Western Cape Shines a ‘Light On’ After School Programs

  • Lights On After School Month Launch: The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport has launched "Lights On After School Month" in October, inspired by the Afterschool Alliance in the United States. This campaign aims to raise awareness about the vital role After School Programmes (ASPs) play in nurturing the potential of youth and transforming communities.
  • Campaign Focus on ASPs: The annual "Lights On After School" campaign highlights the importance of ASPs, which provide learners with opportunities to broaden their horizons and access quality extended education enrichment. The 2023 theme, "Rally for After School Programmes," spotlights the impact of ASPs on South African communities, with active coordination by local organizations.
  • Call to Action and Support: Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, invites individuals, businesses, and organizations to participate by volunteering time or skills, making donations, sharing stories of ASP impact, and changing their social media profiles on "Lights On Day." The campaign also encourages public endorsements of ASPs and highlights the department's holistic approach to youth development through various programs.
MEC Anroux Marais launches Lights On After School Month

The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) proudly announces the launch of “Lights On After School Month” this October. Inspired by the Afterschool Alliance in the United States, this initiative aims to raise awareness about the crucial role After School Programmes (ASPs) play in nurturing the potential of youth and children, while also transforming communities.

Illuminating a Path to Excellence

Since its inception in October 2000, Lights On After School has been an annual campaign that sheds light on the significance of ASPs. These programs are instrumental in providing learners with opportunities to broaden their horizons and unlock their potential, ensuring access to quality extended education enrichment opportunities.

The campaign sends a powerful message to the world: Millions more children need access to high-quality After School Programmes. The theme for 2023, “Rally for After School Programmes,” will spotlight the remarkable impact ASPs have on South African communities, with a particular focus on the Western Cape. The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport has been working closely with The Learning Trust and Community Chest of the Western Cape as coordinators of the campaign in South Africa, now in its fourth year.

Join the Mission to Support After School Programmes

Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, invites everyone to join in this mission and showcase their support for After School Programmes throughout the month of October. There are several ways to participate:

  • Volunteer: Offer your time and skills to support these programs.
  • Donations: Contribute to these programs through financial support.
  • Share Stories: Share stories of the incredible impact these programs have had.
  • Lights On Light Bulb: Change your social media profile picture to the Lights On Light Bulb on October 26th, known as Lights On Day.
  • Thank an After School Practitioner: Show gratitude to those who have played a role in your life through After School Programmes.

Additionally, Minister Marais encourages mayors, political leaders, businesses, and organizations to publicly endorse After School Programmes and recognize their vital role in holistic learner development.

Minister Marais emphasized, “The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport is at the forefront of creating opportunities for youth and children in the Western Cape. Our commitment to closing the opportunity gap is unwavering, and we offer a range of programs to support the growth and development of our youth.”

A Holistic Approach to Youth Development

The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport implements various programs to support youth development:

  • MOD Programme: Provides access to school-going youth for fun-filled, play-based activities in recreation, sports, arts, and culture after school at 181 schools across the province.
  • Neighbourhood School Programme: Extends opportunities to 146 schools neighboring the MOD Centres.
  • Youth in Service Programme (YearBeyond): Engages young people aged 18 to 25 in providing a diverse range of quality, safe after school activities and programs at schools, libraries, and community centers.
  • Investment in Arts and Culture: Recognizing the impact of arts and culture on the development of children and youth, the department also invests in this sector.

Minister Marais concluded, “I invite everyone to stand together and support After School Programmes, and be a part of this transformative movement during October as Lights On After School Month. Let us unite to ensure every child has the opportunity to shine and reach their full potential.”

The Lights On After School Month campaign serves as a reminder of the importance of nurturing the potential of our youth and fostering strong, vibrant communities in the Western Cape and beyond. It’s a call to action for all citizens, businesses, and organizations to rally behind this vital cause and invest in the future of South Africa’s children.

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