During the month of October, Afrika Tikkun hosts two annual academic competitions aimed at young people in their Child and Youth Development (CYD) programme aged seven to eighteen. Amongst other interventions, these two particular events inspire learning and improves literacy by providing young people with a positive goal to work towards and a forum in which they can showcase the fruits of their labour.
“Literacy is fundamental to learning”, says CEO of Afrika Tikkun Services, Onyi Nwaneri. “It is the foundation of education. When we teach children to read and write, we instil a love for learning and equip them with skills that will be used throughout their lives. We cannot stress enough the importance of literacy in a child’s development”.
The first competition was the Annual Quiz and Debate – two separate competitions under one umbrella that bring to life the subjects of history, geography, world events and current affairs. Both provide young people with the opportunity to develop their critical and creative thinking, information literacy skills and problem-solving abilities. It presents an opportunity for young people to work within a team to offer logical arguments and requires a skill set that translates directly into academic, social and professional application that stays with them into adulthood.
The second annual event is the Spelling Bee – an important educational tool used by schools worldwide to improve not only the vocabulary and spelling of learners, but also comprehension and study skills. In addition, the Spelling Bee encourages the development of a range of cognitive proficiencies including the ability to handle pressure, public speaking capabilities and knowledge retention.
Both of these activities extend beyond language as they aid young people in learning concepts and life skills. For example, during the Spelling Bee competition young people are required to speak on stage in front of a crowd, which develops their self-confidence. The team Quiz and Debate encourages children to interact with their fellow participants and cultivate friendships.
Both competitions stimulate brain activity and afford young people the opportunity to engage in healthy competition. They teach youth to accept their mistakes whilst also providing the recognition that their hard work deserves.
For both events this year Afrika Tikkun has had the support of Rookie USA ZA, a kids only multi-brand online retail destination offering a collection of iconic apparel brands such as Converse, Nike, Jordan, Hurley and Levi. With a focus on young people, Rookie USA is the perfect partner for events focused on developing the youth. Their involvement in 2019 includes sponsoring prizes as well as a monetary donation of R50,000, meeting their target of a R1,000 donation per social media post by a well-known South African influencer. Rookie USA Brand and Marketing Manager, Lee-Anne McKenzie says, “We are privileged to have been a part of Afrika Tikkun’s initiatives. There is no better feeling than impacting young people’s lives in a profound way. We hope that this is the start of a prosperous relationship between Rookie USA and Afrika Tikkun, it makes us smile to see the new friendships established with the kids”.
Other sponsors included HSBC, BIC and Egon Zehnder; all supporters of South African youth development.
Afrika Tikkun’s Child and Youth Development (CYD) programme runs a range of holistic interventions which create an environment that inspires learning and growth. These two events form only a fraction of the annual activities Afrika Tikkun hosts in order to raise intelligent and strong young people that will enter the working world as productive citizens.
Nwaneri concludes, “Interventions such as these surely spell success for the future of Afrika Tikkuns young people”.