The word “Singakwenza” is a Zulu word meaning “We Can Do It!”.  The Singakwenza trainers are based in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa and their charity organization uses resources made solely from recycling/waste materials such as plastic bags and bottles, plastic lids, toilet roll inners, cereal and egg boxes etc, to help caregivers provide fun, educational activities that enable young children to learn through play.

Last year, Children In The Wilderness (CITW) partnered with the South African based Singakwenza Trainers, Linda and Julie Hay, to hold a workshop for a small group of teachers from schools in and around Livingstone, Zambia.  The 2015 Waste to Toys Workshop, a collaboration between CITW South African based Singakwenza Trainers  was such a huge success, that we decided to host a second workshop this year.

The workshop was held last month at Victoria Falls Primary School. It included a much larger group of pre-primary and primary school educators from both Zimbabwe and Zambia – a total of 60 teachers from Livingstone, Zambia and the Victoria Falls, Hwange and Tsholotsho districts of Zimbabwe.

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The aim of each Waste-to-Toys Workshop is twofold; to encourage the teachers and the community as a whole to start looking at waste differently. To educate teachers on ways in which they can effectively teach children using recycled and waste products that are available to them. The emphasis was on the importance of “play” rather than lectures or written work, particularly for younger students; as this lays the groundwork for later success in learning.

 

1The Workshops included instruction on how to create educational toys and tools for the classroom; each process provided fun educational tools that involved healthy brain activity and encouraged fine and gross motor skill development which would give children the opportunity to solve problems, participate and share with their peers, while having good old fashioned fun. Educational toys such as balls, skipping ropes and sand pit spades and buckets were proudly made by the delegates from waste products.

The workshop objectives were certainly met and were definitely evident as we watched enthusiastic groups of delegates consulting, sharing ideas and taking pictures of the displayed educational waste products for future reference.

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As is evident from the feedback below, grateful thanks must be extended to the Singakwenza ladies for yet another year of success with these workshops.

“Very eye opening! There is more room for creativity from the skills that we have learnt and I am definitely going to implement them in my classroom” – Nyasha Ndhlovu Grade 2 teacher, Victoria Falls Primary school

“The workshop was very beneficial as it involved constructing media out of ‘litter’ I commend the lady presenters for a job well done. I think children especially at ECD level will be stars of tomorrow and would recommend the team also visits other remote areas {to share} the information so everyone can benefit” – Alphar Munsaka Grade 1 teacher, Chinotimba Primary School.

“A very productive learning and mind opening programme. I am so delighted to be part of this especially because waste goes to good use!!!” – Chipo Muzenda ECD A teacher, Jacaranda Montessori.

 

Children In The Wilderness