UNICEF funds TABSA's education initiatives
UNICEF funding will enable this non-profit to continue its rural teacher training workshops across South Africa and Swaziland in 2016
First Car Rental has been the official transport sponsor of Teachers Across Borders Southern Africa (TABSA) since 2010 and is proud to continue supporting them into 2016.
TABSA is a non-profit, volunteer-based organisation that epitomises Nelson Mandela's famous quote - "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
Every year, the organisation invites experienced teachers from leading schools in the United States to volunteer their time in Africa, where they work together with teachers in rural communities.
Due to inadequate state funding, these rural teachers often face immense every day challenges that include sub-standard school facilities and a shortage of vital educational materials such as textbooks and science lab equipment.
The TABSA workshops provide a platform where international and local teachers can work together to find innovative solutions to overcome these challenges. They are the teacher's teachers.
In 2016, the organisation will be conducting workshops in Swaziland, Port Elizabeth and Nelspruit.
TABSA conducts hands-on, interactive workshops that are focused on helping local teachers to engage their students by utilising the limited resources available to them.
Since TABSA was launched by Yunus Peer in 2001, it has provided skills training and mentoring to nearly 4 000 teachers in South Africa, having an impact on over one million South African schoolchildren.
The following reflections (from the international teachers who took part in the 2015 programme) give some indication of the powerful impact the workshops have had:
"Each of my trips with TABSA to Southern Africa has been a unique experience. This one, my sixth, was no exception. I can see a definite improvement in the quality and abilities of the South African teachers since my first trip nine years ago."
"The degree to which these teachers trust us is enormous. They arrive at our workshops on their winter holiday, willing to work with us during their vacation time because of their dedication to their job, to their students, to improving their own education. They let themselves be vulnerable with us. They laugh and ask questions and work hard and laugh some more. They don't know each other, but are willing to collaborate."
"In TAB-SA workshops, we teach teachers and we raise awareness. But in the process, we ourselves are taught, and we gain greater awareness of the needs of the world around us. In our noble way this past summer we worked to make the lives of our colleagues abroad professionally and personally perhaps a little richer. However, the tremendous professional and personal benefits we accrued were far more tangible. I was thinking today that this journey didn't just accomplish development for Africa's teachers. I feel that I myself gained so much by being there and participating; not only professionally but personally-spiritually as well."
First Car Rental provides transport solutions for the TABSA team during their time in South Africa and Swaziland. This includes the use of minivans to take TABSA teachers into some of the most rural parts of South Africa.