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?
NOTE: While these stories of the young people that were helped are true, all the names have been changed in order to protect their identity.
Cheslyn never knew his biological father. He was raised by his mother, who as most single parents, struggled to balance working to earn money and taking good care of her children.
As the youngest child, Cheslyn could not wait to go to school. He was progressing well in the Grade R class. Then tragedy struck. His mother passed away unexpectedly after a sudden illness. As a five year old, Cheslyn was not allowed to visit the hospital nor attend his mother’s funeral. The day after the funeral, the family was split up and siblings informally cared for by various family members. As the youngest, Cheslyn went to live with his maternal grandmother.
Some 6 years later, at age eleven in Grade 4, Cheslyn had transformed into a defiant and angry boy. Teachers laid repeated complaints of challenging behaviour, as he fought with all his peers and teachers. The constant fighting became self-defeating and he resorted to repeated absconding. He dropped out of school early in 2017.
As a recent drop-out, Cheslyn was referred by the school to Masizame. He is a regular at the Drop-In Centre and attended life-skills programs. Counseling sessions were held with both the child and the extended family, and grief counselling assisted both Cheslyn and his grandmother to have closure over the death of his mother.
Once the teachers understood the history of the child, they have agreed to Cheslyn re-enrolling for school in 2018, and Masizame will continue individual check-in sessions on a bi-weekly basis. This initiative was made possible with the funding grant from StreetSmart South Africa.
Nandi is a young girl who was admitted to Kids Haven (a StreetSmart Johannesburg beneficiary) at the age of twelve. 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
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.
His class teacher noticed that things didn’t seem well with him and contacted PEN (StreetSmart Pretoria beneficiary) 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 their 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! 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.