Maranatha Care Children

Maranatha Care Children is a non-profit charity, established in 2009 and registered with the Charity Commission in the UK (Charity No: 1139344), aiming to help South African children by offering development in education and life skills, providing suitable home environments and safeguarding the futures of those in care. The objects of the organisation (as set out in our governing constitution) are as follows: 1. To promote social inclusion for the public benefit by preventing children and young people in care in South Africa from becoming socially excluded. 2. To relieve the needs of such children and young people who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society. ...
Mar 6, 2015

Thank you for being part of this journey!

LOOKING proud & MAKING US proud! High Schoolers!
LOOKING proud & MAKING US proud! High Schoolers!

Firstly I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all our supporters through Global Giving! Whilst we are sorry for taking a long time to update you all just know that we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure we are providing effective service delivery for the children we support! And at this stage it remains crucial for us to strengthen our fundraising activity as much as possible! You can also visit our new charity website which we continue to be incredible proud of!

We have of course been continuing in trying to raise funds for 2015 to ensure the children can again be enrolled into schools. We recently purchased new uniform and stationery requirements as needed which is always a significant expense. As I write this update we currently have 32 children attending a number of 13 different educational establishments! Of course we still need to ensure that the monthly fees of the children are met, particularly when we have children requiring specialist support!

Thanks to YOUR support we have also been able to continue our commitment to providing group Occupational Therapy at Siyakatala. We have just arranged new assessments and are thankful that this will be able to continue. At this stage we are seeking sponsorship to have children assessed by a counselling psychologist to undertake a psychometric evaluation to help plan effective service delivery. We currently require 12 assessments to be undertaken! With this assessment it becomes much easier for us to ensure the child obtains the support they truly need! 

The grounding we are providing to the children also remains essential. It is worth achknowledging that whilst South Africa may speak of achieving a 75% pass rate at the matric (Grade 12) level only 28% of learners achieved enough to study at degree level! Where we operate in the Eastern Cape the pass rate was also highlighted as the poorest in the country, being at 65%. This shows how we must still continue targeting educational needs when it comes to the children in residential care and helping them to achieve better future prospects.

In recognizing this we have ensured each child at this project as their own individual educational plan. This maps their progress over each term including grade average, subject areas needing attention and also games & resources that can be used where viable. At this stage we had one girl starting high school this year with a grade average of 74% and one of our primary school learners in Grade 6 achieve an average of 70%. We ensure that each child does receive dedicated homework assistance and ensure the educational programme of the project is monitored accordingly. We realize that whilst it is one thing to fundraise it also remains paramount to ensure that results can be achieved through implementation and that is where we aim to also be as transparent as possible.

We are continually grateful for our Global Giving friends and supporters to continue in being champions of this cause! What we keep in our hearts is the knowing that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. As we continue in our efforts we strive to find the inner magic in all of the children we support. Thank you for being part of the journey!

Links:

Sep 4, 2014

Dream. Believe. Achieve - Shooting for the moon..!

Defying the odds!
Defying the odds!

First and foremost, a HUGE thank you to EVERYONE who donated and supported this project – we made our initial a target of raising $10,000! We have now exceeded our original expectations and managed to raise over £7,000 GBP thanks in totality to all of you reading this new report!

As you may have read in our last update we have decided to extend our each over the next year and so will be continuing with this project! Our primary focus remains the Siyakatala Child & Youth Care Centre where the educational needs of all 34 children remains an area where support is continually required! So please also support the cause over on Global Giving UK between 1st and 8th September for the #BonusWeek campaign where your donations will be able to go 50% further...!

The Siyakatala Centre has been able to source a remedial teacher who is strengthening children within the core areas of numeracy and literacy. This is to compliment the daily homework and study assistance each child receives. This is more needed than ever when we look at the recent results of the Grade 6 national assessments in South Africa which shows that almost 70% fail to meet minimum attainment levels in mathematics and 38% achieving below the required results in their home language.  

Siyakatala goes the extra mile to try and give the children in their care every opportunity to achieve to their fullest – in their last school reports one young girl achieved a number of 4 distinctions including an incredible mark of 90% in Life Orientation!  

With the children attending a number of 10 schools we still must focus on raising the much needed funds for school fees, uniforms and transportation costs. It is also important to remember we also assist children who require specialised education to overcome learning difficulties, with the Eastern Cape being home to 8% of learners receiving such schooling at this stage.  

The centre also classifies therapeutic service delivery as an essential goal for each child within their individual development plan. As such we want to continue in supporting the aim to provide Occupational Therapy to those children who need it!

Our exciting news at this stage is that we have applied for our two oldest boys to attend University next year! This is looking at the focus areas of teaching and human movement science at bachelor degrees! We keep our fingers crossed as recent statistics show that only 17.5% of learners in South Africa qualified for a bachelors programmes following the results of their National Senior Certification (matric) examinations.

What makes the achievements of these children even more remarkable is the trauma they have endured which they refuse to let hold them back from shooting to the moon…such examples as having a boy who came to us whilst living on the street some 5 years ago that will soon be celebrating the completion of his high school career. These inspiring stories fill us with confidence in the work we continue to carry out!

If you see some of the incredible activities and opportunities they now have thanks to the work of Siyakatala you would just be blown away. We have a new video we’d also like to show you attached to this report which shows some highlights from the last year! View it at: Maranatha Care Children You Tube Channel

We also have a brand new website about to be launched at: www.maranathacarechildren.com

We’d also like our supporters to know that whilst this initiative remains our primary goal we also have two other on-going projects. The first is our support of Protea Primary School which provides high quality support to over 60 children (including a group from Siyakatala) but do remain in need for educational resources on a yearly basis. Furthermore we are moving forward with our outreach in the rural area of Nieu-Bethesda – at this stage the children in the local township community only have access to a primary school and we are in the planning stage for new projects in that area. If we receive other grants or sponsorship to assist with schooling needs at Siyakatala we will use any excess funds to support the needs that we have identified at these projects…all still targeting educational service areas!

It is just left for me to say thank you…thank you for taking our hands, for making dreams become possible, for allowing the children who inspire me to know that there are so many people who believe in them…it is that belief that truly helps them defy the odds and move forward with pride and confidence. Dream. Believe. Achieve.  

Learning new skills!
Learning new skills!
Shooting for the moon...and University!
Shooting for the moon...and University!

Links:

Jun 5, 2014

So close to our target! And our kids are FLYING!!!

Don
Don't stop believing...! One of our oldest boys!

After everyone’s hard work to ensure this project can be a success it is now AMAZING to report that we can see the huge rewards!

Our oldest boys who started at a private school for their final years of schooling, thanks to the financial backing of this project, have showed tremendous improvements.

In the last three terms one of our oldest boys has seen his grade average increase from 35% up to 56% - he achieved over 60% in mathematics, which is fantastic when you consider that only a quarter of learners achieved a 50% pass mark in 2013! He is now strongly considering a career in the police force with a real passion to make a difference in communities!

Another of our oldest boys showed a tremendous increase from 40% up to 59%! This included a distinction mark of 75% in Afrikaans as an additional language. Amazing considering his language of schooling is English and he is also fluent in Xhosa! With a weekly work experience at a graphic design company and enough APS points to go on to study at University level it really shows that doors are opening for his bright future!

The final of our three oldest still has one more year left at school, but that does not mean he is slacking in his work! With a long term ambition of be a pilot he saw marks of 84% in geography which is incredible considering he only started the subject this year! A second distinction was obtained in English where he gained 79%...a further triumph considering he is also fluent in three languages! Now as we also look at him as a possible police candidate where he could look at flying helicopters we have to just hope that in the future we will be able to obtain sponsorship to help make some of these dreams a reality…!

And that’s not the only good news. Some of you will be aware that alongside our youth centre we also support Protea Primary School. This is the nearest school in the locality to the centre and Protea also serves as a place of safety themselves for children removed from abusive home circumstances. They provide free schooling to a number of our learners and as such the Maranatha Care Children charity tries to support the school however we can. We still plan to launch another micro-project for them in the near-future [watch this space!]. In the meantime I had two children attending that school from our youth centre achieve averages of 65% for their grades…even more fantastic when you consider that they were previously kids who they did not think could cope on a mainstream curriculum. Here’s to realizing their TRUE potential when they receive the right support!!!

AND the next amazing news is that we are just £170 (USD $285) away from realizing our target…which will mean a breathtaking £6200 (USD $10,000) will have been raised through our work on Global Giving! This is where we cannot extend enough thanks for our tremendous supporters who have really walked this journey with us!!!

So where does that leave us in regards to our Global Giving presence? Well after a wonderful site visit from Global’s own In-The-Field intern for Southern Africa [Chi Nguyen] we have a renewed excitement to continue with our online fundraising and even try and extend our reach over the next year. Our youth centre continues to support 34 children – all of their educational needs remain pressing for 2015 and there is NO reason why we cannot look to provide them with the security to know they will receive the support they require next year and beyond! And already we have moved out to the rural areas to a small village called Nieu-Bethesda where we hope to set up new projects including a drop-in, foster home and baby shelter for those children in need from the local township area where the resources are incredibly limited. Already I can tell you that any excess funds from this project can also go towards supplying educational resources for this area – in my recent visit there I was incredibly touched by the gratefulness of the children and big hearts of the guardian angels who are trying their best to provide for kids without the support networks they desperately need.

One thing for sure is that there is NO shortage of need in South Africa. But we are truly doing what we can to make a meaningful, valuable, sustainable and measurable difference to those young people that should never have endured what they had to in order to get to the point they are at now…but still continue to fly through the sky in succeeding all our expectations thanks to the generosity of all of you now reading this! Please continue to support us, it means absolutely everything!    

Golden smile for receiving TWO distinctions!
Golden smile for receiving TWO distinctions!
Our youth centre - a true haven for our youngsters
Our youth centre - a true haven for our youngsters
My trip to Nieu-Bethesda at the local soup kitchen
My trip to Nieu-Bethesda at the local soup kitchen

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