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
The look of joy is wonderful on Gogos face!
The look of joy is wonderful on Gogos face!

I am so excited!

It is so wonderful when a plan comes together!

I just want to report that the Self Help Groups that I reported on back in June/July are really taking off. We now have 7groups of approximately 20ladies each, each representing a household. The ladies are dedicated and committed to the process of building their savings and using their savings in a manner that encourages them further.

KTD196 is using the meeting time with the ladies to share various information such as HIV prevention; Covid prevention, training in minute taking, meeting facilitation skills with a wide variety of other content being planned in the future.

It is so exciting, in fact, I am considering opening another project for those who want to support just the SHG (Self Help Groups) on GlobalGiving because we are not fully funded for all of the costs. Costs such as transport for the facilitators, monitoring costs by KTD196, administration costs such as the financial manager time, etc. All necessary parts of the program for it to be effective. What do you think? Or I could send out a call for assistance as a once-off to you all and repeat it annually over the next 5yrs, the length of the program? Do YOU have any suggestions? Currently, you are supporting the Children's Life Skills Project.

The program will eventually be paid for as the groups develop into clusters (20 SHGs combine to form a Cluster) so that sustainability is reached. We just need to reach that level over the next 5yrs.

I just want to add the ladies' comments below so you can see the impact after such a short time. This is so exciting.

Thank you to those people who have responded to me asking questions on this platform, I really appreciate it because we are all busy and I want to make sure you are receiving what you need from me in terms of information and updates, so thank you so much. Please reach out with your recommendations regarding the questions above and I will try my best to accommodate your thoughts, keepthedream196@gmail.com

Blessings

Louise

 

Self-Help Group impact in women who are in the groups

These are the responses from women who are in the Self Help Groups from Myakayaka, Burgersdorp, and Nsolani village after being asked what is the impact of SHG in their lives and do they see any changes after being in the group. Their responses were:

“Self Help Group has assisted me and my family we are no longer starving, I used to suffer a lot by lending money from shark loans returning high interests but now I am no longer going there so I feel grateful for being in this group. I even sometimes ask myself where are these people (KTD196) come from.”

“I never thought those R10-00 will bring us this far, I’m really grateful to be in the group as I was blind but now I can see through SHG”

“Since I joined this group I’m living better with my family I don’t see myself going out asking for maize meal because when we run out of food I know that we will meet with the ladies and they will give me money to buy food. I am asking myself where this before was as we are getting old because if it was here long time ago we were going to be far but never the less I’m still grateful because my life will never be the same again.”

“We no longer sleep in dark we get money to buy electrify here, we no longer go to loan sharks but we are the ones with little interest. We even learnt to love each other.”

“When you are stressed you no longer go home being the same the women on the group brings laughter.”

“Truly speaking I saw change coming from this group I no longer lack in my house as like before.”

“It helps a lot if there is shortage in the house I no longer go around asking for help but I hold myself knowing that Thursday is around the corner and the help will come from the group.”

“The group has taught me how to manage money as I was careless last time but now I have a discipline”

“Loan sharks it’s no longer issue to us here we borrow R200-00 and the interest it’s only R20-00 this is really a bargain and if others has not yet seen this they are missing out.”

“We no longer sleep on empty stomach the group has assisted me a lot.”

“This group has assisted me as my kids now are able to eat bread as others.”

“This group is helpful in my life my kids are now looking the same as other kids at school, they have shoes coming from this group and they have pocket money daily.”

“I was a poor of the poorest I’m now getting full with my kids as we were sometimes sleeping on empty stomach I was even known in the village but now things have changed. Others are still wondering what is happening with my life why I am no longer go to ask for help.”

“It brought change in my life I was struggling with community funeral contributions but since I have joined the group I have never skipped even one funeral.”

“My son is on wheelchair and sometimes he was unable to go for check-ups because of financial problems but since I joined the group whenever I know that he will be going to check-up I come to the group and borrow money, so to me this group means a lot.”

Traditional skills are shared during the group!
Traditional skills are shared during the group!

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Spring is here! Finally, at least for a few days! The sun is shining and life is moving forward once again. I am ecstatic to report that our 4 partner organizations are starting to wind up activities and linking once again with KTD196. 
One issue we have all noted is the 60% increase in teenage pregnancies we have experienced in the schools in which we work, during the Covid Lockdown period. South Africa’s Gauteng Health Department has recorded more than 23,000 teenage pregnancies between April 2020 and March 2021.

In a recent article by SouthAfricaNews.com:

Between April 2020 and March 2021, the Gauteng Health Department in South Africa recorded over 23,000 teenage pregnancies.
“Teenage pregnancy is a severe social and health concern in South Africa," says Nomathemba Mokgethi, a member of the Gauteng Health Member of the Executive Council (MEC). “It is harmful to both the mother and the child's health, as well as having societal effects, such as continuing the cycle of poverty and early school dropouts.”

According to the Gauteng Health Member of the Executive Council (MEC)Nomathemba Mokgethi, 934 of the girls were between 10 and 14 years, raising more questions about teenage pregnancies.

It was further revealed that 2,976 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 tragically decided to terminate their pregnancies.

"These numbers are sad and incredibly troubling considering that these are young girls still have bright futures ahead of them. Teenage pregnancy remains a serious social and health problem in South Africa. It poses a health risk to both mother and child, and it also has social consequences such as continuing the cycle of poverty and early school dropout."

The statement further revealed that 934 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 10 and 14, while over 19,000 were delivered by those between the ages of 15 and 19.

The department did not have the profile of the fathers but a few cases of statutory rape were recorded.

“There are no statistics collected specifically on statutory rape by the department of health. The cases are reported to SAPS and arrests remain their mandate,” Mokgethi said.

Mokgethi has called on the Gauteng departments of Social Development, Education, and Health to intensify their campaigns to prevent teenage pregnancy.

“Teenage pregnancy remains a serious social and health problem in SA. It poses a health risk to both mother and child and it also has social consequences such as continuing the cycle of poverty and early school dropout,” she said.

One of the causes of teenage pregnancies in South Africa, according to Anandita Philippos, a youth and gender specialist, is a lack of access to education or a lack of knowledge focused on sexual and reproductive health. South Africa also has the world's highest poverty rate of 57% and the world's largest HIV/AIDS epidemic, with 7.5 million individuals living with HIV in 2019.
Because of your support of KTD196, we fervently support the children and teenagers' choice to abstain. Through this choice, children and teenagers prevent not only early pregnancies but also sexually transmitted diseases. To that end, despite a massive increase in teenage pregnancy during Covid times, we have had no report of pregnancy amongst our children instead of statistically 100 of our girls becoming pregnant during this time.
That also means, with the children abstaining, there is no spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Thank you for all that you do and the impact you are having on the lives of our kids.
I am also happy to report that now we are in level one lockdown, we are starting back up with our partners and our numbers are climbing back up to over 1,000 children a week.
Thank you for your heart and commitment to supporting the children we serve, together we are helping them to build a  future. It is extraordinarily important especially given all the pressures the whole world is experiencing.
God bless you
Louise


 

 

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Engel - Agent of Change
Engel - Agent of Change

One of the major successes we have at KTD196 is that we are Agents of Change in all different spheres of life! For me personally, I love seeing how these young people take a hold of this program and run with it. They are passionate about their communities, about bettering the world, and have the energy to achieve this. 

One such Change Agent is Engel, let me introduce her to you! She has only in the last two years joined KTD196 and its impact on her life as you can read is exciting. Jung speaks about the "Ah-Ha!" moment, that expression of WOW I UNDERSTAND THIS, like a light globe going off in one's head. I love to see this moment on the faces of our kids.

Your continuing support enables us to change lives and communities and real ways. This is because of our partnership with you, THANK YOU so much.

Now for Engels story

Blessings

Louise

 

As a young driven woman from one of the poverty-stricken areas in Limpopo, Keep The Dream196 and Scouts has been a rescue to me. I am Engel, a 21-year-old girl doing her 3rd year in BA in Psychology at the University of Johannesburg.

Life was never simple as we struggled with the slightest basic needs such as food, water and electricity. I come from a place where I am surrounded by young people, mainly teenagers, who often engage in risky behaviors such as abusing harmful substances like drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Teenage pregnancies are also high, as is dropping out of school.

When I met Charmaine in my first year (2019) of university. Charmaine (who you have read about before on GlobalGiving) told me how being a KTD196 changed her life. She was also from an incredibly poor Limpopo area and showed me all the activities and work she had done, I became interested and joined the Limpopo team.

As a student, it has been an interesting journey being part of the Scout Movement because we meet different people and the activities keep you busy and focused. As much as I’m far from home, those values and morals are practiced each and every day.

Our Rover Crew is like a tiny family. We have a WhatsApp group for the Limpopo Rovers where we interact and share everything. As a Rover, I am determined to teach others what I have been taught such as taking care of the environment, which leads to taking care of oneself overall, learning developmental skills such as problem-solving, anger management etc., and also having fun in the form of educational adventures or games which teaches you how to love, care, embrace and spread peace amongst others.

Change does not require one to be rich or poor, it starts inside

What we learn as Scouts and Rovers becomes a good habit.  I would love others to join because there are many activities that one can do to change the world and it starts with me. Being in Scouting has shown me the importance of education, how sending positive messages can give hope to the hopeless. Change does not require one to be rich or poor, it starts inside and I always get excited whenever I have to do something good for someone because that is what I have been taught, it’s not a burden but a joyful ride.

I can proudly say that being part of the Keep The Dream196 family has changed my life. Everybody is so welcoming and friendly, it does not matter which background, race, language, or ethnic group you belong to. You just blend in so quickly and it is so amazing.

I am now driven, I cannot walk past a paper without picking it up, I cannot pass an elder without greeting or helping out where I can in the community whenever I am free. It is those little things that count. I am very assertive and can now boldly resist peer pressure which has boosted my self-esteem and self-confidence. Whenever I get a chance, I always tell people “Be kind to the world, be kind to the environment, be kind to yourself and it will always come back to you”.

What excites me, even more, is that we are breeding responsible adults. I am bringing change to my community with the little acts of kindness that I practice every day and that is what people see in me.

Thank you for supporting Keep The Dream196, you are helping us in so many ways. God bless you.

Engel

Walking the Talk!
Walking the Talk!

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Thank you for your ongoing support, we really appreciate you and I hope you know that I/we care about you! It is really difficult to build a relationship one-sided, however, thank you to those of you who have reached out and emailed me with ideas, questions, and even answers to some of my questions. I really REALLY appreciate the time and effort taken. Please if you want clarity regarding any of our activities I am more than happy to answer your questions.

I thought it was time to share one of the projects we have been busy with over the course of the year. It is called "Tide Turners Plastic Challenge". World Scouting with the mutual collaboration of the UN Environment Programme has launched a challenge for young people and adults to practice and implement this challenge. Keep The Dream196 has implemented this challenge in our program.

When I first came to this country there was a joke that was continuously repeated and I soon learned that it wasn't a joke but a fact. The joke goes "What is the South African National Emblem?" The answer is "A plastic bag in a thorn tree!"

Sadly, this was true, some measures have been put in place now, such as charging people for plastic bags at the point of sale, this has decreased the number of bags and also the reusable nature of buying bags. Still, however, litter is very prevalent in this nation. The usual excuse made by people throwing rubbish out is "It gives some a job to pick it up!" This is despite the filth, germs, no biodegradable plastic that is thrown out, and the obvious economic impact that hiring someone to pick up rubbish when this country is in desperate need of more nurses, police, and other human resources.

In response to the global plastic challenge of turning the tide on plastic pollution, all our groups participated in learning about the issue of pollution, the effects it has on the ecology, wildlife, and the impact eventually on human life. All of our groups participated in this project throughout Limpopo. The Photo I have posted is of 1st Shiluvane Scouts Troop who took on a massive community clean-up project in their village. They also educated adults as to the impact of littering in an effort to change behavior. Our troops will often do community clean-up projects for their communities as a way to serve them, educate them, and make a difference.

Together we are joining hands to reduce the use of plastic in our daily lives, and further play a role in protecting our surroundings. One scheme that is in the pipeline is to work with recyclers in the area to ensure glass and particularly tin is recycled. The kids will bring these materials to a central point and the recycler will collect and pay for the material. The funds raised will help the kids get to camp in the future. A win-win situation.

All of this is made possible through your support. Your support enables us to run these types of projects, among many others, to teach the children, to see behavior change, and to influence community behavior. That is what you do! Thank you for your precious gift.

Until next time, stay safe and stay well.

Blessings

Louise

Plastic bag in a thorn tree
Plastic bag in a thorn tree

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A Self Help Group operating around Shiluvane
A Self Help Group operating around Shiluvane

Greetings and welcome to another update from the field.

In May of 2021 I shared about a new program we were implementing called Self Help Groups (SHG) and I thought it was time for an update!

First, however, let me give some background on the process. KTD196 has employed two Community Facilitators and a Project Officer to enable this program to start. All three as a team go to different communities in and around the Shiluvane area. They visit with the Induna (Village Chief) to share about the new program and to seek permission to initiate this program in the village where the Induna presides. The Induna identifies different very poor households for the team to approach to participate in the program.

Next, the team go house to house, speaking to the different households. The key to this program is to create a group of 20 ladies all from the poorest households, who are willing to attend a meeting to discuss the SHG approach; and to invite them to participate.

After reaching a minimum of 20 ladies the team hold a meeting to discuss the process of the SHG. Most people already belong to Storkvels (an indigenous saving scheme where people bring a certain amount of money each week, borrow against the savings, and return with interest the money borrowed). The difference between SHG and Storkvels is that the money remains in the groups, at the end of the year the money is not dispersed back to zero and then the process starts again. With SHG, the money remains with the group, there is no end-of-year distribution. This is so that eventually, after saving R2 per week ($0.13USD) the accumulation with interest becomes large enough that people can open their own businesses eventually and have the cash flow to be able to send their children to university.

This is a different approach and what is also unique is the ladies decide what they want to do with the money, they also operate and take ownership of the group, eventually, KTD196 will be able to withdraw from weekly support once the ladies have been trained in money management, meeting and minute taking, agenda and constitution creation. Ultimately, the ladies will create their own small businesses and be independent of the state.

Once there are 20 SHGs they will form the next level of management called Clusters where they can start negotiating with the government for services to their villages.

This program has been operating since June this year, currently, there are 5 active groups. Sadly, 4 other areas have been mobilized and the ladies have decided not to take advantage of this opportunity.

Where the program has been successful the ladies are very excited about the money growing on a weekly basis, they even dance and celebrate when it is time to borrow because oftentimes, there is no other way for them to access this kind of money unless they go to the Macheronies or money lenders who charge as much as 50% interest a week.

Hope is slowly returning, because of you!

Your support has enabled this program to run. We are changing livelihoods, destinies, and futures through your support. Children from very poor families will be able to attend University, the poverty cycle will be broken. No more dependence on government grants for survival. No more periods of hunger. No more having to choose who to feed and who goes without. No more going barefoot in winter, no more feeling the cold at night because blankets can be bought. This is all because of you!

THANK YOU for your generosity and your giving. You are making such a difference through your support. In the near future, you will receive an email requesting your support on a monthly basis. A small amount goes such a long way in South Africa. I am asking that you consider this request and be a part of creating lasting positive change for children, women, families, and whole communities.

Thank you in advance

 

Louise

 

"This project is so good, it has opened my eyes and has made me think differently about money" - Angel

 

"Now I can buy food and school books for my children. I want to start a chicken project so that I can feed my children and others. I am 54yrs old, I want to own my own brand new dress and not have hand downs anymore." - Mametja

Dancing and celebrating when taking out loans
Dancing and celebrating when taking out loans
Elation over being their own solutions!
Elation over being their own solutions!

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Organization Information

Keep The Dream196

Location: Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo - South Africa
Website:
Project Leader:
Louise Batty
Tzaneen, Limpopo South Africa
$249,061 raised of $270,000 goal
 
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