In 2010, after visiting the Drummond farm community in Lanseria two varsity students realised the huge need for numeracy and literacy skills development for children in the area. They approached HeronBridge College and HeronBridge Community Church to set up a ‘Saturday School’ tutoring programme for these children. This led to the establishing of Lesedi towards the end of 2010. HeronBridge College (HBC) gave permission for Lesedi to operate on the HBC premises and the programme was run on a volunteer basis with a church stipend to cover costs.
In 2013 HBC sponsored a bus to transport the learners to HBC every Saturday. By the end of 2014, despite the best efforts of the volunteers, little progress had been made in the numeracy and literacy development of the learners. Outside experts were brought in who determined that many developmental milestones from birth to Grade 3 were missed due to a learner’s circumstances, lack of pre-schooling, and poor schooling in the junior phase of Primary School.
The first four years of the project were spent trying to teach fundamental concepts and content to try and fill the huge learning gaps presented. For example, not one child from Grade 4 to 11 could add a half and a quarter, and no children could complete a Grade 5 word sum.
Clearly we could never bridge the content gaps the learners presented in their grade, we thus had to re-invent our process to achieve the desired goals.
- The Ministry of HeronBridge Community Church, who started the Lesedi project in 2011.
- The project was founded by a couple of guys with a heart for others due to their love for Christ.
- They identified a need in Drummond, a community in the Lanseria area, for children to receive extra support in Math and English.
- The Lesedi project is currently staffed by volunteers from the Church, parents and past pupils from HeronBridge College and their friends.
- Lesedi partners with HeronBridge College (for the premises, IT lab and bus), Lego Foundation (for training and equipment), Lab-on-Line, and donors.