Wow! What a year this has been, marked with progress, success and much happiness. The support of the Dikuno Tsa Sechaba Community Development Trust enabled the completion of the new girls’ residential centre, and consolidation of the project (boys and girls) at Klipgat. Moving from the old CPoS site was mixed with some sadness, but everyone, boys, girls and staff, have now settled and embraced the adventures of the future. At the new site, which was at first dusty and bleak, grass and trees have been planted and shade areas erected, which add to the comfort of the children and staff.
Consolidation of the centres has resulted in more effective and manageable operations, and a reduction in total costs. It is expected that costs will be reduced even further in the future when all ties with the old site (CPoS) are completely cut. Plans for the further development of the new site are underway to construct an administrative block and skills centre, which will hopefully be completed in September, 2017. These will add to the efficiency of management and development of children. This will be made possible through funding by Cronimet Mine and Trollope Mining Services. We are, indeed, grateful to them for their interest in the welfare of our children. Considerable emphasis has been placed on the academic advancement of the children, and progress has been achieved, including children at the Drop-In-Centre. The two teachers we employ to assist the children with homework and understanding are a huge benefit. Unfortunately, we still experience some difficulties at one school where some of the teachers fail to arrive for classes. This has been taken up with the appropriate authorities, but has not yet been resolved. Some of the boys have been successfully assisted to acquire drivers licenses and employment, as part of the drive to assist them to develop maturity and independence. With the guidance of the social worker, the children have been involved in a variety of “social” activities, and have become well-versed in performance and similar skills. It is good to see how they look forward to these interactions.
The staff have regular management and interactive meetings during which problems and plans are discussed. A financial management meeting is held weekly with the bookkeeper and all constraints, if any, addressed. Cash flow is always tight and needs careful control. The management board meets on a quarterly basis to keep abreast of developments of the project, and to give guidance where needed. The success that the Thabang Children’s Project achieves, that the children achieve, are made possible through the kindness and support of the founder member, Mr Mauss, and many other international, national and local donors. All these individuals and groups are thanked for their generosity and interest in the future of the children. With your backing, we move to a positive future.
The staff of the project play an important and never ending role with competence, pride and compassion. Success would not be possible without their contribution. We are indeed grateful to them for their efforts, and thank them for the success of the children. I thank my fellow members on the Management Board for continued support and contributions, and commitment to the welfare of the project. Thabang has achieved some excellent successes. A solid commitment to the future will result in more. Thabang plays a valuable role in the future of many children. The growing depth of social problems throughout South Africa, Africa and the world points to a greater need for more and more successful projects like this to interact with and advance the potential for children. It has been a successful year – we trust there will be many more.
Harold, Chairperson, Thabang Children's Home Trust Board
This was definitely a year of positive development for Thabang Children’s Project.
- Academic empowerment
- Skills Development
Consolidating the two residential homes onto one site has been very beneficial even though it also lends to certain challenges when it comes to gender mixing! The buildings were planned and erected based on the knowledge of past experience. The girl’s house is now compact and easier to manage. Less staff is required and the place has better security. With the boys and girls being on the same site, it is easier to conduct certain activities that involve both genders. No transportation between the sites is necessary. Transportation to the various schools is also easier now and there is a definite saving on fuel.
During March this year, preparations for the erection of the Administration block and Skills / Event centre began. This was possible through funds given via Trollope Mining services and their Lesotho Cycle Challenge, as well as funds from Cronimet Mine. Both of these buildings are expected to be completed by September 2017. With the development of this infrastructure at Klipgat for the Child and Youth Care Centres (CYCC), Thabang should be well established to provide many years of service to those who need it most- our future generations.
Much emphasis is placed on academics and being successful therein. Children who have shown academic potential have been admitted to alternative schools to enable them to receive teaching and education that will allow them to have a chance to progress in life beyond grade 12. Certain of the state schools present huge challenges which hinder the scholars from achieving a decent education. Fortunately, some generous benefactors have invested funds into these children which have given them an opportunity to perform. We are very grateful to Daniel Jaeggi for his long - standing investment into our children. It is through Daniel’s support that we are able to provide an academic programme which operates via two part time teachers.
One boy is completing his grade 12 this year and aspires to study further in Mechanical engineering next year. He is now applying to various colleges and seeking for a study bursary. He is our first child who will successfully complete and pass grade 12. We have grand aspirations for him and wish him all the best. We are searching for supporters who will invest into him by funding his studies, residential and living expenses for the next few years. He has worked hard and has attended extra classes on most Saturdays and during many holidays. We look forward to seeing all this input bear fruit.
Three of our male youths who reached 18 years old, have been supported in acquiring driver’s licences this past year. This is a very beneficial skill to be able to put on their CV’s. Teaching other skills is planned for the future, which include: woodwork, metalwork, welding, sewing etc. This will take place in the new Skills development centre. These skills will develop the youth, who do not have a strong academic potential, to be able to enter the workforce with something else to their name and help lead to their independence as young adults. Some of the youth who have already acquired certain skills and are on the road to independence are discussed in the Youth Centre Manager’s report.
Two of our core programmes which continuously operate, is the therapeutic Social Work programme and the Drop in Centre programme. The Social Work programme essential to the well-being and holistic development of all the children in our care. Much trauma and painful memories have to be dealt with in order for the children to progress. The Drop in Centre programme is vital for the welfare of the neediest children within Smash Block. This programme is a shining light for many lost and desperate children who rely on the support and guidance just to get through each day with its many challenges due to poverty. We are grateful to Dikuno Tsa Sechaba Trust who supported these programmes over the past year.
Thabang has progressed with leaps and bounds largely due to the donors who have invested their trust and financial support into the project. A huge THANK YOU to all the donors who supported Thabang in various ways, financially and otherwise, during the past year. Support has come from far and wide via: goods in kind, services in kind, cycling for the Thabang Cycling Team, raising funds and providing financial support directly to building infrastructure or covering various programmes. Thank you also to all the staff of Thabang CYCC who through many difficulties and challenges keep on caring, cleaning, washing, cooking and supporting. Also a big thank-you to the admin staff including the gardener and driver, who do an essential job in the background. We also appreciate all the dedicated staff of the DiC, who work in difficult circumstances and with minimum support from local service providers. Thank you for your determination and perseverance to uplift the many children and their households who turn to Thabang for support. Thank you to those behind the scenes including, Thabang’s Management Board and Trustees for guiding and directing Thabang in making appropriate and wise decisions. We value and rely on your support.
Tessa, General Manager, Thabang Children's Project
The aim of the educational empowerment programme is to help impart knowledge to children and guide them through the various academic stages. The teachers acknowledge that the children have different learning needs and levels of development and so try to accommodate each child. They try to provide a firm academic foundation to assist the children to realize their full potential.
There are two teachers helping the children with their school work, the staff of Thabang are also very much involved. The children have been grouped according to their capabilities. Classes run in the afternoons when the children have returned from school.
Thirteen children are attending Ysterberg Primary School, from this group there are some who are struggling and performing below average and so need special attention. Six children are attending Advanced College and are doing quite well, although they need to improve in Mathematics. One girl attends at Frikkie Meyer High school and is doing well.
Two boys are attending at Thekganang Technical School and so far they are performing well academically, one of them will be sitting for his Matric exams this year.
The four children attending Mabogopedi Secondary School are unfortunately not achieving together with the majority of the other scholars attending the school. The school itself is underperforming. This is a huge challenge as there are not many other schooling options.
Although the time after school is very limited and there are many children with different educational needs, the support that is offered definitely aids the children to achieve better.
Drop in Centre - Ready for School
Coming out tops - 96%
Ready for School - CYCC