Language can broaden the boundaries between communities or it can serve as bridges over boundary lines. The Foundation for Empowerment through Afrikaans (SBA) is constantly looking for other ways to cultivate a love for Afrikaans and other languages in people. At the same time, his mandate is also to help people have respect for other languages.

For this reason, the SBA celebrated International Mother Language Day this year with the launch of our multilingual idiom book. The idiom book, We all walk on the same earth, contains 20 idioms in Afrikaans, English, Setswana and isiXhosa.

The book is not the SBA’s first multilingual book. The SBA has previously decided with other titles to add other languages from a specific area, sometimes paragraph by paragraph such as Die Kokerboom which has also been translated into Khoekhoegowab for the Northern Cape.

The Kokerboom has been translated several times and was then also transformed into a coloring book and recently into an animated film. The decision to turn Die Kokerboom into an animated film came after the SBA learned that learners with learning disabilities could not read the story. At the same time, the SBA’s focus on digitization expanded and was the ideal opportunity to animate the book.

The animated film, Die Kokerboom, a Christmas story, was launched at a gala event in a quiver tree forest in Kakamas. In addition to visiting Kakamas for the animated film, the foundation visited several villages during the month of love. Riemvasmaak and Garies in the Northern Cape, Plettenberg Bay in the Southern Cape, Nqamakwe in Transkei and Pniël in the Boland are some of the places where the SBA made its mark.

The foundation’s board members braved the hot weather and took the long road to the Northern Cape with childlike excitement. The sunscreen, hats and goggles were used to withstand the worst of the heat, but there was nothing that could stand in the way of board members visiting Riemvasmaak Primary School. Here the SBA donated an entrance sign for the school and handed over stationery to the school’s Gr. 7s. In Plettenberg Bay, the SBA has placed its focus on science literacy. The foundation hosted a very successful workshop for primary school science teachers in Plettenberg Bay.

The Chemistry workshop is presented in collaboration with Stellenbosch University Department of Chemistry (SUNCOI) with the approval of the Western Cape Education Department. From the Northern Cape to the Southern Cape to the Eastern Cape. During its visit to Nqamakwe, Transkei, the SBA once again proved that no province, city or even a remote village is too far away to promote literacy and provide assistance to schools. Ivan Ndevu, program and office assistant of the SBA, traveled more than 1,000 kilometers to deliver computers and printers at Masibambane, Magwaza and Girdwood Primary Schools in Nqamakwe. During his visit to the province, he also paid a visit to the secondary schools Siyabulela and Nomaheya to deliver the SBA’s new four-language idiom book.

This is not where the SBA’s footprints ended this month. The foundation’s board member dr. Mvula Yoyo, who was also previously the transformation manager at Mediclinic Southern Africa, made his voice heard at the fifth Adam Small Festival in Pniël where he delivered the Adam Small Memorial Lecture.

Yoyo kicked off his lecture by telling how difficult it was in the 1970s and 1980s to prescribe Adam Small’s writings for students. He also spoke about how Small’s poems and literary works are relevant to this day and how they resonate with people of all races. “We all live in silos. “I hope the lecture contributes to the opening of those closed doors,” he said.

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