Your support helps students, like Reagan, reimagine their future.
Reagan is a 10th grade student at Christel House South Africa. He is one of the school’s top science students and was even named the “Top Physical Science Student” in the Junk Yard Siemens Robotics science competition. Reagan’s journey, however, has not been easy.
Growing up, Reagan’s father, when not incarcerated, was often very abusive. Some time ago, Reagan’s two older siblings dropped out of school. They no longer live at home—both are unemployed and use illegal substances. Reagan’s mother is the sole breadwinner of the home. She works at a local homeless shelter and struggles to make ends meet. Rent and utilities must be paid first, and what is left does not go far toward putting food on their table every day. Notwithstanding this level of turmoil in the family, Reagan had perfect attendance at school last year.
Christel House has helped Reagan keep a positive attitude and anticipate building a better life.
Regan’s future reimagined includes moving out of Manenburg Township. “I see myself studying Computer Science and Software Engineering, and getting my Master’s degree at the University of Cape Town. I would love to work at Google South Africa and live in a beautiful flat.”
Your generosity helps Christel House South Africa students, like Reagan, as they prepare for and attend university. Thank you for your continued support.
“Without Christel House, Reagan would never have excelled like he has. He has developed beyond my expectations. He is intelligent, smart and always willing to help others.” - Jacqueline, Mother of Reagan
“Work hard; believe in yourself and live strong. If I can do it, so can you!” - Reagan
Chi Nguyen is an In-the-Field Representative with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southern Africa. Her “Postcard” from her visit to Christel House International in South Africa:
On Wednesday, February 19th I was privileged to be a part of teacher Chamelle De Silva's popcorn party for her small remedial class of six. At Christel House, they give a certain amount of time for children who may be a bit behind the curve in certain areas of learning for small group work, just as they give a certain amount of time for children who are a bit advanced to engage in exercises that can challenge them a bit more.
I watched as the children used words such as "taste", "smell", and "touch" to describe the popcorn. I couldn't help but smile as I saw that they were practically salivating as they jumped up and down, watching the popcorn pop in the microwave.
The children earned this popcorn party because they were able to spell the word "because" using what they called a "rhyme" to help them:
When they finally received the popcorn with some sugar dusting in their green cones, it seemed as if they could not eat it all quickly enough. As they ate, they shared stories, and a debate quickly popped up regarding whether little Cwendi was 8 (he maintained that he was) or if he was really 7. Without them knowing it, teacher Chamelle provoked their critical problem-solving skills and teamwork for them to find out Cwendi's real age. (He is indeed 7, as he turns 8 in July). They concluded the lesson with a quick review of how to spell "could", "would", and "should". They dusted the sugar off their hands and ran off, bellies full of popcorn, to the playground to join the rest of their classmates - no doubt eager to share their most recent "lesson" with their friends.
I stayed behind to chat with teacher Chamelle, and I quickly found out that I would be hard-pressed to find someone who speaks so lively and passionately about her profession. She gave me example after example of her past lessons for the children with enthusiastic gestures and an enormous smile on her face. When I commented on how impressed I was with the creativity of the lesson plans as well as how the children responded to them (with pride in what they had learned and how far they had come), she told me:
"These children are told all their lives that they can't do this, they can't do that right. It's not about can't - it's about all the little differences in each child. If there is one thing that I want these children to leave Christel House with by the time they graduate, it's the self-confidence to just try."
BECAUSE OF YOU. . .
Over the past four years, 100% of students attending Christel House South Africa have graduated from 12th grade. Many are continuing on to study at university, with dreams like becoming an entrepreneur, or getting a degree in engineering. Ninety-six percent of Christel House graduates are employed and/or working to continue their education.
Fifty percent of South Africans aged 18-24 are unemployed.
Your support is making a difference. Thank you for helping in this transformative work. Christel House Founder, Christel DeHaan and Christel House students wanted to share their appreciation. Click here to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G67eDmda0F0
We hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. Thank you for considering Christel House in your year-end giving.
Your generosity to the students of Christel House South Africa has made a significant difference in many lives. I’d like to introduce you to one of those students.
Taariq is a 17 year old student at Christel House South Africa (CHSA). In December, Taariq will enter his final year at CHSA - his school home since 1st grade.
Taariq lives with his mother, father and brother in Hanover Park, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. Hanover Park is known to be one of the most poverty stricken areas of Cape Town. It has a reputation for being a violent and crime ridden area, with gang violence being particularly rampant. Taariq has seen this violence in his neighborhood, and often has to stay locked in his home when he is not at school for safety.
Taariq is very grateful for the opportunities Christel House has given him. Without Christel House, he believes that he would have been sucked into the violent culture that surrounds him. Instead, Taariq is a student with a very bright future. He is top of his class, one of the best trumpet players at his school and has aspirations to attend the University of Cape Town and study law. One day, Taariq wants to return to Hanover Park to mentor young boys and show them that they too can have a brighter future.
Your support is helping impoverished students, like Taariq, transition to higher education and fulfill their goals and dreams. Thank you for believing in the mission and children of Christel House - you are changing lives.
Rushin joined Christel House South Africa (CHSA) in 2002 when he was in 5th grade. He grew up in a very poverty stricken area of South Africa where drugs, alcohol and violence are rampant. Before coming to Christel House, he even considered joining one of the many gangs present in his community. Although these pressures never subsided during his school years, with assistance and guidance from CHSA, Rushin was able to overcome these challenges.
Rushin graduated from CHSA in 2009 and is now proudly enrolled at the Cape Peninsulas University of Technology. He is currently pursuing a career in construction engineering.
Young people in South Africa today are faced with many challenges. Nationally, only 20% of students ever complete the 12th grade and 50% of South Africans aged 18-24 are unemployed. Rushin recognizes the difficulties that he faced and accredits CHSA for helping him to overcome these barriers.
“Christel House South Africa introduced me to the notion of ‘breaking the cycle of poverty’ in which so many youth of today so easily become ensnared. My horizons were truly broadened at CHSA. I learned to look beyond my circumstances, to achieve success against great adversity. Christel House South Africa has opened the door of quality education to me and now greater success is within reach.”
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