The sixth annual MTN Bushfire Schools Festival, which was officially launched earlier this month, is now open for applications from high schools across Swaziland. The festival is supported by the MTN Foundation and was established in 2010 with the aim of tackling the lack of a formal Arts Curriculum taught in the kingdom’s public schools.
The annual festival exposes students and teachers alike to the many 'languages of the arts' and creates a unique platform for creative expression. Over the last six years, the festival has hosted over 2000 students, 300 teachers and 150 arts facilitators, who participate in a three-day programme of workshops and activities designed to interact, educate and inform young people.
Tuesday 26 May: Teacher and Facilitator workshops
This is a full day of development workshops by dramatists, artists and other creative professionals for 50 local teachers and facilitators, equipping them with skills they can use throughout the academic year. Through performances and interactive training sessions, the overall experience aims to bring to light the importance of the arts as a means of expression, underlining the boundless ways of using the arts as an educational tool and initiating a cycle of creative learning and teaching.
Wednesday 27 May: Student Workshops
A full day of workshops for up to 150 high school students from across Swaziland, exposing children to hands on arts education through various presentations, media and performances that incorporate themes of social behaviour change. This not only acts as a platform to expose learners to the creative arts, it also empowers the youth with skills to make positive choices around their health and development.
Thursday 28 May: Schools Open Day
The MTN Bushfire Schools Open Day was added to the festival programme in 2013, hosting over 700 students from across the country in an attempt to open up the event to a larger number of students. This year’s Open Day, held on the third day of the programme, will include interactive arts workshops and educational sessions by Lusweti on social behaviour change and performances by the 2014 winners of the schools culture competition in sibhaca, ummiso and drum majorettes, the Safeguard Young People Project (in partnership with the UNFPA) and Grammy-winning American acapella group Sweet Honey in the Rock (proudly supported by the US Embassy).
Schools interested in taking part in the MTN Bushfire Schools Festival 2015 Open Day can download an application form from the MTN Bushfire Schools Festival website, the MTN Educare website or by contacting the MTN Bushfire Schools Festival coordinator Maswati Dludlu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications must be received before the deadline on 8 May and successful applicants will be contacted by 13 May 2015.