Tuesday, 25 October 2011

My School - My Village - My Planet

Good news!

The Keiskamma Trust has just been provisionally accepted as a Woolworths/MyVillage partner.

For those of you in South Africa, this means each time you shop at Woolworths (and other shops) , you will have a chance to swipe your MyVillage card to support the programmes of the Keiskamma Trust.

More info on how this works below.

(If you do not live in South Africa, please send this on to contacts you have in SA who would be willing to support us in this way).

Before we can issue MyVillage cards to our supporters we need to manually sign up 1000 supporters.

This is where we need YOUR help.

Please download the application form here:

or find the link on our website:

Make the beneficiary Keiskamma Trust, address :
PO BOX 483, Peddie, Eastern Cape, 5640

At this preliminary stage we are not registered on the MyVillage site so our supporters cannot apply on-line.

Until we have 1000 supporters we have to use snail mail!

Please do not fax your form to the number listed on the form.We have to gather all 1000 hard copies and deliver them to the MyVillage at one time, with the signed contract.

Please mail your form marked : KEISKAMMA / My Village c/o PO BOX 91095 Auckland Park, Johannesburg, 2006

If you have friends and family who would like to support us in this way please forward this mail to them! We will let you know as soon as we have reached our target of 1000 !

Thank you for your support from all of us at the Keiskamma Trust

(questions? let me know at

More info from MySchool website:

What is MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet?

The MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fundraising programme is South Africa’s number one community support programme that raises essential funds for schools, charities and environmental organisations. Funds are used to improve education and social development in South Africa. You can make a difference to a worthy cause without costing you a cent!The MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme raises more than R2.2 million per month for the schools, charities and environmental organisations it supports. Help us to help the community.

How does MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet work?

More than 600 000 community minded South Africans carry MySchool cards. Supporters apply for a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card for free and nominate their favourite school or charity as the beneficiary. When they purchase items from participating retailers they swipe the card with the purchase. A small percentage of their transaction is then allocated to their beneficiary school or charity. All these transactions are recorded and a statement is sent to individual supporters on a monthly basis. The partner stores pay the donation on your behalf!The supporter card is not a credit or debit card but simply tracks your transactions and your funds raised.MyVillage beneficiaries: charities that provide upliftment to communities and individuals in various ways other than the education school environment, such as SOS Children’s Villages, CHOC, Noah and National Hospice. These villages actively seek to improve the lives of our fellow men, women and children.

Where can I swipe my MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card?

The success of the programme depends on the number of times you swipe your card! Supporters can use their cards at a range of national, regional and local retail partners on the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet system. Some of the national partners include Woolworths, Engen QuickShops, Waltons, SupaQuick,, Jack’s Paint, Toys R Us, Reggie’s, Altech Netstar, Club Travel, MySchool Travel, Toner Town and many more.

Benefits of being a cardholder

You can raise funds for your favourite school or charity without costing you a centIt is so convenient using one card at many different stores. There are over 11 national partners and over 2000 partner stores where you can use your card across the country.Cardholders get exclusive discounts and special offers. For example, you are automatically part of WRewards from Woolworths (which includes 10% or more off on over 200 items in their stores and other tiered benefits), you get R40 off every GetAhead or MathPro educational software item that you buy, and you get exclusive discounts on vehicle recovery from Altech Netstar.You will receive a monthly email statement showing exactly how much your beneficiary has raised.

Support options

Once you have received your supporter card, you can manage and change your support as follows:

- Support your chosen beneficiary school or charity

- Change your support to another beneficiary or

- Split your support between two or three beneficiaries.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Music Academy Exams

Jen Hoyer, a Canadian recorder performer and teacher plus librarian, is visiting Hamburg and teaching our Keiskamma students beautifully.

“The Music Academy was busy for most of the month of August with preparations for UNISA exams. Having arrived in Hamburg to work with the students only two weeks before the exams, it was a bit of a test for myself as well!

23 of our students played 28 exams, with five students doing two exams on different instruments. We were very pleased with the general feedback from our examiner. He was impressed to see an outreach music program putting forward such well-prepared students and explained that this was contrary to his previous experience with similar programs. He went over the exam results from other exam centres he supervised in the region during the same session and confirmed that our students' average was 3.8% higher than the average in any other centre.

The final results for our students showed 19 distinctions (over 80%), 8 merits (over 70%), and 1 pass. In the distinction category, three of our students actually achieved over 90%. These were such exciting results, and they are good validation for the students that their hard work is worth it.

Coming from Canada, I have many memories of playing music exams as a student. These experiences generally involved poorly heated church halls and scratchy wool skirts, missing a half-day of school and stopping for a Slurpee on the car ride home.

Exams work a little differently in Hamburg. There are no parents around to drop off or pick up their children. The students walk from many kilometres away and we give them some bread and peanut butter if they haven't had a good meal before coming.

I accompanied many of the exams on piano. Shortly after lunch on the first day, I waited with the next student for her turn. We stood on a back stoop outside the living room (our exam room) door, gazing at the breakers on the beach and smelling the geraniums in the garden. I was still catching my breath from marching several students back to their practice room with curt orders: "We do not run in the yard and we do not steal guavas from other peoples' trees while waiting for our exams."

I often admit that I am learning just as much as my students, and experiences like this highlight the learning curve!"