I don’t think I take enough time to share our successes, they get tucked away in the Annual Report and can be easily glanced over so I decided I wanted to share the impact we are having with the children we serve and to expand on the meaning of these successes.
1) Limpopo Province has a reported teenage pregnancy rate of 13% we have reduced that rate to 0.062% for 12yrs. We should be seeing approximately 170 pregnancies a year, multiplied by 12years means a total of 1,453 teenagers who have not become pregnant while in our program. This means we have saved the government R5,266,179 in Child Support Grants in 2014. When a teenager becomes pregnant her body is not mature enough physically, spiritually or emotionally to become pregnant. The child is often born underweight and sickly because the teenager tries to hide the pregnancy and lose weight during the pregnancy. Due to the pregnancy both child and mother can be very sickly post delivery and suffer from complications for the first 5yrs of life. The 1,453 girls have continued on with their studies and are working hard on their futures without the complication of a baby to care for.
2) Limpopo also has a HIV rate of 21.5% with the worst affected being females aged between 15-25yrs. With this pregnancy rate the youth are either abstaining (which they assure us they are) or are protecting them selves from unwanted pregnancies and HIV in the process. This means that the government is not having to pay for expensive Anti-retroviral therapies for the life of our children OR their children because they have chosen to abstain. This also means that there are less illness’s relating to HIV which require treatment and an overall increase in quality of life, life expectancy and decrease in morbidity of this generation.
3) Limpopo Province has one of the worst matriculation rates in the country with an average of 60% for the last 6yrs. In our program we have an average of 90%. The two years were we had students fail where the years of the general strike (including teachers) and the failure by Dept of Education to deliver text books to all the schools in Limpopo. Our children are taught team work, study skills, determination, seeking out support and help when they don't understand the curriculum or content. Because of these skills the children are passing matric, in fact for 4years we have had 100% matriculation pass rate. We also assist the matriculants with career advice and access to bursary applications and university enrolment forms. All of our Scouts who have gone on to college or university have persevered and been able to graduate. The national average for graduation for a 4yr degree is only 10%. The Scouts/Rovers tell us it is because they do not succumb to peer pressure at university because they have learnt to have a goal and be determined and focussed. They provide support to each other, homework support and moral encouragement.
4) 10% of all natural deaths for children aged between 0-18yrs is suicide related. We have had no suicides in 12yrs. Our children are well adjusted and resilient. They have learnt that pressures are temporary and that perseverance will produce results. They have developed the necessary holistic skills to live successful and fruitful lives. They are not afraid of challenges and work hard at supporting each other towards their goals. There was one attempted suicide in all this time where the child survived and realised that her life deteriorated significantly when she left Scouts 3years earlier, she no longer had the support of positive peers and started studying where access to alcohol and drugs were rife. I am happy to report that she has come back as a Rover and is succeeding in university and due to graduate law next year.
5) None of our children, once they have joined and remain in the program, have been involved with crime, use alcohol or drugs.
6) We are currently working with over 3,000 Children aged between 5-26yrs in 91 different sites around Greater Tzaneen Municipality and Vembe districts.
As you can see our impact is growing everyday. Please consider giving to us again especially on a monthly basis as this helps us to maintain a regular cash flow and organize our activities more effectively. The next bonus giving day is 16th September 2015 where your donations will be increased by 30%.
Thank you for your previous support please consider assisting us further, no amount is too small.
with much gratitude
Voice of the Child:
My name is Karabo, I am 17yrs old, in year 11 at high school and I have been a part of Keep The Dream196 since I was 12 yrs of age. KTD196 introduced Scouts to Radoo in 2010. Scouts has changed my life, I didn’t know what to do because I was an ordinary boy, I would just do what everyone else was doing without thinking about my future. After being in scouts I realised anything ispossible. For example, I thought joining the bad boys in the village was the right thing to do. My family and village teens were my role models, drinking, smoking, dropping out of school, stealing, crime, and some of my friends are now in prison, I watched this and thought it was cool but scouts showed me a different future, one I could be proud of.
I thought the village boys would laugh at me and make me a fool to others in my village but I decided to make my own decision, the right decision according to the scout laws. I have a future. Scouts has changed my thought patterns and my behaviours. My best friend joined scouts with me, he thought it was a great thing because of camping and the games we played. But out of all my friends I am the only one left in scouting because obeying the scout laws is very tough. My best friends now hang out at shabeens all the time drinking, many have dropped out of school, having high risk sex, getting girls pregnant and becoming HIV infected. Given was my best friend when I was 12yrs, we joined scouts together but after 3months Given quit. Given now at 17yrs is repeating grade9 again for the 3rd time, spending all his free time at the shabeens with many girlfriends, involved in high risk sexual activity. Scouts has made me realise there is more to life.
I lost a lot of friends in the beginning because of continuing with Scouts. Others joined scouts because of me and the positive changes they saw in me. We provide support for each other, we do activities together such as improving the skills in the younger scouts, we actively recruit younger kids to join. We also do community service for vulnerable people (old people or those on their own who don’t have relatives to care for them) in the community such as cleaning up their yards, we fund raise money and buy food for them, collect water and let them know they are not on their own, that people care for them. We often clean the streets of our village and after the SASSA grant has been given out in my village my troop goes to the visiting point to clean the area afterwards. The community see us as good children and are proud of the work we do. They know we are Scouts.
Scouts has given me the ability to think positively, to be a role model to the other younger children in the village, and to even help children to realise Scouts is a very positive impact in our lives. Because of Keep The Dream196 I now have the following skills: Management, Organizational, Communication and good leadership skills.
The scout laws I took in to my heart and I have changed. I enjoy going to camp and thought that was all scouts was but then I realised Scouts was all over the world and if I decided to live the right way using the scout laws, I could achieve anything. My life could have been useless but now with scouts I have a direction and a purpose.
Once completing matriculation I have a dream to be a dentist. I will take my studies further and attend university. I also will prove to my friends that Scouts was not a waste of time and in fact I chose correctly. Even though I will be a professional I will still be involved with Scouts and Keep The Dream196, KTD196 needs to grow bigger and touch more lives in Limpopo and South Africa. I will be continuing my involvement in Scouts as an adult leader but also assisting financially and resource wise as I know that many development troops start with nothing but passion. They need resources for scouting materials and activities, please consider helping us now so we can move forward with our dream for Scouting.
I feel proud of being in scouts because I care for people, I am a leader, I am role model and I have a future.
we are starting to spread further a field with confidence know that the projects we are running back in Tzaneen are continuing in a proper manner. We are able to mover further afield through a new partnership with the Japanese Volunteer Centre. This partnership is taking us to Elim about 1hours drive North of our present position. It is exciting because after spending two days with the 3 Drop In Centres they are fired up and excited about working together and so are their children.
We are also spreading to Acornhoek, Hoedspruit and Haenetzburg during this season. Our foot print is getting bigger and bigger within Limpopo. We are not waiting for the franchise finances to come in, we are stepping out. If it has been a while please consider donating once again to us. We are seeing near enough 3,000 children a week now. We need your ongoing support.
We will start a Journey of Life training which teaches adults about the pitfalls children have to negotiate when growing up. To us this is common knowledge but because of poor education, migrant labour issues, working away from home many parents do not have the basic parenting skills that we take for granted. This training often causes the participants to look back over their own lives and re-evaluate their own issues, this can be very confronting at times as well.
Then we will introduce all the staff to KTD196's children's program which is particularly effective in the rural areas. So by the end of the year we should have trained the staff extensively, followed up on their training with monthly visits plus worked with their parents. Its great to see our replication happening already in another desperately needy area.
You may or may not know but we have added a second project to Global Giving, we are desperate to own a farm for a variety of different reasons but predominantly so we can continue running our camps on a weekly basis which are currently limited to the winter school holidays due to access to a venue. Secondly, for 12 years we have been operating out of my home, now we reached maximum capacity and we need a proper office space and training venue of our own. Please consider partnering with us on this endeavour. All you need to go is go to Global Giving and enter Keep The Dream196 and both of our projects will come up.
We also have had the privilidge to be on international television this last month. If you missed it please go to YouTube on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLjxb2aUF94 or go to http://keepthedream196.com and look for the youtube icon. If you have any comments please dont hesitate to leave me a message on our website under subscribe.
Thank you all once again for your ongoing support. You are making this possible.
Take care all
Being a scout has had a huge impact on my life because it changed the way I think, the way I look at people and the way I look at myself. Being a Scout is not about what you do when you are with other Scouts but it becomes part of your lifestyle.
Joining Scouts is a decision that one makes because you want to change for the good. Scouts changes us in different ways: firstly, you gain confidence. Secondly, you learn how to interact with different people and thirdly you can discover your abilities.
Thank you to KTD196 for bringing Scouts to our area. Join Keep The Dream196 and your life will change forever.
Khanyisa 1st Shiluvane Rover
We have a major project on board, we are fundraising for a farm. On
We continue on, although we are attracting small donors we continue on with our fundraising plans to purchase our farm. Over six proposals have gone out to international donors to assist us with the purchase of our farm. All six have been declined however we continue to fundraise and to carry out our activities. For example, over the weekend a camp was held in Mwamitwa with 30 Scouts. This was a village based camp and comes with inherent issues around safety and security. Although the venue was a Drop in Centre on the weekends we have to be very vigilant to make sure the children's safety is secured. It is difficult because there are many shebeens (taverns) in all the villages and so dealing with intoxicated people makes village camping a challenge. Hence the decision to move ahead with the purchase of a farm where safety will be assured. This camp was exciting because it was run by the Rovers from Mwamitwa area (Rovers are over 18yrs up to 26yrs) with minimal support from Keep The Dream196. It means the program is becoming more sustainable and less dependent on the NGO for staffing, support and training. This is exciting. The program is growing, the Scouts are active, the Rovers are loving being a part of the program and giving back to their communities. Kheto is not just a Rover but is also a Field Officer with Keep The Dream196. Since working with us he has been saving and now has enough money to continue his Bachelors in Computer Science. Another team mate at the camp is Ntsako, his story is below. Thank you to all who have made our impact possible. Thank you for partnering with us as we slowly but surely keep moving on!
On May 13th 2015 there is a matching bonus day. Please consider donating on this day towards KTD196 and your donation will be increased by Global Giving.
Thank you once again for helping us acheive our goals My name is Tsako and I have been a scout since 2009 and I am very proud of what I do. I have earned love, respect, support and mostly I have something to keep me busy day after day. I am a Troop Leader for 1st Mohlaba and I now have developed 1st Petanenge Scout Troop also I am the Assistant Troop Scouter to 1st Sasekani Troop. Scouts is like my peacemaker because when I think of scouts joy, happiness, smiles, caring and respect appears on my fare. The Scout trail says it is our turn to spread the scout message a little bit wider and I am doing so to create friendship and brotherhood amongst our beautiful country. Day after day appreciate the responsibility mum Rose and Akela Zabe who have given me many opportunities. Thank you Keep The Dream196 you have given me courage and I am well motivated, I will keep my dream
Welcome to 2015! Why is this significant? When we started in August 2007 it was the beginning of the International Global Financial Crisis and we were told we were crazy to even consider starting a non profit organization never lone survive the first 6 months. Well its now been 8yrs and we continue to grow and develop. You may not have noticed but the name of the project has changed to reflect the number of children we are now serving and in this last 12months we have increased 28% primarily because of the support we have received from people like yourselves and from our International donors.
We have had a number of changes in 2014 for example:
For the Children we have been able to hold 15 camps and take over 1,000 children camping, during these camps the children learnt leadership skills, were exposed to issues around environmental education, conservation and preservation and team work exercises to name just a few. This is the first time we have been able to take so many children to camp and also the first time that staff have stepped up and run their own camps. This was reported on in my last epistle.
Organizationally we have a desire to have our own office space, camp ground and activity area all rolled up in to one site. Currently, we operate out of my home which is now consumed by KTD196 and we are in desperate need of office space, storage, meeting and training venue as well as a corporate space that donors can identify. We have found such a space which is a 21hectare farm with all the infrasture required, a GlobalGiving campaign has been commneced and can be found at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/sustainability-independence-development-south-africa/
2014 was a year of consolidation dispite our growth, 2015 I believe will be a year of organizational growth and development which will enable us to support many more children through our project. It is exctiting to see how the children mature and grow up within the program to then leave, go to college or university and take the skills they have learnt to other areas and start the program in the new areas. One such leading light of the program is Nkulu Mabuza a social worker with Keep The Dream196 as she explains below.
“Keep The Dream196 built my personality and inspired my profession”
Nkululeko ‘Nkulu’ Mabuza is 23 years old and lives in Tzaneen in the Limpopo Province with her mom and younger sister. She is currently working as a social worker for ‘Keep The Dream196’, a local NGO’s that strives to assist children to overcome difficult life circumstances by empowering them through the provision of skills and inner strength so they are able to realize their full potential and contribute to the growth of South Africa. ‘Keep The Dream196’ has incorporated Scouting into its programming and uses the Scout Promise, Laws and programme to uplift and educate the children and youths in their care.
Nkulu was born in the Shiluvane village and joined Scouting at the age of 11 when her mom started the first Scout Troop in Tzaneen under KTD196. “Initially I was hesitant and didn’t really see the point, but soon I realized how much fun Scouting is and how many new friends I was making. I remember the very first camp I went on I was terrified! I had never camped before, I didn’t know the girls I was sharing a tent with and the first night I was so scared. However, by the second night I didn’t want to go home. And that is what Scouting is about. It teaches you how to adapt to certain situations, how to make friends and above all how to cope and manage in any situation you find yourself in. You actually learn to be a chameleon”, she reminisces.
“I met Louise Batty the Director of ‘Keep The Dream’ in 2003. After I finished my studies at Varsity I knew I wanted to give back to children in my home town and invest in them like Louise and my mother did for me. They pushed me to be the best I can be and so I returned home and joined the KTD196 team. In Limpopo we see a lot of gender based violence and teen pregnancies. In my work I strive to empower and help both children and parents to overcome and see past their pain and to support each other in succeeding in life. I think this is something that I have always been passionate about and I do credit Keep The Dream196 for inspiring me to be who I am today. You see as a Scout you get exposed to different people from various places, classes and walks of life. You go out into the wild and learn how to survive and respect the environment we have been given. Experiencing all of this at a young age establishes a solid foundation on which you can build as a young adult. You will have an in-depth understanding of the importance of values, they will come naturally to you. I can confidently say that I am who I am today because of Keep The Dream196, it built my personality and inspired my profession.”
When asked whether she thinks she is a positive role model to young girls in her home town she giggles and says “There were seven girls in my Scout Troop when we started. I think we are all trying to lead by example and not by words alone. I think all our personal stories are testimony to the power and influence KTD196 has had on our lives. Six of us have graduated and are working in helping professioins and the other two are still studying and will be graduating soon. We have all worked hard and are achieving our dreams! It’s not because you start your life in a rural area that you need to think you cannot succeed. Not all children are equally strong at school. Some children have talents that lay elsewhere then academic achievements. Yes they need to work hard at school, but thanks to Scouting and KTD196 where you get exposed to a number of other skills, you can discover and nurture your talents like in building, singing or drawing for example. By helping children find out that they do have a talent that they can nurture, you build hope and create dreams for future success … that is the power of Keep The Dream196!”
For this inspiring young lady the journey does not end here “I dream of a ‘Keep The Dream196’ franchise and a bigger Scouting Movement with more members from rural areas throughout South Africa. I hope to inspire a lot more children to see the bigger picture and to dream and achieve their goals in life.”
Keep The Dream196 is an independent, non-profit, childrens rights movement dedicated to the development of young people in achieving their full potential as individuals and responsible citizens. Central in this programme is a continuous transference of values such as honesty, loyalty, responsibility, respect; all aimed at governing individual behaviour and the development of strong leadership skills that will equip members to be of service to others and to their communities.
Wow, I cant believe it has only been 3months since our last report, time has flown.
Thank you for all your on going support and encouragement throughout this year it has been tremendous. We are slowly reaching our target for this project and I have started a new project where we are purchasing a farm so we can run our programs on weekends and school holidays so we are not limited to using other venues that we can only access during the winter school holidays. For the first time we will have our own office space, our own camp site and our own facilities which is exciting for us and the children. In fact, this week we will hear if the banks will loan us the money to move forward.
I am also reigniting a project from last year that of training 8 youth in artisan skills of painting, tiling, simple wood work, cabinet making etc so they can assist pensioners in their areas with donated support but also earn a small amount to support their studies.
Over the past 4 months we have held 15 Environmental Education Camps training over 1,000 scouts aged between 11-18yrs on various topics such as: alternative fuel sources, climate change, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and water cycle. Many children had not been camping before and it was a real highlight for the year as they returned to their villages so conscious of the need to protect their fragile environments that the children have become eco-warriors in their schools and homes.
• Dzunisani S. male (15) “Food for life (sustainable agriculture) helps with food security and we wont have to buy vegetables anymore, I will have my own garden and if I make a big garden I can also sell and get money that way."
• Nhlamulo N. female (16)” I have learned how it is important to keep yourself clean and always wash your hands before you touch food especially as a future mother. Climate change I learnt how global warming destroys the ozone layer which protects us from the uv rays. So I have learned that we should limit the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.”
The children also learnt leadership skills, small group management, co-operative governance and woven throughout all of this they had fun. We were supported by our Rovers (18-26yr olds) who assisted in running the seminars, games and general management. What was also exciting was that for the first time ever our adult staff stepped up and ran the camps without relying on myself or other senior staff, making the whole organization much more sustainable and less dependent.
None of this would have been possible without your support. We are very excited about 2015 and the continued improvement we are bringing to the lives of the children we work with. Thank you for partnering with us. Thank you for supporting the work we are doing. If we raise $3,0000 through 30 unique donors we will be eligable for a bonus prize of $2,000. Please consider helping us reach this target and making your money 30% more valuable to us.
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