Kwethu Children's Education Project, South Africa

by K2011127140 trading as PSI Projects
Kwethu  Children's Education Project, South Africa

We managers , with parent hearts, of Kwethu Children's Village are bursting with pride over the success of the children in our care.  Over the past 12 years, we have sent 17 of our 'children' to tertiary/training in order to provide them with skills to be independent.

Each one of them chose  what they wanted to pursue.  Some of them made mistakes and were given guidance for re direction. Some of them focused through and arrived at their dream in record time. 

We have teachers, putting their studies in Chemistry, Accounting to good use, helping high school students achieve. We have electricians in managerial position, intrapersonal skills being put to use in business. WE have hospitality training, outdoor adventure guide, and electrical artisans in training.  Our youngest teenage girl just hopped onto the InterCape bus to Bloemfontein, to Central University of Technology to a bridging course in preparation for studying Plant Pathology. 

Where do you find anything to equal all this love in action, trust bearing interest and hope gleaming brightly?

Kwethu Children's Village will be on the sign boards for a long time.  You won't see the kids because they are living full lives which they've dreamed into being. What makes success? Mentors who stay walking beside until well past achievement, to the place where values are truly established.

Rural South African children, made vulnerably by poverty and orphanhood, are the raw ore we work with to produce the hidden diamond.  WE feel that strongly!  We work that perseveringly.

Thank you all for your trust in what we do, for understanding the pricniple of  ubuntu:  I am because you are and we are connected , with responsibility to each other, by virture of being alive!  This principle heals every level of society. We pray this principle will continue to find its way to the highest levels of social decisions.

Meanwhile, we at Kwethu Chidlrens Village Education Project will protect our kids spiritual, mental and social development with guidance and counsel.  


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Windows and frame for French doors in place!!
Windows and frame for French doors in place!!

In July 2021 our 5 young men and 1 young woman moved to Johannesburg to start a new life. The City Power took these young people for apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering on Job Training. Having moved from their sheltered home at the Teen Safe House, where everything has been provided for, our young people found themselves faced with a different challenge of being able to stand on their own feet.

The college these TSH Youth are training at is Government funded. Teen Independent Living Program managed to provide the youth with start-up money for transport to the college, rental money (as the college does not provide transport) and food for one month ….with the expectancy that Government would pay them an allowance at the end of the month of August! This did not happen.

The youth were suddenly experiencing in practice what it means to be away from home and being in the independent and adult world for the first time. The TSH  had to loan them money to pull them through the month of September. They have since been registered in the Government system and will now each receive an allowance of R3500 monthly. This will cover their basic living costs  for the next 3years of their training.

The TSH continues with 2 youth currently in residence, one completing matric this year while the other one is doing teaching practice in Accounting and studying to be qualified for teaching full time next year. Two more of the TSH youth in the program are at Tertiary institutions …. one doing Engineering Studies and the other  studying Pharmacology.

Kwethu is now focused on the intake of new children. In preparation for that, renovations have since started with the main hall, which was washed away by the floods earlier this year. It has been wonderful to see the structure up again. While a local church is currently using the hall for church services, Kwethu Children’s Village is planning to host various activities with the children from the local community during holidays and on weekends. 

And here is an urgent opportunity in our Loskop community.  Due to Covid local schools have structured, staggered school days. This leaves school age children roaming  the streets during the day they are not in schoo, which in turn leads to  engagement in mischief because they have plenty of unsupervised time on their hands. It is with this in mind that Kwethu Childrens Village staff are actively planning activities, using our recently rebuilt hall, to provide constructive alternatives for the children.  

Our plans come directly out of our compassionate hearts and  invaluable experience raising and educating children for many years. We thank all our donors for your partnership. as we aim for effective intervention for vulnerable children and youth in Loskop, South Africa.

New-look Community Hall from the outside
New-look Community Hall from the outside
Last of the ceiling to be completed!
Last of the ceiling to be completed!
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They look out for each other in Johannesberg
They look out for each other in Johannesberg

Yes, the old KCV buildings and property where these young people grew up was heavily damaged by a flood in Feb 2021. Yes, we adults were plunged into disheartened dismay over the challenge to build back. Hope's resilience kicked in and we determined to build back , build better, build stronger. But how? What would affimr our hope and hoist us all up and away?

The opportunity came out of the blue. After being sidelined by COVID lockdown, with loss of entry level jobs, during  and early 2021, 6 of our young adults at 2020Teen Independent Living, TIL, were invited to Johannesberg to interview for internships in Electrical Technician training.A monthly living stipend and on the job training that includes the coveted Electrical Trade Test at the completion of the course seemed too good to be true! 

What did they all have in common? Post matric N3 FET qualification in Electrical Systems, thanks to Ubuntu Education Fund, a linked charity.

Its an exciting milestone for these orphan young adults, with stars in their eyes, and will be a test of their  perseverance, deep confidence and spiritual stability that we have poured into their lives for the last 12 years.

Our fabulous group of donors,your deep hears and kindness in looking out for less preivileged children, have been the crucial ingrediant in this marvelous success.  We thank you deeply, even as words actually fail to express gratitude.

A Leaving Home party is planned this week. Volleyball, dancing, good food, a chocolate cake will accompany the last words of us adults letting the 'birds fly'.  Roots have been given, wings grew, now fly.

Building on the success of these lives, we buckle our work belts on to renovate, build walls, paint, put on new roof after the flood, and work hard to be able to welcome NEW vulnerable and orphan children into Kwethu Childrne's Village.  These high flyers will always be home for more encouragement. And we LOVE THAT.

  

Sharp eye aim for his goal, in this case a cup
Sharp eye aim for his goal, in this case a cup
She's talent and high achieving, our girl!
She's talent and high achieving, our girl!
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What isn't challenging about life for vulnerable young people needing home, stability, and a future, especially as we all dig out from under a grueling, stressful COVID-year?

Our funding goal for the past 3 months has been to complete the Boys Dorm at Teen Independent Living home.  The large, red roofed home all the teens of KCV have been calling home for several years now, is just too small for both boys and girls and the nuclear Mbongwa family in which to live.  Though 6 or 7 of these orphan youth are usually away at tertiary ( not duirng COVID year however!), they come 'home ' during holiday.  

So in October we decided to steer as much funding as possible towards completing the Boys dorm.  It had bene 4 years since we first dreamed of this house and like many buildings in Africa, where capital is hard to come by, we started little by little.  Now a handsome 3 bedroom, lounge, bathroom and study room sits proudly on the sandy , weedy ground.  

No, the boys can't move in yet.   Next week the cement floor is laid, and doors purchased...but the boys are aready dreaming of the beds they'll sleep in the spot to call theirs for the few years they have left with us. 

Oh yes, we have a cut off point for living here, marked by having a job, completing a qualification, finding alternate living place. we're proud of the 11 young adults with meaningful work and  independent lives, the 7 who are still in school acquiring skills and the 3 who are still coming up. 

We find that rural orphaned and vulnerable young people need a longer time towards independence. They are combining Zulu traditional identities with confident social, language and broad world view to which they've been exposed by living with us. 

We heartily thank all our donors for what it has taken to complete this dorm. We are adding on line motivation chunks for our distant kids, to keep us all going in the right direction.  We are planning to extend this project on GlobalGiving. Please meet us at the Donation Button!  

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Picking up litter on trails
Picking up litter on trails

Kwethu Children’s Village

Report for GlobalGiving Donors

November 6, 2020

We’ve coped with COVID-19 , worn our masks, kept distance in public and stayed well, all of us.  Relationships have grown, between volunteers and the group of young adults living at Teen Independent Living. With some tertiary schools opening, three of our teens were able to resume trade school, in electrical engineering and hospitality. We’ve coped with the disappointment of having school interrupted, fought  boredom, went out looking for new opportunities.  Lifting of the national lockdown started opening doors for new ways of seeing things, new opportunities. 

Community service is always a great option. Our Central Drakensberg Mountains beckon bicyclers, walkers, runners to the maze of trails that lace the foothills. COVID approved exercise in open air.  But the trails attract lots of litter from casual walkers.  Here the Teen Independent Living guys show  you the seven bags of litter they picked up on a hot sunny day, off the trails before ice cream treats. 

We find, here in rural, traditional tribal areas, where TIL is located, that litter creates a disturbing disorder in public places and that we’re way behind in effective impact. The Kwethu main campus is right on the gateway road tourists travel to reach the resorts and guest houses.  Verges along our busy Gourton intersection are consistently heavily littered, as foot traffic and taxi passengers swell in number. 

These young TIL kids are being encouraged by our volunteer mentors, to consider doing this unpopular ‘dirty work’ on behalf of the community. Doing it together, being a group of heroes. We have big plans for KCV in the near future, in recycling and cleaning up our neighbourhood. Hopefully in ways that encourage participation from the public.

 

The TIL program and services to support teen orphans and vulnerable children is poised to develop and expand in 2021. We want to add staff, complete the boys dorm , include a study room and computers for school success, and eventually build a girls dorm.  Your love and support help to make possible acquiring driver’s licenses, trips off campus like the litter pick up exercise, internet access for job searches and on line coursework.

 

           Giving Tuesday in on Dec 1,2020 .

  Looking you straight in the eye, with a big smile, we ask you to consider an extra donation that day. It will be matched by GlobalGiving. And here’s  how it will be spent.  The beautiful charm of these faces , gathered for Christmas celebration last year, will be matched again THIS year as every one of our ‘family’ that has grown up with us, comes together for a Homecoming.

The phenomenal loyalty these grown up orphans have for our staff is Love at its very best. Together, you and us, we can make this happen again this year.

 

God bless each of you, with the joy of receiving our thanks for your giving.

Holiday homecoming 2018
Holiday homecoming 2018

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Organization Information

K2011127140 trading as PSI Projects

Location: Paarl, Western Cape - South Africa
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Project Leader:
Bridget Johnsen
Paarl, Western Cape South Africa
$24,442 raised of $50,000 goal
 
260 donations
$25,558 to go
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