Your donation does not just make lives better…
It puts a child on the path of re-integration into society and a good future.
How does it all play out?
While these stories of the children that were helped are true, all the names have been changed in order to protect their identity.
Annie’s Story At a very early age, Annie’s biological father abandoned his family, leaving her mother to fend for them as the sole breadwinner. Annie was found by Masizame in 2015, while begging on the streets of Plettenberg Bay after school hours.
Annie regularly attended her local Primary school where she displayed behavioural problems, including assaulting other learners, absconding from school and verbally threatening teachers. Consequently, Annie was suspended many times and eventually expelled from school. Annie had subsequently joined a peer support group of drop-out children, where her behavioural challenges surfaced yet again, escalating to substance abuse. Annie became a frequent visitor at the Masizame Drop-in Centre in New Horizons. A multi-disciplinary support team supported her to the point where she was admitted to a Rehabilitation centre. When Annie was discharged, the multi-disciplinary team once again assisted and she was re-admitted to school. The Masizame Drop-In Centre was her constant refuge and she was encouraged to attend our daily life-skills programmes. In addition, our SAW offered Early Intervention services to Annie, her elder sibling and her mother; eventually, a mutual trust was formed and the family was referred to Child Welfare accordingly. Annie was admitted into a short term substance abuse rehabilitation programme in Cape Town to address her drug addiction. Our SAW stayed in weekly telephonic contact with the child during the stay in rehab, and visited the family home regularly.
The child’s return was eagerly anticipated. Annie returned with a positive outlook on life and was immediately enrolled in an alternative school. Despite peer pressure of dropping out of school, Annie persisted and she successfully completed Grade 7 in 2016. She proudly achieved two certificates: one in Sport and the other in Perseverance.
Nandi’s Story Nandi is a young girl who was admitted to Kids Haven at the age of 12. Her home circumstances are bad due to both parents being drug addicts. She was enrolled in Grade 4 at a school before coming to Kids Haven. Nandi underwent a DSD educational assessment and was assessed to be reading at a 6-7 year old level and her maths was assessed at a 7 year old level. It appeared that while she was in Grade 4, she had not been learning. Background reports specified that her previous teacher said that she was behind but she couldn’t help her. Kids Haven Bridging School has been an ideal place for her and she is learning to read. Nandi is one of the children who have changed from the PACES system to the IMPAK school curriculum. She needs extra time to learn the basics but has the ability to fast track her learning process.
Chantal and Kayla’s Story Chantal aged thirteen and her older sister, Kayla aged seventeen, came to Ons Plek after their foster placement had broken down due to their absconding and substance abuse.
The sisters grew up with both parents but things started falling apart after the death of their father, leaving their alcoholic mother to fend for them. The sisters were removed from the care of their mother due to her alcohol addiction and placed in foster care. Their absconding behaviour started and they experimented with drugs and alcohol. They also have a younger sister who is nine, and has never been in school. Not one of the girls has been registered with Home Affairs, and thus had no birth certificates. Ons Plek recommended the removal of the youngest sibling from her mother’s care, and she too joined her sisters at Ons Plek.
The girls settled into the programme and all three were re-integrated back into education. In addition: they are registered with Home Affairs, attending school, receiving individual Counselling sessions, learning a new skill, i.e. knitting, and have contact with their mother.
Katlego’s Story Katlego’s mother moved to Pretoria after running away from a family feud in the Eastern Cape. She sought refuge in a home that provided sleeping facilities for destitute mothers in the inner city. This arrangement worked well for Katlego, his 2 siblings and his mother until Katlego turned 17. He was then forced to move out of the shelter as it only catered for mothers and children under the age of 17. This left Katlego homeless and he started sleeping in the park across the road from the house.
His class teacher noticed that things didn’t seem well with him and contacted PEN to see if they could assist. PEN’s house parents and social worker worked with the Department of Social Development to get Katlego formally placed in our care. For a child who has experienced so much trauma and whose schooling has been so disrupted, Katlego’s academic performance has really surprised all of us! In his latest exams he achieved 80% for Mathematics! He has also started helping and influencing the other kids in our home to spend more time on their school work. Katlego is determined to study medicine and with the right support we know that this is possible.