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.
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!
The recent matric (A Level) results in the Eastern Cape show that work is still to be done to improve the attainment levels of learners in the province. Whilst there was a national pass rate of 64.9% – still the lowest in the country – of the 284,283 who entered Grade 1 in 2002 only 77,602 managed to reach Grade 12. So even making it to the end of your school career still appears to be achievement for many young people in itself.
So we are embracing the opportunity we’ve had, thanks to our education project, to allow our Grade 11 & 12 learners to be transferred to an independent academy where classes are kept to convenient sizes and split in all subjects to ensure the learners obtain thorough tuition and personal attention. This has only been made possible through the financial support we have received but has been worth every cent to see how our older boys flourish in their new school environment…a far cry away from having 50 learners battling for the teachers attention in the classes they used to be in!
And as you will see this project also includes funds for our school uniform purchases. For all the children at the centre at the start of the year this alone came to over £500! But we believe that the kids we support are worth every penny to be able to have that most needed boost of self-esteem and be proud to be attending a school where they can wear their uniform with pride...the photos speak for themselves!
At the youth centre we have been able to compliment these milestones by ensuring that all children are divided up into homework groups for a minimum of an hour each day with a dedicated homework assistant helping no more than 3 children. We have extra math’s sessions with a math’s tutor serving voluntarily, computer sessions for the high school children and dedicated time for study on weekend. Of course this is all combined with a recreational programme including sports to ensure all our children find the balance they need in lives. And so far we cannot be any more proud of these kids achievements!
We are all SO PROUD of these young people and future role models for the next generation! Please continue to support this project...brighter futures are being made possible thanks to your contributions!
I am writing this report with the privleage of having just attended a diploma ceremony for one of our Grade 10 boys!
And with the help of this project all three of our Grade 11 & 12 learners for next year should be able to go to a private academy to maximize the opportunity for them to succeed and go on to further education!
Improvements were noted in all of our high school kids and as i'm one of the ones responsible for assisting in their homework and study programme I can certainly vouch for their hard-work and dedication!
We have been so lucky to have the assistance of a maths & computer tutor every Saturday at the youth centre. A total of 11 children have benefitted from this so far! And how wonderful to see improvements in school marks - one our our Grade 6 boys DOUBLED his percentage score in maths from 35% to over 70% in the last term! AMAZING!
We continue to assist all children with their specialist educational needs - one of our boys was diagnosed with dyscalculia and dysgraphia and we are working with the school to make sure he can still ACHIEVE with the masses of potential he has! And I can guarentee you that he will...!
We are also very excited to announce that a number of 12 children are now recieving group occupational therapy at the centre every week! This has long been an initiative we were hoping for and it is just wonderful to see that it has now come to fruition!
So PLEASE continue to support this project! As we go into 2014 I can tell you we are still looking for assistance to fund school fees of 23 children from age 5 (Grade R) to 19 (Grade 12) attending 5 different schools! Our end of year anniversary party fundraiser will also be taking place with a sole purpose to meet these goals!
Dream. Believe. Achieve - anything is possible with YOUR SUPPORT!
Please give what you can today!
As another Youth Month passes here in South Africa it is natural to focus on the biggest challenge facing the youth: education. At this time it also seems appropriate to emphasize Nelson Mandela’s philosophy on education; that it is a weapon that can be utilized to save the world.
For this project we are seeking to support 33 children and young people from the ages of 5 to 19 receive the targeted support they need. Section 29 of the South African Constitution guarantees "everyone" the right to an education with an obligation to make sure all South Africans can receive the same quality of and access to education. Yet as recently pointed out by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Human Rights Day this year, "Much still has to be done to ensure not only access to education, but also the quality of education."
This is clearly seen in the 2013 World Economic Report that rated South Africa’s education system 140 out of 144 countries. The report placed the country’s maths and science performance at 143.
But with the right support…WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
And this was proven most recently with the school reports of children who have been supported by the funds raised through this project. One boy who missed out on years of schooling achieved a Grade 6 average this term of over 60%...as I am fortunate enough myself to attend parents evenings I can tell you I BEAM when I hear teacher’s say such statements as “That child has the X factor…he has so much potential”.
It is the same such children who endured horrendous abuse, lived on the streets, overcome drug addiction…but came out the other side ready to achieve their potential.
And it is our supporters who help to make this a reality.
We are currently desperate to arrange more remedial tutoring for our children in High School or those soon to be making the transition and are currently staging meetings to see what remedial programs can be offered to us! And as we move towards 2014 we are still trying to ensure that we will have enough funds to send the children to the school where they need to go…!
So as I write this report now, after 18 months of this project, I am very proud to report that we have just 30% to go to reach our target! However to receive new donations at this stage would make a WORLD of difference...so please if you can make any donation you would truly be opening doors to a brighter future!
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