Media24's educational program WeCan24, a multimedia digital platform training schools to master a range of journalism skills, recently embarked on a community initiative renovating schools in the Western Cape.
In May, WeCan24 converted a feeding scheme kitchen at the Sarepta Secondary School in Kuils River into a cafeteria, which currently feeds 120 learners. The WeCan24-team also renovated three classrooms and converted an additional one into a media laboratory, equipped with technology such as cameras, laptops, printers and selfie sticks.
The school’s food garden was extended and benches were installed around the trees. Sarepta Secondary School is part of the Western Cape Education Department’s Safe Schools Programme.
Stephen Miti, chief director: people training and empowerment in the office of the Western Cape premier, and Esmaré Weideman, chief executive officer of Media24, recently conducted the ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce the official opening of the media centre at the school.
The WeCan24 team also recently converted two rooms into a media laboratory at Florida High School in Ravensmead. The learners at Florida, Sarepta and others are consistently encouraged to produce their own articles, pictures, and videos and to publish it on the WeCan24 online platform.
Consequently, members of the community can access their school news on their cellphones, tablets and computers.
“We treasure WeCan24 and it is part of the DNA of Media24,” said Weideman.
“We want to give back to communities. And there is nothing better to do (for WeCan24) than to grow journalism amongst young kids. We hope that we will equip a whole legion of young people who will practice the art of citizen journalism in their communities.
“Journalism is the heartbeat in the preservation of any society and we want to combine that with projects (like renovating and refurbishing classrooms at schools) to invest in communities,” she added.
More than 200 schools have joined the programme since its inception. The overall aim of WeCan24 is to ensure that the programme is accessible to all learners in South Africa.