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
Aug 21, 2019

Blessings New Additions

Blessings property before
Blessings property before

Our partner organization, Blessings Educare Centre, who has been working with CHOSA since 2017, was recently gifted a container and additional stand alone classroom building. These additional classroom buildings will help create a more conducive early childhood learning environment for the children of Delft. Before this, Blessings was operating out of a small wooden classroom and two containers, but due to their continuously growing enrollment rates, they have quickly outgrown this space.

Hosting children from the ages of 0 to 6, Blessings has a baby class, 3-4 year old class, and 5-6 year old kindergarten class that prepares them for their entry into primary school just down the road. Blessings currently provides early childhood development services to 126 children coming from the surrounding neighborhood. So you can only imagine how cramped the kids were before this generous addition to their property.

CHOSA’s involvement with Blessings has helped their leadership demand more for the children in their community, helping them believe in their own abilities to create positive change in the face of challenging circumstances. This, in turn, has led to their classroom expansions and the addition of after school services, with more ideas in the pipelines. The gift of these additional classrooms provides continuous affirmation of the great work that Blessings is doing for the children of Delft.

With construction nearly complete on the classroom building, and the container classroom already decorated with tables, chairs and a daily schedule, CHOSA can’t wait to see Blessings fully moved in and operational with their new spaces in the coming few weeks!

Container classroom addition to Blessings
Container classroom addition to Blessings
Interior of the new container classroom
Interior of the new container classroom
New classroom building at Blessings
New classroom building at Blessings
May 23, 2019

Meet our Intern-Andiswa

Our newest intern, Andiswa, shares a little bit about her experience as a CHOSA intern:

"The purpose of an internship is to develop real work experience, and so far I am having a great experience with CHOSA. As a CHOSA intern, I am able to explore my interests and gain opportunities to work with different communities, and people from different backgrounds. So far I have learned a lot of new things about how I can apply my knowledge in public relations to the nonprofit sector to really make a positive difference.

Being tasked with managing social media, I have learned how my reach can communicate CHOSA's work to broader audiences. It's been so cool to share the amazing work of CHOSA's partner organizations with CHOSA donors and supporters around the world. It's exciting to support our partner organizations in finding a voice for themselves beyond their local community that they work. Public relations is all about connecting people and stories, and being able to connect people to stories that are making impactful changes in the lives of children makes studying towards a career in this industry incredibly fulfilling.

So far my experience at CHOSA has helped me to improve my writing skills, and gain more independence and pride in my work. I also love being able to feel so incorporated into the rest of the CHOSA staff, they have really made me feel at home in the short time I have been with them.

As you continue to receive updates from the field with all of the great work CHOSA is doing to support and uplift community based organizations and projects that work to improve the lives of children in South Africa, please enjoy the content I'm working to help curate! Together, as we connect people, places, and projects, we collectively are doing our part to make the world a better place for all who live in it, especially the smallest amongst us."

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CHOSA thanks Andiswa for her hard work helping us grow, expand, and learn more ourselves about how we can best communicate the work CHOSA does to wider audiences, including you. Thank you for allowing us to not only improve the lives of the children of South Africa through supporting CHOSA, but also by being able to be an organization that seeks to support, guide, and educate the next generation of non-profit leaders, like Andiswa.

 
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