Last April, PPI-SA was joined by Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, Julie Younes and Chief Program Officer Gunnar Hagstrom as the organization re-designed and updated its program model. The remaining 8 months of the year were marked by small changes and adjustments in preparation for the full launch in 2016.
Last week PPI-SA went to work on outcome 1—coaches and youth participants are equipped to be leaders and role models in their communities—with our coaches orientation. The coaches are the heart of the program here in South Africa. They are the ones working with our Primary School and Leadership Development Participants week in and week out. They are the ones putting in hours planning practices, acting as mentors to their youth, and helping them to develop positive aspirations for the future.
While coach hiring won’t be finalized until this coming Friday, it was incredible to see the enthusiasm, strong personality and skill of this year’s group. Some have been coaching at PPI for years and will be stepping into program coordinator roles, others just matriculated last year and are entering the workforce and/or beginning at University.
Throughout the week, coaches were introduced to PPI both from the global perspective and from the perspective of the goals of PPI-SA; certified as level one first aid trainers by St. John’s Hospital; introduced to a teaching technique called scaffolding; and given classroom and on court training on how to plan and run a try-out or practice.
PPI-SA entered this year with a focus on growing its network to help better develop its coaches who give so much to the program. The first aid training with St. John’s Hospital was just the start of focused programming to help prepare our coaches for life after PPI. It’s also why Strategic Manager Nasiphi Khafu and Operations Manager Mtu Zulu spent time meeting with each partner school over the last two weeks. The purpose of the meetings was to sign Memorandum of Understandings for the 2016 program year, to thank the schools for all their hard work in 2015 and to recruit them to this vision for 2016. Each school provides one school representative who is instrumental to PPI-SA’s program. These representatives go above and beyond their already packed schedule and duties to assist PPI in its programming by mentoring PPI-SA coaches and monitoring participant’s grades. We could not do the work we do, if it were not for our selfless schools and school representatives.
The week ended fittingly, where as a team it was off to the beach for one final team building session before the program officially opens. In a rare opportunity for all 22 potential coaches were treated to a braai on the beach as an advanced thank you for what is to come this year.
PPI-SA would also like to thank the supporters who made last week’s Coaches Orientation possible. Thank you to The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Goldman Sachs Gives and Larueus South Africa for your support!