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.
Anele, a Xhosa speaking Grade 2 learner, started with the StreetSmart - Klipfontein Primary School Aftercare programme at the end of March 2015. Because he struggled with the basic concepts of English, he struggled with the majority of his subjects. Due to the language barrier, it was extremely challenging to communicate with this pupil. He was shy and withdrawn, lacked self-confidence and did not participate in class or in group activities. As a result of the concerted efforts and six months of intensive individual attention of the aftercare teachers in liaison with Anele’s class teacher, he made good progress and is now able to express himself in a second language. Anele has gained confidence, is a much happier boy and since he now has a good grasp of English, he participates in class and group activities. Nowadays, according to his Grade 2 class teacher, he wánts to be heard!
Mohamed is from Manenberg. He came to Learn to Live School of Skills at the beginning of the second term in 2015. He is sixteen years old and doing the 4 year Panel Beating course. Manenberg is a community in the Southern suburbs of Cape Town where gangsterism, drugs and alcohol abuse is rife. When he came to our school he was using drugs on a regular basis. The school referred him for counselling. He stopped using drugs and attended counselling sessions regularly. He is a keen learner that is doing his best to make a success of his life. Through the professional and fatherly guidance of Rodney Abrahamse, the Panel Beating instructor, Mohamed, not only gained knowledge in panel beating, but also learned that it is important to work hard, be dedicated and use every opportunity in life. He really gives his best in the panel beating workshop and is eager to get his qualification.
Lerato, aged 11, was brought to Ons Plek due to concerns about her behaviour at home. She had not attended school for 2 years, was found begging on the streets and using dagga. At the time she was residing with her mother, a drug user, with very little supervision as a consequence. Lerato’s father lived near the home, but he smoked dagga and had very little involvement.
When she arrived at Ons Plek, Lerato was street smart and very aggressive. She was the youngest in the house at the time and quickly became a target for bullying due to her ‘storytelling’, but once her withdrawals symptoms from the drugs had passed, she settled and started to engage with the programme; her cooperation during her chores improved and she showed great potential in Bridging School.
Investigations into the family environment revealed that, as her home environment could not provide her with stability and safety, home visits could not be facilitated.
After several months of intensive work with the Lerato, she was assessed and found to be settled and stable enough to attend mainstream school. She missed her sibling, to whom she had a strong attachment, and after conversations with the foster mother and the external social worker, it was agreed that she be moved to the foster placement with her brother where they would continue to build on the relationship with the parents and child.
Vusi was 8 years old when he came to live at the PEN-Streetwise Leratong home. Concerned community members found him living in the parking lot of a shopping centre in Pretoria and brought him to Madala. It turned out that his mother was a sex worker and had left him to fend for himself.
Having suffered the trauma of being neglected by his mother and being forced to protect himself on the streets, Vusi’s behaviour was very volatile and he oscillated between being quiet and withdrawn, and being aggressive.
Vusi has really flourished in the safety and care of the Leratong home environment. He has a loving father figure and the support of a qualified social worker who has specialised in working with orphaned and vulnerable children. His therapeutic sessions have helped him to learn to express his experiences and overcome the trauma he has suffered.
Vusi is doing fantastically well at the skills school he now attends. He is achieving nearly 70% for English and Maths and nearly 60% for Science! He loves working with his hands and hopes to become a motor mechanic.
He is a popular member of the household and enjoys playing soccer, rugby and athletics at school.