One Heart Source, an American non-profit that brings experiential learning opportunities to university students and working professionals from around the world, is making significant inroads in Hout Bay.
Founded in 2008, the organisation partners members with local global communities to offer career-advancing opportunities to teachers and auxiliary social workers.
In Hout Bay, the programme is run by senior managing director Cape Town, Callan Hajosy, and the director for educational leadership, Hillary Hargraves-Dix.
Ms Hajosy has been based in Hout Bay since 2012 and says
she has seen growth “since day one”.
“It has been an amazing journey and being able to grow along with the community. I am truly grateful to community leaders, parents and organisations to allow us to carry out our programme,” she said.
Ms Hargraves-Dix arrived in 2015, and while she has had to face many challenges in Hout Bay, she continues to be inspired each day.
“It’s all about the kids; and their passion forces me to be a good role model.”
The women, who are assisted by Imizamo Yethu auxiliary social worker Nandipha Breakfast in forging relationships with community organisations, are busy with academic mentorship programmes for pupils in Grades 6 to 9 from Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School and Silikamva High School.
“Our visiting members provide maths and English support, while they also equip learners with the necessary life skills to succeed. They arrive at the end of May and leave at the end of August. More than 120 universities from around the world are involved with us,” said Ms Hajosy.
In addition to academic mentoring, the pupils are treated to two outings a month to attractions like the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden.
“We also have culture coaches who work with members of the Hout Bay community to learn and understand more. This is a very effective way of learning to improve engagement with the local community,” Ms Hajosy said.
This aspect is supplemented by regular home visits to further build trust between the One Heart Source members and the community.
The One Heart Source team has also tapped into the creativity of Hout Bay youth, running creative writing courses at the Hout Bay Sports Complex on Saturday mornings.