Maranatha Care Children is a non-profit charity, established in 2009 and registered with the Charity Commission in the UK (Charity No: 1139344), aiming to help South African children by offering development in education and life skills, providing suitable home environments and safeguarding the futures of those in care. The objects of the organisation (as set out in our governing constitution) are as follows: 1. To promote social inclusion for the public benefit by preventing children and young people in care in South Africa from becoming socially excluded. 2. To relieve the needs of such children and young people who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society. ... read more Maranatha Care Children is a non-profit charity, established in 2009 and registered with the Charity Commission in the UK (Charity No: 1139344), aiming to help South African children by offering development in education and life skills, providing suitable home environments and safeguarding the futures of those in care. The objects of the organisation (as set out in our governing constitution) are as follows: 1. To promote social inclusion for the public benefit by preventing children and young people in care in South Africa from becoming socially excluded. 2. To relieve the needs of such children and young people who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society. For the purpose of these objects, 'socially excluded' means being excluded from society, or parts of society, as a result of being a member of a socially and economically deprived community. In this case, it includes orphans, street children and other South African children and young people at risk, who are in residential care. Our final object is as follows: 3. To advance the education of pupils at schools and educational establishments in South Africa by providing and assisting in the provision of facilities and equipment for education Maranatha Care Children looks to achieve these aims through: i) Providing individualised support and working alongside those in care to develop personal plans that respond to the children and young people's own needs and desires. ii) Safeguarding the future of young people in care coming to the end of their schooling by allowing access to education and training that empower them to lead healthy and fulfilling independent lifestyles that do not put them back in an environment where they are at risk. iii) Offering children in care the educational support they need through individual attention and opportunities for private education and additional therapy where necessary. Promoting equality of opportunities, challenging discrimination and encouraging children in care to develop their talents and capabilities. We will arrange engaging initiatives and activities that promote social inclusion, provide skills and competencies, and ensure integration into society. Research shows that although South Africa is the most developed nation on the African continent, it also has one of the largest number of orphans and neglected children. Just one in three children live with both biological parents. One in ve children have lost one or both parents, and the AIDS epidemic is an important driver of the growing number of orphans. Almost 12 million children (64% of all children) live in poverty. Violence against children is pervasive in the country, with over 56,500 children reported to be victims of violent crime in 2009/10, yet many more offences remaining unreported. People closest to them perpetrate the majority of cases of child sexual and physical abuse. 29% of all sexual offences against children involve those aged 0-10 years old, with South Africa having one of the highest incidences of child and baby rape in the world. South Africa has made signicant strides in ensuring that children in need of protection are placed in appropriate alternative care options. Over 13,250 children stay in care centres, close to half (45%) having been abandoned or neglected. Yet even when children are brought into care, they still need on-going support and our help in providing them with brighter futures. Such children are found to require greater emotional sustenance, due to the traumatic experiences they been through. At Maranatha Care Children we do what we can to rebuild lives and inspire brighter futures for those we support. Every child deserves to grow with love, with respect and with security. We want to help children shape their own futures, recognising skills and abilities, providing education and training and helping young people in care to contribute to society. We feel that work with young people should be about engaging with them and facilitating them to pursue their own activities and aspirations. In line with this, we know we have to work in partnership with projects to fulfil their needs, but also put the child central to our decision making process, as the best interests of the child is paramount as emphasised throughout legislation and the new Children's Act 2005 governing the safeguarding of children in South Africa. We want children and young people we support to have meaningful participation in the decisions that affect their life. Our central ethos is long term involvement and looking at empowering and protecting children and young people through to integration into society and independence. We also support initiatives that can build bonds with family members and improve their home environments and parenting capacities, but know the priority must always be the welfare of the child. We recognise the importance of working in the partnership with the care centres that provide these children with a lifeline. We aim to work closely with a handful of organisations in South Africa every year, closely aligned with our own objectives, and helping them to fulfill their own needs and assist in making brighter futures possible for the children they look after. Our current focus is on education, as although many young people are able to attend school in South Africa, many children in care have missed out on education and support that we often take for granted from a young age, especially when having spent time on the street. Nationwide, only 43% of children under ve are exposed to an Early Childhood Development programme (of any kind) at home, with the statistic falling to 38% in the Eastern Cape where we operate, and this lack of stimulation in the early years has long-lasting effects. We want to offer these children the support they need; primarily giving each child the individual attention and love they may have never received. But we also aim to open doors for specialist education, remedial support and additional therapy, where these children will see their potential realised. A huge number of children in South Africa are out of school, and in the Eastern Cape only 26 % finish their secondary schooling. We wish to provide the educational support all children we reach out to require, meeting their assessed needs and helping them to accomplish what we know can be possible. However it is clear that with a lack of finances for many NPO's in South Africa such visions become hard to achieve.
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