Grace2Learn (G2L) has long been a name known around East Mountain along with the name of its founder and director, Brad Sitzer, whose face has been seen at our community braais for some time now. However, it has been more recently that East Mountain’s partnership with G2L has matured. From first only visiting G2L every so often for an annual cleanup service day to this year sending our residents there on a weekly basis for ministry, our partnership has not only grown wider in scope, but deeper in engagement as well.
G2L is a learning hub that deals with both online as well as on-the-ground learning in Mitchells Plain, South Africa to help learners earn a high school diploma (The GED). Their online program was a huge asset recently in lockdown. Some other services they offer alongside working towards high school completion are discipleship, mentoring, career planning, digital skills development, financial literacy and even small group interactions to create accountability. Moreover, G2L offers a learning experience that is more individually tailored to each learner than the traditional classroom setting. Students, many of whom are from the under-resourced Cape Flats context, are empowered to drive their own education experience with a blend of dedicated facilitators and global digital learning opportunities in a unique and supportive environment. They are developed holistically through mind, body, and spirit, which lines up well with East Mountain’s core values as we seek to holistically develop leaders through the head, hands, and heart.
One of our 2017 East Mountain residents, Carlo Bam, came through G2L back when they were first starting up. Carlo is now in full-time university study and spends time with the students at Grace2Learn from time to time. Three years later, East Mountain is excited to announce that a new resident for 2021 will be coming to us from G2L. Part of this development came from the diligent deepening of our partnership with Grace2Learn and Scripture Union, with whom the new resident has served for at youth camps as a junior leader alongside East Mountain staff.
This year for the first time ever, East Mountain sent some of our residents to G2L to engage in a weekly ministry partnership. Residents Sarah (New York, USA), Seth (Port Elizabeth, SA), and Coco (Retreat, SA) took the initiative to participate in a wide variety of activities at G2L such as discipling high school students through intentional relationship building and mentoring, leading workout activities to promote physical health, and conducting Bible studies. Several comments have come up from our residents regarding how much they enjoyed working with G2L this year. The Grace2Learn students were also majorly impacted as some of them admitted to having never been mentored or discipled before so the experience was overwhelmingly positive for them! It has truly been an amazing testimony to see the partnership not only between G2L and East Mountain strengthen, but between G2L and other churches and organisations in the Mitchells Plain community.
2020 was a rough year for everyone, but we are certainly grateful for the maturation and growth of our partnership with G2L that came partly as a result of it. We look forward to our continued work alongside them, empowering them to empower those they are educating to make an impact in South Africa and the world. If you would like to read more about G2L, please check out their social media page.