Your generosity to the students of Christel House South Africa has made a significant difference in many lives. I’d like to introduce you to one of those students.
Taariq is a 17 year old student at Christel House South Africa (CHSA). In December, Taariq will enter his final year at CHSA - his school home since 1st grade.
Taariq lives with his mother, father and brother in Hanover Park, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. Hanover Park is known to be one of the most poverty stricken areas of Cape Town. It has a reputation for being a violent and crime ridden area, with gang violence being particularly rampant. Taariq has seen this violence in his neighborhood, and often has to stay locked in his home when he is not at school for safety.
Taariq is very grateful for the opportunities Christel House has given him. Without Christel House, he believes that he would have been sucked into the violent culture that surrounds him. Instead, Taariq is a student with a very bright future. He is top of his class, one of the best trumpet players at his school and has aspirations to attend the University of Cape Town and study law. One day, Taariq wants to return to Hanover Park to mentor young boys and show them that they too can have a brighter future.
Your support is helping impoverished students, like Taariq, transition to higher education and fulfill their goals and dreams. Thank you for believing in the mission and children of Christel House - you are changing lives.
Rushin joined Christel House South Africa (CHSA) in 2002 when he was in 5th grade. He grew up in a very poverty stricken area of South Africa where drugs, alcohol and violence are rampant. Before coming to Christel House, he even considered joining one of the many gangs present in his community. Although these pressures never subsided during his school years, with assistance and guidance from CHSA, Rushin was able to overcome these challenges.
Rushin graduated from CHSA in 2009 and is now proudly enrolled at the Cape Peninsulas University of Technology. He is currently pursuing a career in construction engineering.
Young people in South Africa today are faced with many challenges. Nationally, only 20% of students ever complete the 12th grade and 50% of South Africans aged 18-24 are unemployed. Rushin recognizes the difficulties that he faced and accredits CHSA for helping him to overcome these barriers.
“Christel House South Africa introduced me to the notion of ‘breaking the cycle of poverty’ in which so many youth of today so easily become ensnared. My horizons were truly broadened at CHSA. I learned to look beyond my circumstances, to achieve success against great adversity. Christel House South Africa has opened the door of quality education to me and now greater success is within reach.”
The reality for a young adult in South Africa is very bleak.
In an area with little hope, Christel House South Africa (CHSA) is making an impact.
With your support, we can continue to help even more students break the barriers of poverty and defeat the odds.
And on Wednesday, your contribution can go even further.
Global Giving is holding a Bonus Day this Wednesday, March 13th. They will provide a 30% match on every gift made to Help South African H.S. Grads Attend College -- up to $1,000. This means that you can have an even greater impact.
There is $50,000 available. Matching begins at 9am EST and lasts until funds run out or 11:59 p.m.
During a visit last month to Christel House South Africa, our Christel House CFO had a conversation with a circle of kindergarteners. One of the students told a story about how his brother had recently been “shot in the butt.” Although the circle of children chuckled raucously at the placement of the shot, the reality of this situation was not at all humorous. After the first child shared his story, each student in the circle followed by detailing how they had also seen or experienced a shooting firsthand. At the age of five or six, these children had lived through a tragic life experience most of us could hardly fathom. This shared story was commonplace for these kids.
While many of us this holiday season, will worry about what we are going to make for Christmas dinner, buy for that certain someone, or wear to our company party, many Christel House children will continue to worry about whether there will be anything to eat for dinner, if they will sleep on the lumpy mat or the dirt floor, or whether anyone in the family will have too much to drink and come home to beat them.
No child should be in constant concern over his or her safety or basic needs. They should be concerned with learning how to read, write, give and share.
Our mission at Christel House is to help these kids, families, and future generations escape poverty… forever.
We can’t do this without your help. This month, Global Giving has introduced a matching program for all Recurring Gifts. This means that if you make a pledge in December to give a small monthly donation to Christel House, Global Giving will match this amount in December, doubling your contribution and impact at this important time of the year.
Would you consider making a year-end gift or a year-long pledge this giving season? Any amount, big or small, can make a tremendous difference.
Give. Transform a life.
Like many of our students, Kristen’s early childhood education was interrupted by deprivation and family obligations. Even at a young age, she was burdened with looking after her younger siblings and trying to help her family survive.
When she began attending Christel House, Kristen struggled with scars of anger and frustration from her childhood. For her, Christel House quickly became a place of hope and healing.
“The teachers and other kids were very kind, like family,” Kristen reflects. “At this school, I learned how to deal with what I had been feeling.”
While attending Christel House, Kristen was introduced to fencing. She used the sport as a method to channel her frustration and overcome her past. She flourished and competed nationally and internationally.
After graduating from Christel House in 2010, she began a Bachelor’s degree in Sports, Recreation and Exercise Science at the University of the Western Cape. She put her studies on hold temporarily to participate in a professional coaching course in Dakar, Senegal. She is now a “Master Coach in Arms” and one of only four fencing coaches in South Africa. She is also certified by the Fencing Federation to coach anywhere in the world.
“My aim is to develop sport, specifically fencing, in my own country,” Kristen says proudly. “I’m going to share what I’ve learned and make a real difference.”
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