“Everyday I see so many girls my age walking around with no vision and no dreams,” writes Chandne, who is determined that she will not be one of them. At the age of eight, Chadne told her mother, “I never want to struggle like you.” True to her word, she became Christel House South Africa’s 2011 top-achieving graduate and walked away with the school’s top honor, a Christel Award. “Sometimes I just can’t believe how much I have achieved despite my background and circumstances.”
After her graduation, Chadne began studying civil engineering at Sutherland Civil Engineering. Based on performance, she will receive a bursary to assist Chadne financially while she continues her education at a university.
Chadne’s story is just one in a multitude of success stories from this year’s CHSA graduating class. This year, like the past three years, 100% of Christel House South Africa’s students passed their Matriculation exam, a graduation exam given to South African seniors. But they didn’t just pass - 70.8% achieved a “bachelor’s pass” distinction, and more than half had results good enough to secure bursaries or scholarships. Compared to South Africa’s national pass rate of 70.2% and the national bachelor’s pass rate of 24.3%, these results are outstanding.
“I can remember my first day at Christel House,” Chadne reminisces. “It was the best day ever. The teachers welcomed us with so much warmth and understanding. At CHSA I’ve learned to be a strong, positive leader. I know it’s up to me to be responsible. When people try to break my spirit with words or negative actions, I can hold my head up high. I am a strong, focused and goal-oriented person. I know what I want to accomplish in life.”
Although she was only six at the time, Lericia remembers living on the streets with her mother and siblings after her father died in prison and the family lost its house. “The worst part was the constant hunger and not being able to wash,” she reflects.
A local church provided the children a shipping crate in which to make a home—it was dry, and relatively safe. And, they were asked to come to Christel House where they were provided with healthy meals, medical care, clean clothing and a place to shower, and most importantly--an education and teachers who showed encouragement and support.
When her mother died four years ago, Lericia became head of the household. A 2009 graduate of Christel House, Lericia is studying at university to become a teacher. She wants to inspire young people to never give up on their dreams. “I want to tell them, become goal-driven. Don’t limit yourself to matric—aim higher. Get an education, earn good money and then give back to your community.”
Thank you so much for all you do to support the children of Christel House. Without your support, Lericia and other children like her would face a much different future. 100% of all donations go directly towards programs for the children of Christel House.
No Obstacle is Too Big!
Living in the slums of Cape Town with his two sisters and his mother has not stopped Gopal from working hard to achieve his dream of going to college. A 16 year old student at Christel House, this determined young man participates in sports and art, loves music and is always willing to lend a helping hand.
Gopal's mother, a widow, works very long hours as a domestic helper, earning a meager $67 per month. Food is a luxury at times. Living conditions are nearly unbearable. Yet Gopal, according to his teacher, is a diligent student. "He has grown into a responsible individual. He is extremely enthusiastic. He will do very well in the future," she boasts. "He has great leadership qualities. We have a lot of faith in Gopal."
Had he not come to Christel House, Gopal strongly believes his life would have turned out very different. "Christel House has given me the opportunity to grow and develop into a better human being. The school has made me more responsible and has enabled me to acquire skills that will help me to face the world in the future," says Gopal.
Gopal's dream is to attend college to become an engineer and support his family. "I love my school and my teachers who have taught me everything that I need to know to face the challenges of life. I know that I will be able to overcome whatever obstacles I have in front of me. I am very lucky to be here."
You can help Gopal and other Christel House students' dreams of going to college come true. When you donate to Christel House 100% of your donation directly benefits the children. At Christel House, no contributions are used to fund overhead or administrative costs. Thank you so much for your continued support. Every donation makes an impact on our Christel House South Africa kids and their future. Together, we truly are breaking the cycle of poverty one student at a time.
For more information, visit our website at www.christelhouse.org.
Christel House takes part in GlobalGiving.org’s Bonus Day October 19
Life in the slums is tough. Children in South Africa are fighting an uphill battle to break the cycle of poverty. Christel House is continuously working to help them the tools they need to change their lives forever. Our holistic approach to alleviating poverty works-- but we need YOUR help! On October 19, we have the opportunity to further our mission with matching funds from GlobalGiving.org.
At 12:01 AM EDT on October, 19 GlobalGiving.org is matching at 30% all online donations up to $1,000 per donor per project! There will be $100,000 available in matching funds but once these matching funds are used, no more matching funds will be applied. In addition to the 30% match, GlobalGiving is offering a $1,000 bonus to the project that raises the most funds that day and a $1,000 bonus to the project that receives donations from the most individual donors!
Please consider a donation to Christel House South Africa. By supporting our students, together, we can break the cycle of poverty. Remember--these matching funds only happen on October 19. Thank you so much for your support!
We’ve Got Spirit!
Christel House South Africa is so proud to announce that one of our own, Nasipho Sigila, was recently named Runner Up of the prestigious Amy Biehl Foundation Spirit Award. The Award goes to young people who are making a difference and have gone out of their way to bring positive change to their communities.
The 17 year old organized a group of classmates to teach dance at St. Anthony’s pre-school in Langa, keeping the children off the streets where violence is rampant. “What I find personally rewarding about my service is that it is my passion. I hope to make a lasting difference. Christel House has taught me to give back to my community and I believe I am making a difference, even if it seems small,” says Nasipho.
Nasipho was nominated by her teacher Vivienne Stewart who beams with pride when she talks of her young student. “She is such a positive and giving girl. It is so wonderful to see that what we teach at Christel House really is making an impact. She is passionate about giving back to her community.”
At Christel House, we believe that our children will realize their fullest potential by working hard in their studies, pledging to be good citizens and giving back to their communities. Nasipho is just one example of how Christel House is changing the lives of children in South Africa, encouraging them to set their goals high by helping others as they work to improve their own lives.
If you would like to help Christel House students like Nasipho reach their dreams of going to college, and can give back to their communities, GlobalGiving has offered an extra incentive. On October 19, GlobalGiving is having a Bonus Day where they have committed to matching each donation at 30% (up to $1,000). If you have been considering a donation, be sure to log on to GlobalGiving on October 19!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.