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

WOW what an exciting 29th of November it was!

Thank you to all who participated in Giving Tuesday, it was amazing, over $3millionUSD was raised for 1,900 community-based organizations just like KTD196 through your support and those of thousands of others. I am humbled by your trust in us, and your commitment to KTD196's children and women through our various programs. We, you and I, raised R20,000 in just one day which is phenomenal. Thank you!

If you forgot or who were not able to give on the day, and do still want to support us, don't worry we still have a month to go before the end of the year to raise our budget.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

Welcome to all the new supporters we picked up since my last report. You are so welcome to KTD196.

Please if you have any questions do not hesitate to be in touch at keepthedream196@gmail.com and I will do my best to respond. Thank you also to those who left personal messages, it is so encouraging for myself and for the team. We so appreciate you taking the time to drop us a line. I will share some of your comments below

"Child protection is a global responsibility, and everyone is accountable."

"Innocent children surrounded with poverty, crime, limited education, and malnutrition need help. Our help!"

" I love the project as one that empowers children and young adults to improve their lives through their own sense of self-worth and self-respect. This is an excellent way to move forward."

I love your passion for the work we do!

For all the old hands, those who have walked this long journey with us and continue to support the work we do, you are all amazing and I hope one day to meet you. I'm serious, I care about you and your world and would love the opportunity to share my world with you! If you ever find the opportunity to come and visit the program you would be very welcome.

Once you see firsthand the impact we have, you will feel even better about the support you have given.

Now that schools have finished we are camping this week, off we go with 40 kids for the week. We are taking chances because the rainy season has started but the kids don't care, rain or shine they are here. During the week we will be giving feedback to the kids who participated in the CRSA (Children's Rights Situational Analysis) and asking for their assistance to prioritize how we move ahead with the issues identified in the CRSA. We want to focus on Child Participation in the home, school, and community but we also want to hear from the children themselves, so they are a part of the process.

The following week we will be finalizing all our work for the year and then we will be sending the kids off with activities to do during the holiday break so that they stay engaged, active, and focused with new exciting activities.

Thank you once again for your support of our children and families of Limpopo you are amazing!

Be blessed

Louise

PS I have uploaded our Annual Report below

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Their futures are at stake
Their futures are at stake

Greetings, I hope you are well.

This week I want to talk about the CRSA (Children's Rights Situational Analysis) from the Community Leaders' perspective. The community leaders included the traditional Induna's or village chiefs, Ward Councillors, and other high-level officials within the communities where we operate.

The family is a microcosm of what happens in the villages. It is little wonder that the same attitude perfuses through the communities as in the family. Children do not have the capacity, children have no life experience, and it is disrespectful for KTD196 to even suggest they listen to the children. What is interesting though is that we do have the support of the Induna in preference to the other leaders, and also of the 3 Chiefs in the area.

It is so sad that these predominantly male leaders are actually obstructive rather than hearing us out, or the laws pertaining to child participation at all levels. However, we have developed ideas to address these issues and allow children's voices to be heard. It will be a process over the next 5years. We also have prepared the children through their own participatory process within the groups to work together on addressing their issues, in their way. So the children are now used to working collaboratively with the adults to KTD196. This builds confidence for the next step.....

Working with children is amazing, adults......not so much! Starting this program in 2003, adults were deliberately obstructive, they wanted "Something" for allowing their kids to attend our children's program. Now after almost 20years, we have parents contributing a small amount each year towards their children attending the program. They pay equivalent the equivalent of $3USD per year. Obviously, if there is no money we subsidize but the majority understand what we are achieving and are grateful for the impact on their children.

One of the strategies we are going to use is to establish JUNIOR VILLAGE COMMITTEES to start the ball rolling if after training the community leaders don't want children attending their meetings. We also have some awareness campaigns planned to raise the issue of child participation within the communities. We also will be working with schools and parents directly. Fortunately, we have the law on our side so that will assist although we won't use threats rather just explain how important participation is and that it is part of South Africa's Constitution.

I hope you have found this interesting. I have attached the CRSA below if you are interested to understand more of the work we do.

Thank you for partnering with KTD196, and thank you for reading the reports I send out.

Thank you for helping us help the children of Limpopo Province, you are AWESOME!

Blessings to you

Louise

All of their futures are at stake
All of their futures are at stake

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A typical school in the rural areas of Limpopo
A typical school in the rural areas of Limpopo

Minjani, umfikile minjane! (Hello, how are you?)

Thank you for your support of our program, you are literally making a difference in a child's life, in a family, and for the future families that our kids will have. Your support will impact generations. We are already seeing our original kids, getting married, having children, and raising those kids without the abuse they experienced as children. They have learned a new way to be, think, to behave and at the center of that is love, care, and respect.

Today I want to share about the CRSA (Children's Rights Situational Analysis) that we did concerning teachers. Now I know not all teachers are abusive, it depends on how you grew up, and how you were socialized as a teacher into the culture of the school and education environment. Sadly, it seems that teaching, nursing, and being a police officer were the only professional paths available to black folk under apartheid. This created a cabal of teachers who didn't want to be there but out of necessity, ie the pay packet needed to remain in Education. However, 30 years later, the negative attitudes of even the new teachers under the current dispensation remain relatively the same.

As part of the work, I do I have visited a number of schools only to find teachers sitting outside, on their phones, eating, and reading magazines while the students were inside "learning". On more than one occasion I have checked out their workbooks as they were revising for the coming exams at the end of the year. Some children had only 1page of revision............other children had nothing in their books, and yet they were expected to revise for the year-end exams. All exams are in English and yet the children are taught in the local language because often the teachers do not know English well enough to instruct.

So when we did the CRSA concerning teachers it was no surprise about the level of abuse the children were subjected to within the classroom, what was a surprise was the level of indifference and cruelty expressed by the children. I wrote a few weeks ago about one class of foreign nationals having their toes stomped on by a teacher because they could not afford school shoes.

The CRSA allowed children to express what they wanted from teachers:

-     Should listen to us

-     Guide us to do better

-     Support and inspire us to get involved in activities

-     Respect us

-     Guide us to do the right thing

-     Assure our safety

-     Boost our confidence by not comparing us to other kids

-    Give assistance

-    Stop beating us

-    Teach us so that we can reach our goals

 

Teachers on the other hand think that children should not be vocal in class unless the teacher asks them a question. When you have 50+ learners in a small classroom it is very difficult to maintain order. Resources are minimal, many schools don't have adequate electricity, water, or safe toilets (pit toilets than can collapse over time). Buildings that can collapse easily.

As part of the Schools Act, there should be LRC's (Learner Representative Councils) but in the schools, the reality is there are no functional LRC's. The teachers don't prioritize LRC's and they see it as a waste of time and effort because the children are incompetent and not able to function at this level. Their voices are not sought nor required. The teachers believe, as do the parents that children are to be seen and not heard, they are incompetent to function at a strategic level.

As part of the new proposal I am writing we will endeavor to change these attitudes but as you can imagine it will be a difficult challenge, however, we are determined to give the children a voice to address the issues that they have identified.

Below are some photos of one of the schools I visited, imagine it's a 40C day (110F) day and you are trying to learn under an iron roof. There is no running water, the toilets are about to implode, and there are no rooves or doors for privacy. The cracks in the walls literally go through double brick and you can see daylight through the cracks. Bricks waiting to fall on some child's head. Desks and chairs are in various states of disrepair. The issues confronting our kids are so much deeper than just poor Education. However, with your support, we are going to continue to demand the best for our kids, for their futures, and for generations to come.

Thank you so much for the continual support you give us.

Thank you for faithfully reading this report.

God Bless you

Louise

A typical toilet in the rural area schools
A typical toilet in the rural area schools
Many schools are ready to fall down!
Many schools are ready to fall down!
A typical classroom
A typical classroom

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Parents create a safety net of support for kids.
Parents create a safety net of support for kids.

Avuxeni, minjani, umfekile minjani!

Greetings, I hope you are well and enjoying life.

Today I want to share from the parent's perspective as to why the voice of the child is not relevant.

Our children reported they see their parents drinking and are actively encouraged to participate in alcohol consumption, especially during rituals (traditional and cultural celebrations), this is a family expectation and also culture. This expectation supersedes the child’s will. There is no opportunity for a child to share their concerns, or decide not to participate in the ritual regardless.

When children are at home they are randomly given chores without consultation, even if the chore is too difficult or dangerous for the child. An example: the child may be told to herd cattle at the age of 5yrs and alone.

Mothers yelling, swearing, and name-calling at children actively discouraged children from voicing their concerns. The children spoke about fights between parents and children, between adults, families, and neighbors, and even theft of possessions by adults which rendered the children voiceless and powerless and resultant impact was they felt like victims and were too intimidated to speak out.

The parents during our validation workshop agreed that all they want is a peaceful home. If they have work, the work is usually menial and exhausting work. They come home from the fields and just want peace. All the parents interviewed were stressed regarding providing food, clothing, and shelter for the children. One mother commented , "Just surviving from day to day is exhausting, I can't do anymore!"

 What the CRSA identified was that there was no obvious involvement of the parents in the emotional welfare of the children, no heart attachment, no emotional building, no encouragement, guardians/parents are not concerned about the child’s development at this level, they just want peace and quiet in the home.

At home men are the bosses and the women are not listened to or have an opinion that is considered or taken seriously, this overflows to the children at home whose opinions are not considered. Interestingly this also overflows to the classroom where young particularly initiated males are not willing to listen to female teachers. These issues regarding the non-participation of children are considered tribal and cultural in origin and issues are a reflection of a systemic indifference to the voice of the child.

Survival focus by the parents takes precedence over everything else. Poverty and unemployment are a priority while Children’s Rights are a new concept and are considered unnecessary by parents.

It's not all bleak, the parents are willing to attend training (free food is a great incentive- one less meal that needs to be provided at home). We have seen from our Journey of Life training previously remarkable changes in the way children are treated with the homework given to the parents between the 3days of training. When parents realize that caring, loving, and engaging with their children actually enhances their relationship with their children, the stress levels in the families reduce, plus it doesn't cost anything but time.

One training costs R8,700 for 20 adults to attend a 3day training course. Today's exchange rate is equal to $500USD to bring about significant changes in 20 families. All the children in the family experience improved communication, less abuse (which parents don't realize is abuse) greater sense of belonging, and feelings of love, belonging, and acceptance. This has a profound effect on the children as you can imagine.

The training addresses the past experience the parents have had as children, then it identifies what were hindrances to their development into young adults but also what was constructive and helpful. There have been more than a few times that parents have had the epiphany that they are the problem as to why their children are rude and disrespectful and rebellious. We also follow up six months after the training with the children in the program and their parents to hear if there is sustained change. I am very happy to report that over 90% of parents and children say that the change is sustained and that there is decreased abuse, no more swearing at the children, harassing, beating, or cruelty towards the children. The parents and the children are happy.

This helps us gain momentum toward children realizing their rights to participate within the family. This training also assists the children in building resilience, creating heart attachments with the parents, and feeling valued and loved. Amazing impact on such a small investment.

So KTD196 has developed a solution to the issues identified, you are part of the equation. Every gift you give goes towards supporting the children both directly through the Children's Program or indirectly through the Self Help Groups and the training we provide. Thank you for making such a huge difference not just in the child's life but in the family's life.

Thank you so much for all your care and support

Blessings

Louise

Parents identify with the burdens kids carry.
Parents identify with the burdens kids carry.

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Children participating in the CRSA Process
Children participating in the CRSA Process

Thank you so much for being a part of the change we are seeing in the lives, families, and communities in which we work. It has been 15yrs of hard slog but we are really seeing measurable changes for the better with the people we are working with, and they are influencing for the better those in their spheres of influence.

I have spoken on and off this year about the CRSA (Children’s Rights Situational Analysis) that we performed. Well, it is complete and submitted to the funder so now I can share with you our findings. It will be a series of issues I will discuss because there was just so much that came out of the CRSA regarding rights abuses and what rights the children were not enjoying and why.

The focus of the CRSA was on Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), that of participation, the right to be heard and to have your opinions considered. At KTD196 we use a Rights-based approach to development to achieve a positive transformation of power relations among the various development actors.

There are two stakeholder groups in rights-based development—the rights holders (who do not experience full rights) and the duty bearers (the institutions obligated to fulfill the holders' rights). Rights-based approaches aim at strengthening the capacity of duty bearers to fulfill their roles and responsibilities and empower the rights holders to realize and enjoy the fulfillment of their rights.

SO what does this mean? We have through the CRSA identified that children (rights holders) are not considered, not listened to, and are actively discounted by adults (duty bearers).

SO WHAT?

Well imagine you are a young girl aged 10yrs of age, you are asked to go to the local shabeens (pub) by your father to get alcohol, late at night, in the dark, to a place that is full of particularly drunk men. The community knows where the child is going, they know the child has money, plus will be traveling home in the dark with alcohol and change. The child does not have a voice and cannot say to their parent “I am afraid”, “I don’t want to go”, “I'm at risk”, or “No!”

Instead, the child has to do what they are told, without any say. Parents are putting their children at risk and they don’t even realize it, this is just one example. Many of the children who participated in the CRSA said that their parents are not interested in talking to them, in hearing their concerns, and if a child has a different opinion from the parent or any adult it is viewed as disrespectful.

This was confirmed by the parents that were interviewed for the CRSA. The opinion of adults was that kids are too young to have an opinion, and should not be listened to because they are just children with no life experience, besides it is the adults who provide for the children so they should not have a say. It is seen as a weakness to listen to a child, especially if observed by another family member or community member.

What was it like when you were growing up? Can you relate to this experience? As a parent, do you do the same to your children or have you changed your approach?

At KTD196 we are now in the process of formulating a 5yr proposal to address just this one aspect of child participation, I will discuss other issues identified over the next few weeks. I hope you found this interesting and would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you that we are making a real difference in the lives of the children through your support. This is on top of the children’s program we already implement through your support. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. I have attached the document in case you would like some reading....

Louise

Body Mapping Tool for rights related issues
Body Mapping Tool for rights related issues

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Organization Information

Keep The Dream196

Location: Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo - South Africa
Website:
Project Leader:
Louise Batty
Tzaneen, Limpopo South Africa
$308,258 raised of $370,000 goal
 
3,751 donations
$61,742 to go
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