Very much the heart of UBuntu Bridge, but also the most neglected the last few years. However, the long-term vision of UBuntu Bridge revolves around the concepts of language-learning, cultural immersion experiences.
Watch these videos of our township and village activations respectively!
BENEFITS OF THE IMMERSION EXPERIENCES:
- VITAL FOR LEARNING, Practically and Psychologically:
To learn a language, you need to hear it and speak it, preferably for some period of immersion. In the city, the languages are frequently mixed and also English is readily available. This is great for urban communication, but we seek to provide our members and learning community with opportunities to practice their Xhosa in the immersion they will need. It helps a learner to take psychological ownership of their learning process, and being able to say that they spent time in a cultural setting enables this.
- SENSITIVE RURAL INCOME DEVELOPMENT:
The events will directly benefit the communities involved, stimulating micro-business, such as guides and tutors, venue provision, transport, traditional catering, bicycle tours, homestays, etc! A host family would usually make more from hosting one of our learners for a week then the money one of their family can send back home from months of working as a domestic helper in a city. Best of all, its all around preserving and respecting indigenous culture, land, environment, language, etc, and not about building highways or casinos!
- EMPOWER COMMUNITIES:
Having outside learners and guest come to spend time and learn their language and way of life, affirms that society still values the way people lived when still in harmony with nature and ubuntu. This may inspire children from villages to build their life around a solid foundation of cultural pride, and aim to preserve and invest in the areas they come from.
Whether school learners or adult groups, there is a strong element of team-building experience for the groups involved, and can be customised in any number of ways!
If interested, enquire via the form below!
We would like to see it as part of the school curriculum for all the children of our nation, in any of the following forms:
- EXCHANGE PROGRAMMES:
If learners went to spend a few weeks working in a township or rural business, their language skills would go through the roof, they would gain huge insight into our country, and they could then study with a broader filed of context of how South Africa operates and what her problems are.
- RURAL VILLAGE TRIPS:
To experience the joys and challenges of traditional village life, a precious and valuable part of our national heritage can be a very enriching experience for any learners, see the testimonials below.
- WORK SHADOW (pre-tertiary requirement):
Spending a mandatory period of time in a language immersion experience (working at a village trading store for example) would enrich and enable more focussed tertiary education choices for students
- SCHOOL CURRICULUM:
If this became part of the national school curriculum, it could not only change the way future generations relate to each other and lessen divides especially along cultural and linguistic levels, but also economic levels and could directly uplift and empower poorer communities , in a sensitive way that also honours their language and culture!This would ensure cross-cultural empathy and linguistic abilities, going a long way to reducing and even eradicating racism.
- This vision has now also become a part of our School Vernac Vision Proposal, which you can read here:http://www.learnxhosa.co.za/ubuntu-bridge-south-african-schools-vernacular-proposal-2016-and-beyond
Village Trip Feedback Comments
“On a whole I did enjoyed every aspect of the trip and if I could do it again I probably wouldn’t change anything. nThe experience helped my confidence with speaking very very much. Most of the things we went through with you we had done at school but never had the chance to use it. I think the teaching sessions were perfect for someone at our level and the amount of content was just enough for us to handle. For someone going for the first time 10 days is the perfect amount. Time to settle in and time to really enjoy it. But if I visit there again it would be nice if the trip were a bit longer.” Jamie Jarzebowski, Bishops, Grade 9.
“Definitely more enthusiastic, and spoke well with our housekeeper when he returned. Well worth it and well organized.” Za Jarzebowski (mama kaJamie)
“When I came to the village I thought it would be a song for me as I grew up in a rural community in Botswana but what a difference, I still cant stop talking about the experience, it will certainly stay on my mind for life!! I enjoyed meeting the villagers, improving on the little Xhosa that I knew and the climbing of hills, what terrific exercise! it has certainly improved my language and I know say things in Xhosa with much more confidence.” Kela Makwetla, Old Mutual
“I really liked the combination of classroom learning and practicing with the families and others, the unspoilt beauty, the hospitality and friendliness of everyone, the acceptance and “safe” feeling in the village, the simplicity of your teaching method, and the excellent notes! Tremendous improvement in confidence and understanding of the language, it really helps to learn with others. It really was a fantastic experience with benefits to ourselves, our company, our clients, as well as the people of the village. We also viewed this very much as establishing relationship that would last into the future. Excellent value for money!” Charmaine Groves, Old Mutual
“The warm and loving family that you placed us with. The beauty of the scenery. The warmth and acceptance of the people we met. The party after payday. The lovely meals we had in the evening with the family. The restaurant on the hill. Learning isi Xhosa. I loved my whole time there. Fantastically improved my Xhosa – had at least 6 conversations with people at work who speak Xhosa.” Sue Tosh, Old Mutual
“Spending a week living and being in the village was incredible, i was completely amazed at how i was able to communicate and have real conversations with my family there – it has made me feel so much more confident in speaking and connected with south africa and being south african.
” your daily check-ins were great, i particularly liked it when we were speaking mostly or there was some structure to what we were learning – in future, can also put a time limit on the sessions so we know what to expect / what we will be able to get through on a given day (e.g. setting a max time)
“I felt i had just enough support knowing that you were there (and able to help when needed, e.g. the bread!), but the complete freedom / independence to be with the family
Thanks again, and really well done for creating this experience.” Lorien Miller
“Thanks for a great week. All home safe and sound & all agreed that it was a great experience. Ross now conducts all his business with his factory manager, Michael, in Xhosa. Michael is amazed at the improvement and is helping Ross get better.” Greg Johnson
“Hey there Craig, Thanks so much for an awesome experiance. I am speaking only in Xhosa to my manufacturing staff now, and it greatly increases my enjoyment of communication with them. Thank you,” Ross Johnson
Book or Enquire Now
Booking enquiries at: bookings (at) learnxhosa (dot) co (dot) za