Education for underprivileged children, Cape Town

by Global Vision International Charitable Trust

We would like to share the most recent trustee report from the GVI Charitable Trust. This report covers the six month period from July to December 2011.

This has been by far the most successful period. In six months we have raised nearly as much as we did the whole previous year. This increase in funding has brought a corresponding increase in the impact we have been able to create on our programs around the world.

During this period we have invested in sustainable education across Latin America. This includes support for the elderly in Guatemala and income generation schemes to support education in Honduras and Ecuador. In Mexico we have worked with a community to establish a recycling centre and in Kenya our partners in Mombasa will now see impoverished students complete primary education to earn qualifications for the first time.

These are just a few highlights of an amazing, productive and rewarding six months. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and played a crucial role in these achievements.

The termly exams always prove an exciting time at ACJ. As Teaching Coordinator, I am never quite sure what is going to happen. In my first term, we made a contingency plan around the first day of the week when I realised that, no matter what the schedule says, normal classes are not going to happen. So this time around, I was prepared. I had spoken to the volunteers, spoken to the teachers and even spoken to the children – everyone was prepared for exams and the unavoidable shift that they create.
So from the 14th to the 18th, we scrapped all of our normal classes and worked solely with Grade 3. This is a grade we don’t usually work with, although the sports project has just started to include them in the massive number of students it reaches with great success. In the past though, when our normal Grades 4 and 6 are unable to come to lessons, we do knock on a Grade 3 door and ask if they need our help. From experience, the Grade 3s are a delight to work with. They are old enough to answer questions and pick up extra details and to sit still and listen, but young enough to absolutely get lost in a story and fall in love with the person reading it.
So this week, that is what we did. We read stories to group after group of seven and eight year olds, getting opportunity after opportunity to perfect that rise of the voice, that enthralling whisper and that absolute must for any excellent story reader – the over exaggerated facial expressions that every child then mimics for the rest of the day.
Children enjoying the play area
Children enjoying the play area

Imaginary play is a hugely important part of every child’s early development for many reasons. Mama Lumka and the Ikhayalethemba Village staff have always tried to encourage the children to use their imaginations especially as their toys and play equipment are limited. Since GVI started at the Village it has been a dream of all involved to give the children a safe environment where their imaginations could run wild so when the Nceduluntu Trust designated a space in March 2011 for exactly that and we were very keen to support them.

Thanks to GVI and the generosity of various volunteers the room was set up with different play stations such as a workbench, kitchen, costumes and ball pen. The excitement of the children when they first saw this wonderful room full of exciting toys was priceless and 5 months on their enthusiasm remains exactly the same. The room has also provided a useful behavioral management tool as children who misbehave risk missing out on their allocated daily playroom time.

GVI, Mama Lumka and the Nceduluntu Trust and of course the beautiful children would like to thank everyone who has supported this project and for the moments of joy they have brought to these children’s lives.

The Hope Centre
The Hope Centre

Donations and fundraising to the GVI Charitable Trust have now funded the opening of the new Edu-care Hope Centre in Cape Town South Africa.

The centre begins to answer a significant area of concern in the Westlake community, that of large numbers of children not attending a nursery or school and spending the days on the streets. These children are extremely vulnerable to being exploited and abused by others as well as the physical dangers of being on the streets unsupervised. Neglect in the early years of a child’s life is often the start of a downward spiral into a number of social issues such as unemployment, substance abuse and criminality. With these aspects in mind the primary goal of the Hope Centre Edu-care is to get children off the streets and into a positive, motivating environment. The secondary goals are to provide a foundation of learning and development that will stand these children in good stead for future success at school and in life.

Conscious of over committing and damaging community relations the centre will start with one class of 10 children aged 3-5 with the intention of taking on a second class of 10 within the next 2 months. These children have been selected by our local partner Cynthia Jacobs who knows the community very well and has chosen the children she knows to be the most vulnerable and in need. The families will not have to pay anything for their children to attend which is a unique aspect to this centre as all other nurseries in the area charge around R200pm. She has met with the parents of each child who are extremely happy and thankful for this opportunity for their children.

Funds raised so far through the GVI Charitable Trust will allow us to run the centre for 12 months, during this time we will work to assist our local partners to become self sufficient with the implementation of fundraising schemes which will allow the centre to grow and flourish past the initial 12 months. Funds have been used for:

  • Rental of the property. The property s basic but sufficient and has great scope for future development such as establishing a vegetable garden to help the centre become self sufficient. The facilities currently consist of a small wooden structure which is divided in two providing two classrooms, both rooms have electricity. There is also a bathroom with running water and drainage and a storage container for the safe storage of our equipment. As the money paid for rent is going to the church it is also going to help them with their goals of assisting with youth development in Westlake which is an added benefit. 
  • A monthly budget for food and resources. As the children selected come from very low income families it is likely they will have a very basic diet with limited nutritional value. These funds will be used to provide each child with two meals a day, breakfast and lunch, as well as at least one extra piece of fruit a day. There will also be a small sum each month for teaching/lesson resources such as paper, crayons, etc.
  • A staff salary for a member of the local community. There are extremely high levels of unemployment in South Africa so job creation is always an objective. We have hired a local person to assist with the general running of the centre so the volunteer teachers can focus on the education and development of the children. We will train this person on how to run a centre such as this which will contribute to their own personal development and if they show interest we would like to get them involved in some of the teaching too with a long term view of having local staff employed as teachers with GVI volunteers acting as assistants.
  • A set up budget. The classrooms were an empty shell so we have used this budget to begin turning them into positive environments conducive to learning. We have purchased chairs and tables for 20 children as well as mattresses for the afternoon nap time. We have purchased plates, bowls, spoons etc for meal times as well as cleaning equipment. We have kept some of this budget aside for ongoing expenses when necessary.

After a number of weeks of planning, The Hope Centre Edu-care was launched on the 15th of March 2011 with a successful community day. The 10 children and their parents as well as the children from Jabulani and Ibis nurseries attended along with the local ward counsellor, a number of community leaders, representatives from the church, Shayle Havemann our Regional Director and the GVI Cape Town office staff. It was a great day enjoyed by all and had a significant and important effect on community relations which we have felt the benefit of already with invitations to join the next meeting of the community leaders.

Moving forward there is lots of enthusiasm for developing the centre, including building a second classroom container which would allow 4 extra classes and keep 40 children off the streets, renovating the open space into a play area with Jungle Gym, a vegetable garden to provide food for daily meals and a sustainable income and planting trees and bushes to make the centre look more inviting and an attractive asset for the community as a whole.

Community meeting at the opening
Community meeting at the opening
The Children at the opening day
The Children at the opening day
Willing volunteers
Willing volunteers

A new year sees the start of a new project. We have been working at Ncedeluntu Educare centre in Nomzamo. It is run by the same group that we work with at Ikhayalethemba Village. Mama Lumka told us that she wanted to repaint some of the walls, so we decided it was the perfect opportunity to help out, and with four willing volunteers and a few staff members we have been creating masterpieces. The highlight is the mural in the main classroom, including weather features, animals, colours, numbers and letters, and incorporating a green chalkboard as the foliage of a tree. It has been great to have such an enthusiastic group. 

Their ideas and energy have transformed a few rooms into an interactive place of learning. It has also been great to see the local staff getting involved with the painting, and even the children have added their own marks! It has been a team effort that will last for a long time and inspire the people who work and learn here. Even this week we have been using the classroom whilst adding the finishing touches and the kids are loving it, from educational things like counting to learning new animals (no one had ever seen a Panda before!) they have benefited so much from this.
New look walls
New look walls

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Organization Information

Global Vision International Charitable Trust

Location: Exeter, Devon - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Ross Deans
St Albans, Herts United Kingdom

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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