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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hope in Africa: Inkululeko

Over the past 9 months, Stephen Smith and Matt Kellen (remember Matt?) have helped develop a non-profit organization catering to underprivileged youth in the Grahamstown townships. Last month, the organization officially welcomed its first cohort of students. 

I was fortunate to be able to attend their Friday program, and it became a highlight of the week. 

Say hello to the 501(c)(3) Inkululeko! (“in-ku-lew-lay-co”)

Quick description: 11-15 students (who applied months ago and demonstrated sincere potential and drive) meet 5 days/week from 3:15-5:00pm. Each day has an assigned topic. The program’s goal is to strengthen their academic skills.

It is still an emerging project, but if Friday was any indication, it is a worthwhile endeavor to be sure.

Friday’s topic was poetry writing. With Matt’s guidance, the group made an acrostic poem for “Inkululeko”. Students then wrote their own acrostic poem using whatever word they desired. Afterwards, students either worked on homework or read a newspaper/magazine.


Side note: In the above collage, one of the students is using Matt’s iPad to research information for homework. Many township families do not have internet access, making students at a loss when tasked with researching a topic. I suspect this simple gesture of letting her use the iPad for a few minutes was a big help. This is common at the Monastery’s after-school clinic; students might not need your instruction per se, they simply desire internet access.

The Friday afternoon ended with some good ‘ol fun and games. As anyone who remembers their childhood can attest, the value of play is instrumental to youth development; not to mention, it’s fun :)


I had a great time. I consider 8th grade a crucial time for personal development, and it was a deep treat to support this program for a day.

The hope is for Inkululeko to become further strengthened through public awareness and support, thus further investing in these students’ lives. Future plans include weekly community service projects and a possible science experiment or two.

Thank you for your wonderful support of me throughout this year -and for years before, too, to those of you whom it applies :) I wish you all a WONDERFUL day.

In Christ,

1 comment:

  1. good deeds going on all around you. :) rock on, y'all!