Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa

by Keep The Dream196
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Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Lifeskills for 2,587 Children in South Africa
Mum Rose!
Mum Rose!

I hope you are well and that life is treating you nicely.

Today I want to introduce you to Mum Rose. She is a lovely lady whom I met when working with the Home Based Care Volunteers. Rose would walk throughout her village every day, going to people's homes to help them care for the sick, dying, and elderly in particular.

Rose was not very confident, she would always so she was too old; too tired; too stupid. It was very sad to see what life had done to this lady. BUT she had an infectious smile, a wonderful laugh and she loved children. She would smile and no matter what you were facing, those problems could just fade away. When Rose laughs, you can tell it is genuine and comes from way down deep within her very soul.

I want you to know how special the people are who we work with. Their passions and their challenges. KTD196 is able to impact all the people we touch, which is really exciting.

Please enjoy Mum Rose's story

Blessings

Louise

 

Hi, I am Rosemary from Sasekani village. I’m working at Keep The Dream196 organization as a field officer since 2008. I have ten troops who need help from me; yes indeed I am helping them. Before joining scouts I was working as a dressmaker. I had worked in different places like in Nkowankowa factories and in Tzaneen at Fabric Magic.

In 1998 it happens that I lose my job like anybody else. I was sitting at home working in my house like a house mother. This was not my thing because I was used to waking up early in the morning and going to work. During that time I was stressed and I told myself that I am useless because my husband had to support me and my child. God is great, in 2000 I became a Home Based Caregiver for an organization in Tzaneen. This was the way God created or made for me to be in KTD196.

I met Louise and Zabe in 2003, I could see they love children. My heart was very painful for the children, all the time. I couldnt sleep properly, I didnt know how to help them. When Louise asked me if I want to be trained to work with children, I was so excited. So many childrens were dropping school, getting in to crime, drugs and gangs. I didnt know we could stop them from doing this. So I said yes. That was 2004.

In 2008 Akela Zabe asked me if I want to work with KTD196. I was so happy. I thank God because He made good things for me, before joining scouts or KTD196 I told myself that I have one child and that was a lie from the devil, God has made many children for me. Everywhere I go now children are calling mama Rose or Mom Rose and because of this I am no longer stressed about having one child.

Now I know that God has good plans for me, I can speak and write English, I can use the computer and I have confidence in myself because I know that I can give change in somebody’s life specially children. I can stand in front of people and talk with confidence; it is God who made things in KTD196. I even teach high school teachers how to care for children, how to run our program. I am very proud of myself because I thought I was useless somebody specially when I lose my job.

In KTD196 we bring change to everybody, KTD196 has taught me to teach Journey of Life to indunas, parents and crèche teachers. I am proud of KTD196, it changed my life. I am now a proud somebody because I make a difference in my community. People come to me with problems with children, now I have the skills to really help them. The children come to me with there problems and together we solve them.

Halalala KTD196, may God make you a great organization all over the country so that other people like me can change as well. Children are so important. We can all make a difference by caring and listening

The KTD196 Dream Team
The KTD196 Dream Team

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ELizabeth
ELizabeth

I realized I really should have started with Elizabeth, who is my best friend in this country and who has put up with me since we met in 2003, which is not an easy job.

When I first met Elizabeth or Akela Zabe as she is affectionately known by the kids, she was a Volunteer Coordinator for the NGO in which we worked. My job at that stage was to go out and support the Home Based Volunteers because of my background in Community Palliative Care (caring for the dying), Zabe's job was to support the Home Based Care Volunteers and do the administration portion with the Volunteers, liaise with the families and support the best way she could in a resource-poor health system where even the provision of paracetamol for the terminal ill was a blessing.

Anyway, as part of the process of supporting the volunteers, Zabe and I became friends but what really sealed the deal was that after a SWOT analysis with the volunteers (Asking the volunteers what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) they experienced and the organization could improve on. What became so clear was that although the volunteers were coping with caring for the dying (primarily of HIV/AIDs) what they were struggling with was the orphans, the children left behind with no one or minimal care to help them. These kids broke the spirit of the volunteers, like Catherine whom I introduced you to last week, and Rosemary who I will introduce you to next week, Zabe was no different.

The volunteers were broken when they watched these kids, lose their parent or in some cases parents, grief-struck they would start failing at school, dropping out of school, get into drugs, alcohol, crime, teenage parenthood, and some contract HIV and die. The kids, because of the stigma attached to HIV, were often ostracised because, at that stage, HIV was thought to be caused by witchcraft. The children often were not told what was wrong with their parents and at night, while sleeping, relatives would whisper in their ears their parent was dead. Nothing more would be said.

The then Manager told me to "Do SOMETHING! It was not to cost any money, had to be totally sustainable at the end of my work permit in two years' time, and was to solve all the problems that were identified by the Volunteers. You could say I was set up for failure.

Zabe was an easy choice to work with, I had been to her home on numerous occasions and she, as well as he daughters, were magnets for the local kids. Every time I went there, there was at least 10kids playing in the yard, they were safe, supervised, and cared for. Zabe is generally a quiet person until she is training people or working with kids, then she becomes animated and alive. All this love and passion just seeps out of her. She won't tell you about what she has achieved, or about her hardships, of which there have been many, she will always deflect and it is very hard to nail her down unless you know her. It took me a year to get a conversation out of her, in fact, it was very difficult to get anything other than yes, no, maybe or I don't know.

When I asked Zabe to help me with the children's project she became alive. I saw the most amazing transition from this quiet person to this passionate, excited person who adored kids and the kids adored her. We worked for 4yrs in the other organization, after hours, on weekends, public holidays, any gaps of time we had to be able to get this project up and running and stable. Sadly it became evident that the organization was not interested in the program so first I left in August 2007 and Keep The Dream196 was born thanks to the support from Save The Children (who had the vision to see what could be achieved, we didn't even have a name for the organization until the end of that year!) Zabe joined me in Jan 2008 and Keep The Dream196 was formally established.

Anyway, all of that has been said by way of introducing you to Elizabeth. An amazing person whom I am proud to call friend.

Take care

Louise

 

Avuxeni, minjani? Umfekile minjani!

My name is Elizabeth and I come from Shiluvane Village. I co-founded the beginnings of Keep The Dream196 in 2003 with Louise. In reality, Louise did all the setting up of the organization in 2007 but together we established the program and worked together training people, I did the monitoring and translation because of the different languages.

I have 3 daughters who are all involved with KTD196. One is a national commissioner of Cubs and works with WOSM (The World Scout Movement) she is also a Rover and a full-time employee of KTD196 as a Social Worker, the second one is a rover and also working for the Auditor General as an Auditor and finally the last one a meerkat in the making in reception at school.

I love watching kids grow from being teenagers to being young responsible adults. Although I trained as a Secondary Teacher, I completed my qualification at a time when there were too many teachers, and rather than sit at home and do nothing I volunteered as a Home Based Caregiver. I was quickly promoted to Coordinator because of my English skills and because of the extra competencies I have as a professional.  We were not employed back then, we volunteered to help in our communities because so many people were dying and I wanted to help.

I also saw how hard it was for the children, I opened my home to any and all children, my daughters would bring home kids every day that just needed to belong, to have good friends, it was easy to start with these children in 2003, I already had a group. We started with 13girls and six months later we had 60kids all passionate and loving the program. I was amazed. I didn't think it would be so popular. Back then it was hard because I had to learn the program and teach it the next week. I wasn't sure what I was doing but Louise encouraged me and together we made it work. My daughters were a great help as well. I still stay in touch with many of those children.

Because of the success of the program, I had the opportunity to be on TV on different programs which you can google if you want. Programs such as Beyond Classroom, Earned, Nhlalala Ya Rixaka, and News 24 all because of KTD196. I hate being interviewed, the children are the real stars of this program, not me.

I have learned it takes a community to raise a child, hence I have been very involved with training parents and Induna’s (Village Cheifs) to make sure this happens. It's important that we all look after every child regardless of bloodline.

In life, I have learned to it's important to give back, to make a difference where ever I can. Thank you for helping me do that, to make a difference. I know what could have happened to these kids without our support, you have saved lives. I have read Louise's reports and I know she says this but I want you to know it is SO TRUE!

Thank you for all you do for our kids. We are raising children together.

God Bless YOU

Elizabeth

ELizabeth and her daughter Nkulu our Social Worker
ELizabeth and her daughter Nkulu our Social Worker
The KTD196 Dream Team
The KTD196 Dream Team

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I am so grateful for this opportunity to thank you for your support, really you are making such a huge difference in the lives of the children and their families. What you are doing is so much more than just donating to a cause. You are saving lives. You are giving hope to children that otherwise would struggle.

We have just finished an evaluation, which I will forward on request when I receive the final document, and what came out more and more was HOPE was what KTD196 brought. Hope that the children can dream and realize those dreams. HOPE that they don't have to become like other kids in their communities, involved in drugs, gangs, pregnancy, etc. HOPE that life can be better and they can advance from their impoverished circumstances.

HOPE is a commodity that is priceless. That is what YOU bring!

It is time to introduce the people who make Keep The Dream196 possible!

We have some amazing staff, who go above and beyond for the children we serve. KTD196 is only as good as the staff we have and it's wonderful to be able to say I am very proud of the team we have, their dedication and commitment to the children are worthy of emulation. So much so that all of the staff are adamant they will continue with us as long as they are physically able despite their age. Such is their dedication.

What inspires this attitude? Implementing a program that works! The changes we see in the children are life-changing and enable the children to realize their dreams despite the structural obstacles in their way. This is turn spurs the staff on to greater effort because we know we are literally saving lives.

Catherine is a HOPE Carrier, she is a very diminutive little lady, she is less than 5ft tall. She could be blown over by a slight breeze but she is like a grizzly bear if you hurt one of her 100 or so kids. She is very quiet, speaks softly, very shy until you place her in front of children. Catherine has a wicked sense of humor, often we will be in a meeting and she will softly say something to her colleague sitting next to her and suddenly that person will erupt in fits of laughter and the meeting will have to stop until that person regains their composure. Catherine just quietly says something and that's the end of the meeting

She participates in the games she organizes, she stands and facilitators with the children, she engages with parents beautifully sharing the program and what support we require from the parents and basically the children just love her to bits. She is their mum away from home.

She is forever surrounded by 100s of kids, ok maybe not 100s but definitely lots and lots.

She is one of my hero's! Before Catherine joined KTD196 she was a Community Home-based Care volunteer for a local NGO. She worked in this role for over 10yrs caring for people who were sick and dying of HIV/AID's, cancer, end-stage organ failure. This is where I met Catherine because I was her coordinator. I watched this little force of nature bravely face a family with compassion and care, doing what she could in a resource-poor community and resource-strapped medical system and what broke her heart was the children being left behind.

She was one of 180 volunteers that I interviewed in 2003 to understand what their biggest heartache was regarding Home-Based Care. Unanimously, it was the children struggling with grief and lack of hope. Dropping out of school, getting pregnant, getting infected with HIV, getting into drugs, crime, or just losing passion for life.

Catherine was quickly someone I identified to bring on the team when KTD196 officially commenced in 2007. She remains a passionate advocate for the children to this day.

I hope, like me, you will enjoy meeting Catherine.

 

Hi my name is Catherine,  I come from Burgersdorp village and I have been working with Keep The Dream196 since 2009.

I enjoy being naughty to my co-workers.

Since starting work with KTD196 I've learned a lot about working with children, my own self-development as well, I have improved in English, computer literacy, and writing my own programs for the children.

I now have confidence in talking to children, parents, and teachers.

I love my job because I get to be with kids, I enjoy exercising and having fun with the children, and going camping because the kids get a chance to get away from often difficult situations and become just kids and have fun. I love seeing the kids change their negative behaviors to become good citizens.

I also love meeting people from different nations, different languages, and different cultures. Through KTD196 I have had the opportunity to host international volunteers from England in my home and to learn from them. I now have friends in other countries. No one else in my village can say that.

KTD196 does not treat me as an employee but as a family member.  We work together, it is sometimes heartbreaking work when kids we have known leave the program and go their own ways and follow their peers into drugs and crime. Those kids weigh heavily on my heart. It is usually those kids that just pop into the program and are not serious. They stay for a month or two and then leave because they don't want to commit. That is really hard, I take it personally.  I feel like I have failed them. It is a difficult balance at times because you want the best for them but in the end, it is their choice.

I no longer cry when I see children in crisis but now I can offer real help. Thank you for making that possible.

I love you

Catherine

The KTD196 Dream Team
The KTD196 Dream Team
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I am really excited, I am so over the moon!

Recently I shared one of our kid's journies to become a Prosecutor! It was a few months ago, actually, I think at the beginning of the year, that I posted her story and what was happening in her life. Nozizwe was one of our original girls who started in our program back in 2006, so I am talking about 17yrs ago. Her dream, to become a Prosecutor and right wrongs! I will share her story again for those who are new to KTD196 and also to remind those who have been around longer of whom I speaking about.

Anyway, Nozi's family like so many of our kids is without a father, and her mother, until 2years ago worked as a domestic in Johannesburg. Nozi basically raised herself. With all the pressures facing children in the communities especially those without supervision, Nozi knew she needed help to achieve her goal and to reach her dream.

She joined KTD196. Nozi excelled in school, achieved a bachelor's entrance to enter University to study Law. She passed however was unable to secure placement to do her Articles in order to register as a Lawyer in South Africa. For 4years she worked small jobs here and there to help her mother and her siblings to eat and exist. The money was never enough, the food was never enough. But she continued to hold on to her dream.

Nozi eventually started work as a Field Officer with KTD196 2years ago. She loved community work and she loved working with children and since she knew the importance of the program in her life, she wanted to help other children achieve their goals even if it meant delaying her dream.

At the beginning of the year Nozi and decided it was time for her to go to Law School, in effect a shortcut for her to do her Articles once she had completed the 5month course. The catch was, it would cost approximately R50,000 in school fees plus accommodation and food. So together we posted a request through Back-A-Buddy and within a week R20,000 of the tuition fee was raised. Nozi applied for a bursary once she paid the downpayment and started at Law School.

I am so happy to report that on the final day of Law School just 2weeks ago, Nozi signed a contract with the Department of Justice to be an intern, complete her Articles and then sit her National Board Exams all covered by the Dept of Justice.

I love Nozi's story, it is such a testimony to resilience, perseverance, overcoming adversity, holding on to the dream that you have. I also have no doubt that Nozi will become a Prosecutor with a heart and passion to serve the people of this nation. Perhaps she will be the next Thuli Mondesela?

The potential of the children we have is amazing to consider, we may be grooming the next Nelson Mandela and not yet know it but still, we continue. Your support has given Nozi the skills, dedication, and determination to realize her dreams. In her own words, it would not have been possible without the impact of KTD196.

You have enabled this shy, embarrassed, vulnerable child to grow and become an outspoken, unashamed, and resilient young adult with a destiny and a future. Your contribution to KTD196 has done this and so much more! We have seen over 15,000 children over the last 18yrs and each one has their own story to tell about how they have changed and grown through KTD196.

I hope you feel as proud as I do concerning all that we are achieving even through very difficult circumstances. These kids AMAZE me! I hope they do you!

Thank you for all of your support, thank you for your continued support. From as little as $10per month you can change a child's future and bring such hope. Nosizwe is just one of 15,000 stories I can share.

I try and use the same children/adults stories so that there is continuity for those who have been with us over the 8yrs since we joined GlobalGiving. So you can see their development, you can be a part of their future if only vicariously. I hope and trust this is satisfactory. Please let me know otherwise I will continue giving updates on a select few so that you can see their progress and be a part of their dreams.

Blessings to you and your families, you are such an amazing community. Thank you to those who take the time to write and encourage us through this challenging time, it really is so amazing to have that support.

Louise

 

My name is Nozizwe, I'm 28 years of age. I reside at Shiluvana village in rural South Africa. I joined KTD196 in 2006 and that was the best decision I have ever made because if it weren't for their children's program I wouldn't be where I am today.

I was raised by my grandparents while my mother was in Gauteng working.

A lot could have gone wrong. I could have done a lot of partying, many of my peers did, and have reaped the consequences of these decisions such as early pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, lack of hope and vision, poverty, involvement in crime, jail, drugs, murder, and unfortunately even suicide. I realize that all these consequences come from small wrong decisions that build up over time. Taking one drink doesn’t hurt but it can easily become a lifestyle because of the friends who encourage you to continue.

I could have hung around the wrong friends, been disrespectful towards my elders, neglected my school work, and consequently ruined my future because I had a lot of freedom to do whatever I wanted to do. There was also a lot of peer pressure to conform to doing what other kids were doing at the time. I mean my grandparents were old, they didn't have the energy to watch my every move but thankfully KTD196 introduced their program to help me be a better person and make the best choices.

There were laws that I had to live by, scout laws, and I just couldn't afford to misrepresent KTD196, it was very important to me right from the beginning, I realized I had family and friends who would help me through the tough times. I would have younger adults in my life who could guide me and help me realize my dreams. I didn’t have this at home.

The Laws such as a scout obey orders, a scout’s honor is to be trusted impacted my life greatly, even today. I did everything and followed every instruction given to me by my elders because I knew that they wouldn't mislead me or lead me astray in any way. By being obedient to them I was upholding a scout law.

My grandparents and everyone else trusted me and I did my best to ensure that I didn't lose their trust because that was very important to me as scout laws #1 stated that a scout's honor is to be trusted.  In all honesty, it was more about scouts than about myself. It actually felt like I was doing it for them, like it was never really about me but I was wrong.

 KTD196 shaped my future because through their children's program I was able to pass my matric and pursue the career of my dreams, LAW. I was able to make informed decisions about my life and the camps I attended taught me to be independent that has also helped me a lot when I went to university because being away from home can be tough sometimes. Many of my friends who were not part of KTD196 didn’t finish high school education; some did but obtained lower grades which resulted in them not pursuing the careers they had always wanted to pursue, and some just settled for so much less.

The program gave me the wisdom to surround myself with friends that were focused on their futures and not be dragged off into the “Campus Life”. Unfortunately once again I saw classmates hijack their futures by partying, taking drugs and alcohol, getting pregnant, failing studies because they put their immediate wants ahead of their futures. I know they too had dream careers that could have been turned into a reality if they worked towards them.

Today I have a Bachelor of Law degree and am now completing Law School in preparation for Articles because of Keep The Dream196 and because of you and your support. I am a prosecutor in the making. It is true that you reap what you sow.

I consider myself lucky and I'm grateful to have been a beneficiary of Keep The Dream196 and I look forward to returning as a volunteer to ensure other children benefit from the program as I have. Thank you so much for all of your support.

Thank you for reading my story

Nozizwe

Nozizwe our Prosecutor in the Making!
Nozizwe our Prosecutor in the Making!

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We have food because of YOU!
We have food because of YOU!

Finally, life is returning to relative normal!

We are planning (between Covid waves) to go camping this weekend. We will be taking 15 prospective new Leaders to train them on running our program. We are networking with our local partners who are bringing 8 leaders to add to our7 leaders. PLUS we will be running a skills camp for approximately 40children.

It has been so difficult to plan around Covid. Limpopo was hit with a second wave of Covid over Dec-February 2021. Don’t get me wrong we still have Covid but not to the degree that we had it in our communities during these 3months.

South Africa is expecting a 3rd wave to come through in June-August, the flu months. Already Bloemfontein is officially in their 3rd wave. I am hoping and praying that it won’t be as bad as predicted because many people have now been exposed to the virus. Just in my immediate family of 10, we have all had it during December. None of us were tested, none of us are on any official database, we all had the signs and symptoms so we just rested and self-treated. So hopefully our official number of infected 1,600,000 can be multiplied by at least 10 meaning 16million have already had the virus and we are rapidly heading towards herd immunity.

Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune. Often, a percentage of the population must be capable of getting a disease in order for it to spread. For example, if 80% of a population is immune to a virus, four out of every five people who encounter someone with the disease won’t get sick (and won’t spread the disease any further).

Currently, we are at 28% of the population according to my rough estimates however I believe that estimate is much higher because of the number of people who are asymptomatic (do not show symptoms of Covid) and don’t even know they have had. As a family of 10, we all knew we had Covid. The asymptomatic rate is much higher, therefore bringing us closer to herd immunity.

Having said all that, it is still difficult to plan effectively however by following all the necessary protocols we will stay safe and continue to move ahead.

At this point, I just want to thank everyone once again for your support and your continued support especially through the difficulties of 2020 and what continues to be a challenge in 2021. We were able to increase our services and provide much-needed relief to struggling families because of you! We continue to distribute seeds for gardens, we will be purchasing more Epap for the children to ensure they are not affected by malnourishment and stunting during the dry season, and this is only possible because of your support. I am exceedingly humbled that you have chosen KTD196 to get behind in such a substantial way.

God BLESS YOU ALL!

Louise

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Organization Information

Keep The Dream196

Location: Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo - South Africa
Website:
Project Leader:
Louise Batty
Tzaneen, Limpopo South Africa
$242,602 raised of $270,000 goal
 
2,682 donations
$27,398 to go
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