what We do

Amoyo is dedicated to nurturing vulnerable children through after-school and holiday programmes that embrace performing arts as a vehicle of upliftment. These sessions aren’t just about honing artistic skills; they’re about cultivating essential life skills that instill confidence, self-reliance, accountability, and resilience helping to change the narrative of poverty that too many children are born into.

Our beneficiaries, ranging from Grade One to Matric, are immersed in three to five afternoon classes each week, supplemented by enriching holiday workshops. Led by qualified instructors in dance, singing and drama, every session seamlessly integrates a vibrant life skills curriculum into the creative fabric of each class, ensuring a dynamic and engaging learning experience.

Entrance into Amoyo signifies a commitment to regular attendance and adherence to Amoyo’s core values of respect, gratitude, and accountability. Through ongoing communication with parents, caregivers, and schools, we maintain a deep understanding of each child’s journey, providing tailored support whenever needed, both for the child and their family.

The pinnacle of our year is the eagerly anticipated full-length showcase, where every beneficiary takes centre stage, experiencing the thrill of costumes, sound, lighting, and the applause of an appreciative audience. Additionally, Amoyo proudly participates in prestigious events like the Artscape High School Drama Festival and the Artscape School Arts Festival, often securing coveted spots at the Gala Event, further celebrating our students’ artistic achievements and resilience.

Dance and Rhythm

Dance genres include African, Contemporary, Ballet, Gumboot, and Pantsula. All genres help to develop strength, coordination, flexibility, and mental focus which aid in promoting self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem. Our music classes introduce classical singing techniques with a strong emphasis on tone, pitch, voice projection, and breathing. While most of our beneficiaries have grown up singing traditional African songs, the majority have not been exposed to the joy of classical musicals such as Les Miserables, Hairspray, and Phantom of the Opera. The purpose of the classes is to encourage them to explore different styles of singing and performing. The fundamental element that unites music and dance is rhythm. Our rhythm classes use djembe drums, rhythm sticks and tin cans to teach rhythm, flow, timing and synchronization.

Speech and Drama

Culturally most of our children grow up in homes where they are not allowed to question or have an opinion. One of the biggest contributing factors to unemployment in South Africa is the inability to communicate effectively in the interview stage and gainful employment environments. In our speech and drama classes, our students discover how to develop the nuances of expression, clarity, and voice projection. Through engaging exercises, they explore the impact of words, tones, body language, movement, and posture on both spoken and unspoken communication. Beyond the mechanics of speech, our classes foster a deeper appreciation for the power of effective communication and the opportunities that await them if they trust in our process, first learning to understand why this is such an imperative skill to develop and how this applies to school, tertiary education, interview skills, getting employed and then staying employed. These skills serve as pillars of self-esteem and confidence, empowering our beneficiaries to express themselves authentically in any setting, whether on stage or in everyday encounters.
By nurturing creativity and honing communication abilities, our classes equip participants with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of interpersonal relationships and thrive in diverse environments.

Performances

The experience of performing in front of a live audience stands as a pivotal moment in the development of our beneficiaries. Eyes light up and smiles are broad and frequent. Suddenly the WHY of what we do with them starts to make sense. It epitomizes the culmination of their efforts in the classroom, emphasizing the significance of consistent attendance at classes and rehearsals. Through these experiences, they cultivate a sense of confidence, pride, and anticipation, eagerly showcasing the fruits of their hard work and cementing our notion to instil in our children ‘the mindset of learning to love to learn’! Amoyo strives to produce a full-length showcase annually, granting every beneficiary the spotlight in multiple performances. The thrill of donning costumes that we somehow pull together, with basic sound and lighting, and receiving applause from a live, appreciative audience enriches their journey and reinforces their passion for the arts.

In addition to our annual showcase, Amoyo is honoured to participate in esteemed events like the Artscape High School Drama Festival and the Artscape School Arts Festival, where our selection for the Gala Event underscores the calibre of our beneficiaries' talent and dedication. Furthermore, Amoyo has become renowned and celebrated for the distinguished quality of our African-themed dance and song performances and readily accepts invitations to perform at public, corporate, and private events.

We leverage these opportunities to bolster our financial stability while sharing the transformative power and exhilarance of this side of the isiXhosa culture with broader audiences.
Throughout the year, mini-displays mark the end of specific projects and holiday workshops, offering tangible evidence of our children’s potential and achievements within condensed timeframes. This sense of accomplishment translates beyond the stage, positively impacting their academic endeavours and earning them recognition for improved performance in school.

While we don’t expect every child to pursue a career in the arts, these outings serve as powerful demonstrations of the rewards that stem from dedication, hard work, and perseverance. Each adventure ignites their curiosity, expands their horizons, and fuels their imagination, enriching their understanding of the world beyond their immediate reality.

Life Skills

At Amoyo, instilling our "STEPS TO SUCCESS" life skills form the cornerstone of our approach. Every facet of our programme, from classes to outings, is intertwined with these essential skills, creating a holistic learning experience for our beneficiaries. In each class, a dynamic life skills theme underpins our curriculum, seamlessly woven into engaging activities that spark joy and participation. These themes encompass vital aspects such as gratitude, emotional well-being, trauma management, self-esteem cultivation, decision-making, resilience building, confidence enhancement, effective communication, and goal setting. We also regularly host guest facilitators who conduct specialized workshops on topics like domestic, gender, and community violence, as well as substance abuse awareness. Our regular outings serve as integral components of our life skills curriculum, offering beneficiaries unique opportunities for growth and exploration. Visits to esteemed venues like Theatre on The Bay, Waterfront Theatre College, Artscape Theatre Centre, Lamta, and The Masque Theatre provide invaluable exposure to professional environments and diverse communities. These experiences create a sense of belonging and worthiness among our participants, instilling confidence in their ability to navigate unfamiliar settings and engage with individuals from varied backgrounds.
Witnessing a wide array of professional productions during these outings not only entertains but also educates our children about the essence of performance and artistic expression.

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