FunDza was delighted to receive a grant through the Western Cape After School Innovation Fund to run a new project: the After School Action Series (ASAS).

The Innovation Fund is managed by Community Chest on behalf of the Western Cape Government After School Game Changer, which aims to give young people an opportunity to explore their passions, build their confidence, hone their skills, meet new people and have fun after the school day has ended. The benefits of after school programmes are vast and the enthusiasm limitless as young people come together with their peers and facilitators in safe spaces to do what they love. It’s an opportunity for young people to turn their lives around, to find what makes them excited and to get the support they need to make healthy life choices.

Through the ASAS project, FunDza will be creating a series of short stories that help promote the power of after school programmes in changing young people’s lives.

On 7 April FunDza held a workshop to launch the project with six young writers who will be mentored to produce short stories around the theme of after school programmes.

The challenge as always is to make the stories authentic, to draw the readers in with believable characters and to thrill them with an exciting plot. The goal, to inspire readers through these stories to follow their passions.

Our special guests, Jacqui Boulle, chief director of After School Game Changer, and Jose Cabral, a sports coach, community developer and lecturer, inspired the writers with their stories of working in the after school space, explaining how vital these programmes are in young people’s lives in creating a sense of belonging and connection in communities.

Writers, Nosibusiso Tshetu, Asiphe Besethi, Refilwehape Mofokeng, Lukhanyo Matshebelele Nwabisa Ngumbela and Faye Kibali-Kagwa, most of whom have written short stories or blogs for FunDza, then had a chance to share their own experiences of participating in after school programmes.

After some freewriting and much laughter they got down to the nitty gritty of thrashing out their story ideas! Each writer chose a different field to write their story around to relate to the different passions that FunDza readers might have, from sport, to choir, debating, art and academics.

Now begins the hard work as writers work with their mentors to produce stories that will be published on starting at the end of June through until December. FunDza will choose three of the stories to publish in print booklets too!

We can’t wait for these stories which are sure to be game changers!
You can read Lukhanyo’s take on the day’s events here.