BTE Student Stories

East London South Africa

#B2ESiteSpotlight on BTE-East London!


BTE-East London, South Africa is a partnership between Johnson & Johnson, The Institute of Training and Education for Capacity-building (ITEC), an organization dedicated to increasing children’s educational opportunities, and Unathi Senior School in East London. It Launched in true Eastern Cape style, with music and dance, poetry, and inspirational remarks for the 65 learners, their parents, educators, and community leaders.


Norm Setting:

To help students develop a sense of ownership and responsibility, one of their first activities was to mutually develop norms to guide them to success over the next three years. This is a great example of Youth Voice, a valuable tool used at BTE sites to ensure programs are meeting students’ needs. The norms fell under 3 headings:

We respect ourselves

We respect each other

We respect our community and our environment

BTE volunteers were proud of the maturity the students showed in discussing their norms, as well as their growing confidence presenting their ideas publicly.

Team Building:

In March 2018, BTE-East London did a Teambuilding event with 65 BTE Students from Unathi School. Students learned about the dynamics of leadership, working in a team, ethics, self-worth and identity.


Library Week:

BTE-East London aims to encourage the students to read.  Fortunately, the hall they meet in is just above a public library!  The municipal librarians, Sibongile and Luvuyo, gave a talk to the BTE students to encourage them to use the library, and told them all about the events they have planned to celebrate South African Library Week.

BTE-East London also received a donation of books from the FunDza Literacy Trust for the students, which will be curated by the library. The FunDza titles deal positively but realistically with topics that are of interest to South African teens.