Minister Marais launches Lights On After School | Western Cape Government


Minister Marais launches Lights On After School

3 October 2023

The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) is proud to announce the launch of October as "Lights On After School Month”. This initiative, inspired by the Afterschool Alliance in the United States, seeks to raise awareness about the vital role After School Programmes (ASPs) play in nurturing the potential of our youth and children and transforming communities.
Lights On After School is an annual campaign that has been illuminating the importance of ASPs since its inception in October 2000. These programmes are instrumental in offering learners opportunities to broaden their horizons and unlock their potential, ensuring they have access to quality extended education enrichment opportunities.
The campaign sends a powerful message to the world: Millions more children need access to high-quality After School Programmes. As we embark on this transformative journey, the theme for 2023, 'Rally for After School Programmes,' will shine a spotlight on the remarkable impact ASPs have on South African communities, and more locally in our own province of the Western Cape. We have been working closely with The Learning Trust and Community Chest of the Western Cape as coordinators of the campaign in South Africa, now in it’s 4th year. 
Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Anroux Marais is inviting everyone to join in this mission and to showcase their support for After School Programmes throughout the month of October.  There are so many different ways you can showcase your support:
You can participate by volunteering your time, skills, or donations to support these programmes, sharing stories of the incredible impact they have, and lighting up social media with the Lights On Light Bulb on your profile pictures on 26 October, known as Lights On Day. And you can thank an After School Practitioner for the role they have played in your life both past and present. 
"Additionally, I want to encourage mayors, political leaders, businesses and organisations to publically endorse After School Programmes and recognise the vital role they play in holistic learner development," Minister Marais said.
"The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport is at the forefront of creating opportunities for youth and children in the Western Cape. Our commitment to closing the opportunity gap is unwavering, and we offer a range of programmes to support the growth and development of our youth," Minister Marais continued.
Through the MOD Programme (Mass Participation; Opportunity and Access; Development and Growth)  access is provided to school-going youth to a diverse range of fun-filled, play-based, and modified activities in recreation, sport, arts, and culture on a daily basis, after school at 181 schools across the province. In the Neighbourhood School Programme these opportunities are further extended to 146 schools neighbouring the MOD Centres.
Through the flagship Youth in Service programme, YearBeyond , young people between the ages of 18 and 25 provide a diverse range of quality, safe after school activities and programmes at schools, libraries and community centres.
As part of its holistic approach, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport also invests in the arts and culture sector, recognising its impact on the development of our children and youth. 
Minister Marais said: "I invite everyone to stand together, and support After School Programmes, and be a part of this transformative movement during October as Lights On After School Month. Let us unite to ensure every child has the opportunity to shine and reach their full potential."


Media Enquiries: 

Jan-Jan Joubert
MLO for Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
Tel: 083 303 9238