Jun 15, 2020

CHOSA's Emergency Response to COVID-19

Masks purchased for children at our partner orgs
Masks purchased for children at our partner orgs

Coronavirus has radically transformed the landscape of CHOSA's work for the time being. With South Africa going into a strict lockdown enforcing people to stay home, work remotely, and close schools, most of our partner organisations were also forced to close their doors and re-think how they would be able to support the children who relied on their services.

With continuous consultation, and open lines of communication the CHOSA staff has worked with our partner organisations to see how best we can support them during this time, and the unanimous response was around helping to ensure the health and safety of the children while they are at home. Many households that these children are coming from have become food scarce due to parents loss of employment, and the schools and community projects these children usually attend are their main source for meals. Furthermore, many households were not equipt with appropriate hygeine materials to keep them safe and prepared for social distancing measures, with limited access to hand sanitiser and masks. Helping to take swift action to try to prevent further spread of the virus, and not propel marginalized communities into further poverty, CHOSA has run an emergency fund that assist with making sure families have access to food and sanitation materials, and to date CHOSA has provided support to over 328 families.

While lockdown restrictions are now beginning to lift and schools are reopenning CHOSA continues to educate our community partners on the continued importance of social distancing, hand washing and masks, while they prepared to begin welcoming children back to their projects in early July. CHOSA is aware that this has been an incredibly challenging time for our community partners, and the children they work with, and we have been so thankful for the generosity of our donors who have stepped up to help us make continuous commitments to provide emergency relief to mitigate the many challenges that COVID-19 has brought. Thank you for your support, and helping us making it possible to continue to support the children of South Africa during these trying times.

One of our partner organisations feeding neighbors
One of our partner organisations feeding neighbors
A family receiving a food voucher
A family receiving a food voucher
Feb 18, 2020

New Year, New Kids, and New Learning Opportunties

Principal caring for new children at school
Principal caring for new children at school

In South Africa we are celebrating the beginning of a new school year, which brings us new children, new teachers, and a few new projects!

 

As you know, CHOSA provides capacity building and small scale monthly grants to our community partner organisations that provide care, education, and support to children in need across Cape Town. While our partners are best suited to provide direct care and support to the children they work with, CHOSA works to support the management of these schools, children’s homes, and after school programmes to ensure their continued impact within their communities.

 

All of CHOSA’s partner organisations seem to be off to a great start to the year. With most of the preschools’ enrollment complete, they are now hitting the books and play time. One of our preschools, Blessings Educare Centre, has grown to having 112 children enrolled, along with our after school programme turned STEM girls school, Molo Mhlaba, which now has 115 girls attending between the ages of 3 and 9. Building has been completed at Ubuhle Babantwana where children now have a formal classroom structure to learn in, and walls to divide the classes so they can learn their numbers without waking up the baby class. QQ Community Creche, our partner preschool situated in an informal settlement area of Khayelitsha, has received two new volunteers to support the teaching staff in providing quality education to kids who reside in the area. This is great news, because the young ladies volunteering are working on upskilling themselves to gain experience in early childhood development while they take a gap year between high school and further education. And Abaphumeleli Home of Safety has officially graduated all of its children from crib sleeping so now all of the kids are at school during the day, making for an unusually quiet home for the caregivers to clean and prep for their afterschool arrivals again, everyone is growing up too fast!

 

We are very excited to welcome 2020 and all of the children whose lives are going to be impacted and improved by the work that our partner organisations do daily to provide a safe, healthy and nurturing environment for children to grow and thrive. We also look forward to our continued capacity building and grantmaking to support these projects continued success. Sending best wishes for your 2020 too from South Africa!

Children excited to be back at school
Children excited to be back at school
Nov 19, 2019

End of Year Update

Children learning in Blessings new classroom
Children learning in Blessings new classroom

The 2019 school year is coming to a close here in Cape Town, and we have much to be thankful for as we reflect on the progress our projects have made this year. Here are a few highlights:

Blessings Educare Center began receiving financial support from CHOSA last year, and it has already grown by leaps and bounds to become a community hub for education and enrichment for local children. As you will recall from our last update, Blessings was recently able to acquire two new classroom buildings on their property. They have since settled into the new classrooms, and the children are overjoyed! They now have the opportunity to learn in a much more structured classroom environment, where everyone has desk space and a designated seat, as well as a white board to learn from. We are so proud of the team at Blessings for persevering through challenges to make sure that children from their community have access to safe and quality early childhood education.

Another partner preschool we serve, Ubuhle Babantwana, is a colorful place filled with excitement and learning. It is also a beacon of hope and a model of courage for the entire surrounding community. The preschool endured multiple break-ins in recent months but, after losing almost everything, they continue to rebuild again and again to serve the children of Mfuleni township. Realizing that significant structural changes would have to be made to increase security, Ubuhle applied for and was granted an emergency grant from CHOSA to begin construction on a new structure to house the preschool. The building will be upgraded from its current informal state of wood/tin roofing and side paneling, to NuTec bricks which create a moveable formal structure that is much more secure and weather-proof. This will ensure a safe and positive learning experience for the 30 children who count on the early childhood education that Ubuhle provides. Ubuhle is so grateful for your generosity

Finally, Abaphumeleli Home of Safety provides a warm and loving home to 33 children who have been orphaned, abused, or neglected. Founder Evelyn Makhasi and her staff are eagerly awaiting approval to expand to a vacant plot of land across the street - and it looks like it will happen any day now! They dream of creating a community hall space where the children can hang out, as well as a dining area. (Right now, the kids eat in shifts - five at a time - in the small lounge area.) This expansion would also give the older children and young adults who call Abaph home more private living spaces as they transition out of care, and would open up room in the main houses for new children. Noluyolo, assistant manager of Abaph and Evelyn’s daughter-in-law, explains:

“We really need that land because each and every day children are being neglected and we have to send them away when police bring them to us because of space. We are currently at capacity and only have space for the children that are in our care right now. So if we can get the land we can keep on saving lives and make sure no child is being neglected. This will allow us to close the gap of the children who are currently living without their own parents. Our vision is to build a home for the children that are in need with open hearts, knowing we are giving back to the community.”

We feel honored to work alongside each of these projects as they confront challenges and continue to grow in their ability to provide quality care and education to some of Cape Town’s most vulnerable children. As we close out the year, we’d love to send you our printed holiday card with more updates and photos from Cape Town. Please email ellie@chosa.org with your mailing address if you’d like to receive one. Warm wishes for a beautiful holiday season!

 



Nomsa, Blessings Principal showing off a new class
Nomsa, Blessings Principal showing off a new class
Construction is underway at Ubuhle Babantwana
Construction is underway at Ubuhle Babantwana
 
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