Cool To Be Me Project

Posted / 13 December 2020


Amidst the challenge of COVID-19, Columba has been very appreciative of funding through the National Treasury from the Jobs Fund. This additional funding has allowed us to create short term jobs for 50 alumni. Never has there been a greater need to create employment or pathways into self-employment. Now more than ever we need to leverage partnerships and available funding to maximum effect. To this end Columba has embarked on partnerships with others who can assist in this vein. COOL TO BE ME (CTBM) is a South African company with a decade of experience in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Columba has partnered with COOL TO BE ME to train our alumni in the principles and practices of Social and Emotional Learning. The purpose of SEL is to develop a learner’s emotional literacy (EQ) and teach them skills needed to manage stress and emotional overwhelm caused by the pressures of their daily lives, which in the context of South Africa, is one of the primary barriers to learning. These skills of emotional self-awareness, regulation and goal or values-based decision making has become even more relevant and urgent as we navigate the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 45 of our alumni based in five provinces are completing their training as SEL facilitators and will be running a 12-week SEL programme with high school learners in 2021. The SEL programme will focus on self-awareness, self-regulation, goal directed behaviour, social awareness, communication and conflict resolution skills; responsible decision making and optimist thinking for a growth mindset.

Anticipated outcomes include the growth and development of our alumni as positive role models with increased opportunities to find employment; transference of SEL skills and knowledge to schools and educators in addition to the development of SEL competencies within learners resulting in a reduction in behavioural issues; an increase in responsible decision making and a significant increase in overall health and happiness as well as academic progress. A further five alumni will be onboarded in January 2021.

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