Located in the Mpumalanga Province, adjacent to the Kruger National Park, the greater Bushbuckridge area has been identified as one of twenty-three rural and urban nodes by the South African government. These nodes represent the largest concentrations of poverty in the country. 70% of the community is not economically active. This is due, in part, to the fact that they do not have employable skills, have not had access to skills training and do not have the resources available to obtain these skills. 3.9% of households report no source of income at all – the highest proportion of all of the nodal areas. Education and skills development is critical.
Demonstrating a high impact educational model that is proven to work for rural communities, an opportunity to partner with lodges and foundations to implement the Good Work Foundation model in communities around the Sabi Sand Wildtuin (SSW) was identified, with a vision to extend learning to as many SSW neighbouring communities as possible.
More Community Trust committed to funding a GWF-managed digital learning campus in the community, which will benefit: (1) The young adults and school-leavers in the community; (2) Khurula High School; (3) Hundzukani Primary School; and (4) Henna Pre-School.
The new campus is based at a school site and offers the following programmes:
- The Bridging Academy – creates an access bridge between school and work or further education training, preparing rural school leavers for life in modern business environments. This is a one year accredited programme.
- The Open Learning Academy – partners with rural schools, allowing them to outsource digital, English and mathematics literacy to the digital learning campus. This is a continuous programme that supports rural learners from Grade 4 to Grade 8. Each digital learning campus can serve up to ten satellite schools.
To support the development of local economies – retaining a share of graduates and their new skills within rural communities – each digital learning campus also provides second-year career programmes for graduates of the Bridging Academy. These programmes respond to the needs of the community in which the campus is located and can include (depending on the location): hospitality management, conservation and wildlife monitoring, ICT infrastructure, ICT classroom integration, and media studies.
Please click here for information on the Huntington Digital Learning Centre Project.