country, I faced a lot of challenges.
To begin with, my pronunciation is very different than that of Capetonians, during my first sessions it was very difficult for my students to understand what I was saying . As such I decided not to speak soft and I tried to use simple vocabulary so it s became easy for them to understand as I explained to them. My life skills sessions are fun, we always play a lot of games with them and sometimes I teach them Malagasy songs and games. I really love my job here in YMCA Cape flats. I have a desire to change the children and young people’s lives. Bullying is a very difficult challenge for youth and the children to deal with in Cape Town. They are afraid and degraded and often feel like they are worthless. Often times they don’t go out because they are scared that they might see the person bullying them. Hence I teach life skills on topics like self-esteem, peer pressure, bullying, Decision making, communication, stereotype, self-awareness to help them to achieve their incredible dreams.
I believe every school should have life skills program, because it helps young people to develop self confidence and successfully deal with significant life changes and challenges, like bullying and discrimination. In addition, it helps them to find new ways of thinking and problem solving; it gives them voice at school, community and society at large. Children do not naturally know how to make good choices. Therefore, I teach them about decision making skills because it helps them to know how to make a good decision.
I have learnt a lot of things, more than I expected, like how to manage a large class and how to get my students to pay attention during my sessions. I love my students very much and they also love me so much. I am very passionate about teaching life skills as I want to see change and empower children and young people’s lives .
Madagascar (YAC, 2018)