Welcome everyone, all over the world, to an update from YOUPSA

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We are happy to say that in the past few months we have achieved a lot! YOUPSA is now fully registered as a charity and non-profit organisation. We are in partnership with five rural Primary Schools and the High School they feed into, reaching out to approximately 2000 children and 85 teachers.

We'd like to share some information and experience from our workshops:

We began the year with 'Creating a Classroom Culture' workshops at each school. The teachers were so inspired to gain a set of new tools. The workshop included role play, discussion, creative art, the art of praise, and how to develop trusting and supportive relationships with students.

Teachers of Phozi Primary School with YOUPSA facilitator Ray Schone.

Teachers of Phozi Primary School with YOUPSA facilitator Ray Schone.

In our 'Igniting the Inner Spark' workshops for youths, these Grade 12 students, on average 60 in a class, love having time and inspiration for developing their talents and potential. Through role play and improv the youths began expressing themselves more freely and taking risks, leading to an empowering group experience.

Generally, in the poor rural schools that we work with, the children are not exposed to any kind of art, creative skills development, discussion or problem solving. That's why the young people so love our workshops! They experience their inner spark being ignited, giving them mental strength that leads to positive academic and behavioural outcomes. 

The road to one of the schools and a glimpse of the village:

If you live in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape Province, your life chances as a young black child are already slim. The familiar blights of unemployment, violence, AIDS, drugs and hopelessness make for a cocktail of problems from which few youth can escape.

The schools and their infrastructure are in a desperate state of disrepair, reflecting a negative and lifeless environment, broken windows, chairs and tables, unhealthy pit toilets, and the environment inside the classroom also does not reflect love, pride or hope.

"When kids come from broken homes and then come to school where the windows in the classes and everything's broken, they think that their lives can never go further than that, that their lives will be broken." Katlego, an Ikamva Youth student.

Here are some quotes from our young friends:

"I feel happy when I do the activities with Alexis and Ray, because of the way they motivate us!"
"I feel so encouraged about learning new things!"
"I feel very happy that there are people who visit our school to inspire and advise the learners."
"I feel thankful to have a relationship with you guys!"

If you would like to support our work, please make a donation.

Even small amounts go a long way to help ignite the spark of young people and help them grow into beautiful people! For secure online donations (PayPal or credit card) please click here: Donate

What we urgently require your support for:

  • art and stationary supplies
  • workshop facilitation materials
  • fuel expenses, car maintenance and insurance
  • internet data and telephone expenses
  • office materials (printer, computer, software, furniture)
  • a sturdy car for YOUPSA (to travel the rough rural roads)

Your help is so much appreciated, Thank You!

The Founders and Managers ofYOUPSA are Ray Schöne (from Namibia) and Alexis Salaman (from USA). Both have many years of experience in charitable work, education and youth empowerment.

We are so looking forward to starting our creativity and youth empowerment workshops again in the second term - in just a few days from now! You are very welcome to visit us in South Africa, and to experience one of our workshops in the rural schools.

In this way you can connect with and gain direct insight into the life of the rural people here. We will be glad to assist you with booking comfortable accommodation and select some interesting and must-see tourist attractions.

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