Applications are now open for Cohort 3 of Play Africa’s Design Thinking with Children Fellowship. In a move to broaden the programme’s impact into Southern Africa, this time around, entry is open to those in South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The 20 fellowships offer free training workshops to both professionals and community members and leaders as part of Play Africa’s mission to create safer and more playful African cities through child-centred placemaking. This is underpinned by Play Africa’s core belief that children are change makers who have a right to the city and deserve communities that serve their needs while reflecting their ideas and thinking.

Through the Design Thinking with Children programme, Play Africa offers free training workshops to the fellows, welcoming a wide range of professionals in education, architecture, urban planning, design thinking, children’s advocacy and community development. Parents, guardians and members of communities are also invited to apply.

Through a virtual two-part workshop (three hours each), Play Africa equips fellows with the curriculum and practical skills to implement design thinking workshops with children ages 7-12 and beyond. By the end of the training, participants will be able to run Play Africa’s Design Thinking with Children workshops in their own community.

The Design Thinking process is a creative non-linear six-step process through which children learn to empathise with other children, identify and define social challenges, ideate, prototype, test and share possible solutions for safer and more playful African cities. The workshops are informed by Play Africa’s Designing with Children toolkit – an open source resource that has been developed, tested and made free to anyone. The fellows will be provided with free curriculum resources and the training sessions.

“What unites fellows is their burning desire to empower children’s creative expression and to make their voices and ideas heard in efforts to transform their communities and cities,” says Play Africa’s Programme Manager, Zvikomborero Kanyoka. “We saw this so vividly in the previous two cohorts, and in the incredible response we had to the first two callouts – and we are looking forward to welcoming our third cohort to the Design Thinking with Children programme.”

Apply for the Design Thinking with Children Fellowship here. Applications closes Sunday, 4 December 2022, at 11.59pm (SAST).

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