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Students show support for Lesotho children

Lesotho 2 Lesotho 1

Eight students from the college Ystrad Mynach have returned from a successful trip to Lesotho, Africa, where they helped educate young third world children.

Accompanied by three lecturers from The College, the group flew out to Lesotho for two weeks.

The students, who are all studying either childcare or health and social care, encouraged disadvantaged children to learn through fun and creative play activities designed to help stimulate the development of English as a spoken language. The group also visited a range of pre-schools with the Ministry of Education which provided a valuable insight into the education system in Lesotho.

Before the trip, each student had to raise £800 individually to fund the project, which they did through organising ironing sessions, selling recipe books and drumming up local community support for their bake sales and car washes.

Alyson Lewis, Early Years lecturer at The College Ystrad Mynach and one of the lecturers on the trip, said:

“The students were able to develop their team work and problem solving skills whilst experiencing another culture.  It showed them how fortunate they are to be living in Wales where there are ample opportunities for them to learn.

“It also provided them with the opportunity to use the knowledge they have gained from their courses and to put these skills into practice in a real life situation. As a college, we hope to continue to strengthen our links with Lesotho in the future.”

The College’s link to Lesotho was first forged when its former head of care Lesley Cox visited the African country through her church in Penarth and set up a connection with the College on her return. This was the third year that a group from the College has visited Lesotho, which is completely surrounded by South Africa. Despite retiring in December 2011, Mrs Cox was also part of the trip.

One of the students who visited Lesotho was Amy Jones, aged 19, from Nelson. She said:

“It was an incredible experience. The children are so grateful and attentive as they really want to learn. It was extremely saddening to see the neglect some children face. However, we had great fun working with them and watching them learn. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with such deserving children and it’s left a big impression on me.”

Posted by Marketing at 10:26

Caring students from the College Ystrad Mynach head to Africa


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A CARING group of students from The College Ystrad Mynach are heading to Africa this month (March) to teach young third world children

Eight teenagers will fly to Lesotho on Sunday, March 18, and spend two weeks at a junior school where they will help the under-privileged young children develop their English language skills through play and fun activities.

The all-female group, who are studying either childcare or health and social care, have been hard at work with activities to raise the £800 they each need to fund the once-in-a-lifetime trip

Early years lecturer Alyson Lewis, one of three supervisors on the trip, explained what the students will be doing when they arrive in landlocked Lesotho, where around 40% of the two million population live below the poverty line.

“To help the children there, our students will be playing games and makingcrafts, organising basic stimulation activities and teaching English through nursery rhymes and songs,” she said.

Alyson, who also went on the trip last year, said the Ystrad students would discover a vast difference between their lives in South Wales and those of the Lesotho children, a number of whom are orphans.

She added: “The school has very limited resources and the classrooms are literally like shells. The floors are dusty and all they have is a chalkboard.”

As well as helping the young Lesotho children with their education, Alyson said the college students will benefit hugely from their experience.

Alyson added: “It will help to develop a cultural link for our students who will be able to see how a third world country is so different to their own.

“It makes the students grateful for what they have here in Wales and as the girls will need to think on their feet and work as a team, they will each be developing individually as a person.”

Student Amy Jones, 19, from Nelson, said they had been holding ironing sessions and selling recipe books and raffle tickets to raise funds for the trip.

Amy, who hopes to go on to study at Lancaster University, said: “I’m going to learn to live without luxury and how to cope in different situations and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m sure I’ll never forget it.”

It is the third year a group from the college has visited Lesotho, which is completely surrounded by South Africa.

The link with Lesotho was forged by the college’s former Head of Care Lesley Cox, who made her first trip to the African country through her church in Penarth and then set up the link with the college.

Lesley, who retired in December, is also going on the trip in March.

Posted by Marketing at 13:37

Ystrad Mynach Learners Care for Lesotho

Lesotho.jpgCare learners are taking their studies International this week, travelling to Lesotho to experience teaching and learning in the country. 

The group of 11 learners and 3 lecturers will travel to Lesotho spending two weeks visiting primary schools, nurseries, reception classes and running after school play activities for the children.  The group will observe teaching practice of the Lesotho teachers whilst gaining an understanding of the cultural differences between the two countries and the challenges facing teachers in Lesotho.  They will also spend time with the Ministry of Education visiting pre-school projects.  The findings of their trip will form a valuable part of the courses they are following back at Ystrad Mynach giving an extra dimension to their studies.

Over £2000 has been raised by the learners since September to help make and buy toys and games for the schools and children they will be visiting.  Learners have taken part in ironing challenges, sponsored walks, selling recipe books containing Basothan meals, collecting 5p pieces and numerous raffles and naming competitions.  Also, college staff, learners and family and the parish of Penarth have knitted over 100 teddy bears that will travel with the learners as gifts for the children.

Learners have also developed a range of educational toys for the school children that will help develop their English Languages skills, learning English as a second language.

Tasha Jones, 18 and Kate Morgan, 17 spoke excitedly about the impending trip.  “We would never be able to experience something like this without this opportunity the college has given us’ said Tasha, ‘Not only will we be seeing what education is like on the other side of the world but also we’ll be going on safari!’ Kate added ‘The difference in the environments will be vastly different to what we are used to in Wales, already we can see the advantages that we as future childcare staff and welsh children benefit from and I hope that I will learn lots that I will be able to take with me into my future career’. 
The College has a strong link with Lesotho.  Head of School for Care, Lesley Cox has made regular trips to the country since 2002, initially through the Parish of All Saints, Penarth and more recently the British Council.  Lesotho does have a formal link with Wales and return trips have also happened with teachers and ministry staff from Lesotho visiting The College. 

Lesotho is a landlocked country, entirely surrounded by South Africa.  Currently education is not compulsory, although the Government of Lesotho is currently implementing a programme of free primary education.  An estimated 85% of the population aged 15 and over are literate.  AIDS also constitutes an alarming threat in Lesotho, where nearly a quarter of the adult population is estimated to be HIV positive – the third highest HIV prevalence in the world. A whole generation is being affected with many parents losing their lives to HIV leaving children orphaned at a very young age.

Posted by Marketing at 09:39
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