Finding and Defining Champions in a Rural Adult Education Intervention in Limpopo, South Africa
Educational Research for Social Change
This paper presents the outcomes of a community-based information communications technology (ICT) and basic adult education (BAE) nutrition training intervention for out-of-school young mothers (YMs) in a resource-limited rural village in eastern Limpopo Province, South Africa. YMs have been identified as a vulnerable and priority group for human development. Out-of-school YMs are often trapped in a cycle of poverty because they lack the resources and qualifications to compete outside their
... age environment. Implementation of the project's objectives to improve the nutritional and vocational skills education of the YMs was tracked to observe its empowering effect and the effectiveness of the community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) methodology in the implementation of the BAE. Voluntary sampling was used to purposively focus on seven of the 20 selected unemployed YMs between the ages of 18-30 years from this community. The findings revealed that the collaborative CBPAR approach enabled YMs to be empowered in their local community through active participation in the planning, trialling implementation, reflection, observation, and evaluation of the ICT and BAE nutrition course as an out-of-school adult learning experience. During these stages, some YMs displayed what may be considered "champion" behaviours such as higher levels of motivation in class, inviting others to the class, helping peers, regular attendance, and willingness to volunteer locally to access and assist with the facilitation of future courses. This study points to champions acting as catalysts to enable YMs and their older women mentors to fill different roles in the development and delivery of community-based BAE.