2020 has been a year of challenges, but it’s also been an opportunity for strategic reflection, strengthening the team and future proofing. While we managed to deliver some of our planned activities in the first term of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic meant our usual face-to-face activities with teachers and school management teams (SMTs) abruptly halted in March 2020. We adapted quickly and started supporting our existing beneficiaries telephonically and via online platforms.
Despite the challenges, we’ve reached the following beneficiaries across four provinces (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape):
In this blog we summarise what we achieved with our Teach Like A Champion and Lead Like A Champion programme beneficiaries in 2020. We’ll also share how we used Lockdown as a time for mentor professional development, and how we adapted our communications strategy to extend our online presence and reach.
Teach Like a Champion
Teach Like A Champion (TLAC) got off to a good start in Term 1, with mentors delivering school based support and workshops as planned. Once the pandemic hit, we started supporting our mentees via WhatsApp and other online platforms, with a focus on providing educational resources and emotional support. Overall in 2020, Teach Like A Champion reached:
Avg number of school-based mentoring sessions per mentee
Total Educators reached by TLAC workshops
Avg number of telephonic check-ins during lockdown per mentee
“My mentor is awesome. I loved the way in which she shared her ideas…. My class discipline improved. I became calm and so did my learners. I loved the way in which my mentor considered my feelings. I now apply that skill with my learners and friends and family.”
Lead Like a Champion
In Term 1 we delivered on Lead Like A Champion (LLAC) workshop with 30 schools and started to provide school-based School Management Team (SMT) support in the Western Cape. During lockdown we stayed in contact with our SMTs via WhatsApp and other platforms, but our primary focus was to develop the LLAC curriculum and adapt it for our online offering, which will be piloted in 2021. LLAC reached the following in 2020:
Total SMT members & educators reached by LLAC workshop
Avg number of telephonic check-ins during lockdown per LLAC participant
Total post-lockdown school meetings
“It was helpful to hear the various opinions and challenges my colleagues faced. The LLAC workshop gave us an opportunity to share best practice and learn from one another.”
Mentor Like a Champion
In the early days of Lockdown we recognised the need to provide our team of mentors with a sense of connection and positive purpose amidst all the uncertainty. Working from home provided the mentors with a unique opportunity for extended professional development.
We followed a structured programme of weekly check-in meetings, individual and small-group research on specific topics, feedback presentations, coaching sessions and training workshops.
We understood early on that when schools reopened, teachers and leaders would need something more than our usual programmes. Our professional development goal therefore became to equip ourselves with the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to provide effective emotional and psycho-social support to our beneficiaries, both virtually and in person. When mentors were finally able to return to schools, mentees and leaders alike welcomed this kind of support to help them meet the challenges of the Fourth Term.
We would never have chosen a year like this, but as a team we are extremely grateful for this opportunity to develop valuable skills, strengthen relationships and add volumes to what we can offer our schools in the year to come.
of mentors said that Edufundi's support during lockdown exceeded their expecations
There was a 64% increase in the mentors self rated technology skills.
“Well! Covid-19 was new to everyone and everyone was caught by a surprise. At some point l felt like I was all by myself. I was filled with fear and anxiety but when we started having team Zoom meetings and sharing experiences with others I developed a new mindset. I began to realize that I was not alone in the situation. There were fantastic activities shared by office staff which were tailored to address quite a number of areas of concern. It was impressive to observe that the entire management team stood alongside us throughout lockdown"
Communications became vitally important in 2020 to ensure that the visibility of the organisation stayed top of mind and solidified our relevance in the current climate.
To this end, the communications team produced a series of high quality content that aimed to assist those teaching at home in the form of a video series #EdufundiAtHome. We also encouraged and gathered stories from mentors, mentees and parents that documented our collective shared experiences as well as celebrated the strength and resilience of our parents and our teachers.
We also launched our new website which aimed to make information more accessible to our users as well as visually show the work we do and the impact it has. In 2020 we have seen a 70% increase in website traffic and 194% increase in pageviews since the launch.