Maranatha Care Children

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. ...
Jan 8, 2016

Making STARS of the future...!

Proud with the kids at their Cadets prize giving!
Proud with the kids at their Cadets prize giving!

I am writing this update as South Africa has just released the matric results – the exams taken by students in their final year of high school before they could be moving on to higher education. The 2015 national pass rate was 70.7% yet in the Eastern Cape, where we operate, the province achieved only a 56.8% which was down from 65.4% in 2014 and shows it to be the worst performing province for two years in a row. This is where we can see that there continues to be a substantial need for social change!

Yet the wonderful news that can be shared is that one young man from the child & youth care centre we support most certainly passed all his final exams and achieved well enough to keep his place studying Business Management at university level this year! And not only that but he was awarded a bursary from the educational establishment assisting to make this possible! He really has a lovely personality and deserves a bright future after making the most of opportunities afforded to him…opportunities that your funds help make possible!

However what we also believe is that specialised education must be afforded to those who need it and as such vocational options are also identified because it is clear that having a trade is a wonderful pathway for those with more practical abilities, particularly where we know that even having a degree does not guarantee you job security! As such a further success story from the centre is another young man who has completed his standard schooling and is now staying on having been enrolled in a woodwork & upholstery course. He has already been involved at the centre in such income-generating initiatives as tyre furniture making affording opportunities to develop more unique skills!

It is great to be able to report such stories as what we see is the end result of the investment in education and development where prospects for children coming into residential care appear brighter. This is aligned with our own vision as a charity and where we can thank all our supporters to this project! And as we start a new school year with children enrolled in Grade 1 onwards we can only again ask for any contribution towards making more success stories possible in this coming year! You will also see a photo here from a prize-giving event I PROUDLY attended at Sea Cadets which a number of children from the youth centre attend as we strive to help open as many doors as possible to realise potential!

What else can be reported at this time is that I myself have this month been awarded a British Citizen Award for the category of International Achievement. These awards were launched to honour those making a positive impact on society and for ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked. I was amazed to be nominated in the first place so to have been awarded this incredible honour has been truly overwhelming and definitely unexpected! But I only hope it will also help others to share in the passion for what we are trying to achieve and help us to make more of a difference…one child at a time!

Thanks again for all of the support! PLEASE do share, tweet or forward this report and project page on because the more support we receive the greater the difference we will be able to make! We are still shooting for the moon…and creating stars in the process!

Excited to be training in Woodwork & Upholstery!
Excited to be training in Woodwork & Upholstery!
The new tyre furniture project at the youth centre
The new tyre furniture project at the youth centre
Our oldest boy beaming with his matric certificate
Our oldest boy beaming with his matric certificate

Links:

Jul 28, 2015

"It always seems impossible...until it's done"

Celebrating Nelson Mandela Day 2015
Celebrating Nelson Mandela Day 2015

It is certainly time to update all of our supporters as we start the third school term here in South Africa!

We have recently managed to arrange a number of 15 psychometric evaluations to help plan services and school placements for the children in our care. This is where we give a BIG thanks to all those who lend their support to our work at Siyakatala. Simply incredible! 

These assessments allow us to plan work internally (implementing a therapeutic development plan for every child) but also to identify where children are in need of specialised schooling to help overcome barriers to learning they may experience and making a world of difference to their personal progress. We have also been able to continue with Occupational Therapy at the centre.

We have recently celebrated Nelson Mandela Day here in South Africa. It is pertinent to quote Madiba himself in stating that “It always seems impossible until it is done”. Whilst education remains a priority for all the children in residential care at Siyakatala, they also have a whole range of opportunities whilst at the centre, ranging from scouts & cadets, to life saving & swimming, cricket & canoe lessons, art & music sessions…the vision to work holistically in truly seeing the potential of these young people come to fruition is one that we are certainly working to achieve!

Whilst South Africa has its many challenges, more young people are grabbing opportunities countrywide of becoming entrepreneurs in their community and becoming active participants in the country’s economy. When it comes to the children of our youth centre what we continually try to instill is self-belief. In our recent school results we have two high school children achieving an average of 60% or higher. We also had one girl in special schooling achieve an average of 77% and being selected to take part in a restaurant evening as part of her hospitality practical. What fantastic achievements! 

It is of course important to remember through it all how Africa as a continent has great potential…and that more than 65% of Africa’s people are young!

Recently I had the privilege of making contact with one of our care-leavers, now into his 20s. Sharing news of his work progress with me, NQF training & future ambitions, engagement & new accommodation. It was too fulfilling for words. I could share with you the hardship he encountered in his life before coming into residential care over 10 years ago, but instead let me just focus on this: “Life is not about where you’ve been, it’s about where you’re going”.

Every little truly helps when it comes to our project. Please give what you can and please spread the word. Because you know what? One of these children could be the future President.

Thank you for supporting us on this journey!

Our oldest boy commencing a hike with the Cadets!
Our oldest boy commencing a hike with the Cadets!
Our youngest children...the adults of tomorrow!
Our youngest children...the adults of tomorrow!
Mar 6, 2015

Thank you for being part of this journey!

LOOKING proud & MAKING US proud! High Schoolers!
LOOKING proud & MAKING US proud! High Schoolers!

Firstly I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all our supporters through Global Giving! Whilst we are sorry for taking a long time to update you all just know that we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure we are providing effective service delivery for the children we support! And at this stage it remains crucial for us to strengthen our fundraising activity as much as possible! You can also visit our new charity website which we continue to be incredible proud of!

We have of course been continuing in trying to raise funds for 2015 to ensure the children can again be enrolled into schools. We recently purchased new uniform and stationery requirements as needed which is always a significant expense. As I write this update we currently have 32 children attending a number of 13 different educational establishments! Of course we still need to ensure that the monthly fees of the children are met, particularly when we have children requiring specialist support!

Thanks to YOUR support we have also been able to continue our commitment to providing group Occupational Therapy at Siyakatala. We have just arranged new assessments and are thankful that this will be able to continue. At this stage we are seeking sponsorship to have children assessed by a counselling psychologist to undertake a psychometric evaluation to help plan effective service delivery. We currently require 12 assessments to be undertaken! With this assessment it becomes much easier for us to ensure the child obtains the support they truly need! 

The grounding we are providing to the children also remains essential. It is worth achknowledging that whilst South Africa may speak of achieving a 75% pass rate at the matric (Grade 12) level only 28% of learners achieved enough to study at degree level! Where we operate in the Eastern Cape the pass rate was also highlighted as the poorest in the country, being at 65%. This shows how we must still continue targeting educational needs when it comes to the children in residential care and helping them to achieve better future prospects.

In recognizing this we have ensured each child at this project as their own individual educational plan. This maps their progress over each term including grade average, subject areas needing attention and also games & resources that can be used where viable. At this stage we had one girl starting high school this year with a grade average of 74% and one of our primary school learners in Grade 6 achieve an average of 70%. We ensure that each child does receive dedicated homework assistance and ensure the educational programme of the project is monitored accordingly. We realize that whilst it is one thing to fundraise it also remains paramount to ensure that results can be achieved through implementation and that is where we aim to also be as transparent as possible.

We are continually grateful for our Global Giving friends and supporters to continue in being champions of this cause! What we keep in our hearts is the knowing that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. As we continue in our efforts we strive to find the inner magic in all of the children we support. Thank you for being part of the journey!

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