In 2017 Lefika la Phodiso Community Art Counsellor and Training Institute asked community art
counsellor and author, Kate Shand, to develop an approach to literacy for the children who were
identified as most in need of literacy support.
Most of the children who attend Lefika’s open studio and holiday programme attend schools where
they don’t feel safe. The schools are under-resourced and have large classes.
Education in the South African context is mixed up with questions of colonisation, power, apartheid,
poverty, violence, language, access and agency. Literacy in this context is full of threat. Kate Shand
wanted an approach that was as far removed from a mainstream approach to education as possible.
An environment where the children were active participants in their own meaning-making and not
passive recipients of instruction.
The objectives for the programme are to:
• Increase motivation, interest and investment by the children in their
• Bridge the divides between school, street and community
• Strengthen and sustain creativity and interest
• Empower the children to take control over their cultural and semiotic
resources when they create
• Develop agency in relation to meaning-making
• Increase confidence and pleasure in their story-telling abilities
• Deepen and advance their literacy