Thursday, 13 December 2012

Don’t change the channel – I’m getting an education!

Whether it’s soccer, rugby, cricket, Formula 1 or one of a thousand other sports, most people have a love for at least one kind of sport. No matter what sport you enjoy participating in or watching, each one has some kind of educational value attached to it.

Being a serious sport spectator means that you are not only enjoying the entertainment on show, but you are actually working out some pretty complicated things in your head as you’re watching. For example, cricket fans are able to work out batting averages and how many runs are needed per over for a side to win without breaking a sweat.

For sports such as soccer and rugby, both firm favourites among South Africans, maths does not feature as much as strategy. In fact, they bear certain similarities to another sport that is best-known for its intense need for strategic thinking, chess.

Sport has been proven to improve cognitive functioning and academic ability, which is why it enjoys such an important place in the educational system in most parts of the world.

So the next time someone complains that you watch too much sport, you can tell them you’re getting an education!

Budgeting for the expenses of the festive season – will you have enough left over for registration fees next year?

Did you spend money on things you shouldn’t have last festive season? Massive marketing campaigns from retailers and the pressure to have an enjoyable holiday in December make it difficult to hold onto your hard-earned cash during this time of the year, but it can leave you in a serious predicament when the time comes to pay the bills and make it through the month of January.

We’ve put together some tips on how to budget now so you won’t be eating crackers in January:

1. Start early
Good deals are usually available before the start of a season, or the period after it. If you can wait until the January sales, do so and you’ll probably save a lot more.

2. Work out your budget
It’s pointless spending money that you don’t really have, so work out what you will have to pay during December AND January in terms of bills (debit orders, rent, water & lights, phone bills, clothing accounts and any other money you owe) and living essentials (food, transport etc.).Either put this money aside or pay the bills early if you can, to make sure you don’t spend it by accident.

Work out how much you have left over and leave up to half of that money for unforeseen expenses and emergencies (you never know what disasters can happen over the festive season) and then you can work out what you want to do with the rest.

3. Think before you swipe
If you have a debit or credit card, you’ll know how easy it is to swipe and pay for something that’s caught your eye at the shops without thinking about your budget. If you’re about to go shopping, stop and think about your budget, then limit yourself to a maximum amount of money you should allow yourself to spend while shopping.

4. Make lists
It sounds silly, but making a list of presents and other things you might need to buy if you’re going on a trip or having a party will save you money. If you stick to the list it will prevent you from getting distracted by other things in the shops.

5. Bring out grandma’s cookbook
Buying cakes and other ready-made Christmas treats from the shops is so easy, but you could save so much money by making some great homemade treats. This year, do something different - your festive delicacies will be a hit with friends, family and neighbours too and your efforts will be totally worth it.

6. Skip the lavish parties
If you have to stick to a budget, you might want to go slightly low-key without dampening the festive spirit. Call your relatives and friends over at a post-lunch, pre-dinner time. This way you can serve snacks, sweets and soft drinks, which are a whole lot cheaper than elaborate dinners with alcohol and the works! If a big meal is a must, suggest a braai – most guests will ask if they can bring something along.

7. Develop your own guidelines for gifts
Base your gift choices on what you can afford from Step 2. Remember:  thoughtful gifts don’t have to be expensive. You likely aren’t the only person in your circle who wants to cut back on holiday spending. So before the holidays arrive, talk to everyone you exchange gifts with and change the rules. For instance, you can agree to:

  • spend less or not exchange gifts at all with some people
  • exchange only things you can eat or drink
  • give handmade gifts only
  • give money to a charity

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Aids Day Workshop at Eduloan

World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection

Mr.MlulekiZazini, the Secretary General of the National Association of People Living with HIV and Aids (Napwa), spoke to Eduloan and shared his experiences on the virus. He discussed the following:
1. HIV testimony
2. Living a positive lifestyle (Know your status, nutrition, treatment and positive living)
3. Rights of people living with HIV and HIV/AIDS in the workplace
4. Latest developments in research for HIV/AIDS Cure

Thereafter all staff joined hands in prayer for those infected and affected. The prayer was lead by Nkosinathi Kobo.

Below is the beaded HIV/AIDS emblem that was handed out to employees, all proceeds went to the Topsy Foundation to fund their HIV and AIDS projects.

The Topsy Foundation partners with rural communities, empowering people infected with, and affected by HIV and AIDS, through medical care, social support and skills development.

1. To offer relief, care, medical and support services, to people living with HIV and AIDS and families who are affected by HIV and AIDS, in rural communities.
2. To provide for the needs and personal development of orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS.
3. Poverty alleviation and the empowerment of rural women through skills training and job creation.

The Shukushukuma Beadwork Project is one of the many skills development projects that they run whereby local women are taught different beading techniques by Christine Fischer, a well-known Johannesburg artist who manages the beadwork project, focusing not only on the training of the women but imparting essential knowledge pertaining to the whole process. This includes guiding the women through the production process, understanding the associated costing and marketing, in a drive towards entrepreneurial independence for the women.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Fighting abuse in the home and at schools

The World Health Organisation says children who grow up in families in which there is intimate-partner violence may suffer a range of behavioural and emotional disturbances that can be linked to the perpetration or experience of violence later in life.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children is an international campaign. It takes place every year from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). The period includes Universal Children’s Day and World AIDS Day.

During this time, the South African Government runs a 16 Days of Activism campaign and every year, government, civil-society organisations and the business sector work together to broaden its impact. By supporting this campaign, thousands of South Africans have also helped to increase awareness of abuse and build support for victims and survivors of abuse.

Is 16 days enough?

To be a child in South Africa is to walk a fragile path to adulthood. Our country is home to nearly 19 million children, many of whom are vulnerable. Two-thirds of all children live in poverty – many in homes with unemployed, single, chronically sick or elderly parents and caregivers. Poverty collides with South Africa’s severe AIDS epidemic, high unemployment and poor service delivery to create great hardship for thousands of families.

Many children experience a broken journey through school, interrupted by irregular attendance, absent teachers, teenage pregnancy and abuse and violence in and around schools. South Africa’s high levels of poverty continue to deny thousands of children access to quality education. Around 27% of public schools do not have running water, 78% are without libraries and 78 per cent do not have computers.

The country’s high prevalence of HIV and AIDS has resulted in high rates of orphaned children. Around 3.7 million children have lost one or both parents, many to HIV-related illnesses. Most orphans live in extended families, already under stress due to the impact of the pandemic. Childhoods are stolen as children take on adult roles, drop out of school and go without healthcare and good nutrition.

Joining hands against abuse

The United Nations defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life."

Eduloan advocates people to change their lives by acting today. If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, now is the time to speak out and end the violence. Don’t wait until tomorrow to act against abuse, take action today – because tomorrow might be too late.

For advice on how to report woman or child abuse, visit the SAPS website or contact Lifeline on 0800 150 150.

Statistics taken from UNICEF: