Janes - still smiling!
PIZZ School aims to reduce the number of orphaned and vulnerable children on the streets, to provide them with an education, but more than that, to show that they are valued and give the children hope for a better future. Children are all treated as individals and are not abandoned when they leave the school. Where possible, children are supported through secondary school and beyond.
Children who started in the early days of PIZZ School are now completing their education or are already working in the neighbourhood. More are about to move from PIZZ School – hoping to go to local secondary schools, or into further education or training. The staff at the school maintain the link and monitor progress.
One of the children who will leave this year is Janes (pronounced 'Janice'). Many will know her face from some of our literature and publicity material. She is the girl with the frizzy hair and lovely smile. This photo was taken some years back. Janes still has a wonderful smile, but has grown into a confident mature young lady. She says that PIZZ School has improved her ambitions in life. On my last visit, Janes acted as spokesperson for the students at the school and she made a short video for the Hands Around the World birthday celebrations - greeting those attending on behalf of the school. Janes hopes to move to a local secondary school and eventally become a doctor or nurse. Her results are very good and no doubt, with adequate funding, she will achieve her ambitions.
Unfortunately the number of orphaned and otherwise disadvantaged children in the area has not decreased and the demand for places at PIZZ School has increased during this year. In response the school has increased the number of children enrolled at the school from 215 to 370. There are now two streams of grade 8 and grade 9 students to cope with children who lost funding after grade 7. The number of teachers has also has had to be increased to a total of 16.
Despite the challenge of the extra numbers, all the children are still being fed making a difference to their performance as well as their health.
An additional classroom block is now well under construction, though there are challenges to find funding for toilets and water supply.
The local managers and staff continue to do a remarkable job despite big challenges. The school receives no government funding and is totally reliant on donations. Thank you for you support, please continue helping this project and give children like Janes hope for the future.
Group of PIZZ children