Every year in August, National Women’s Day in South Africa is a reminder of how significantly women have changed the course of this country’s history. It all began on 9 August 1956 when 20’000 women of all races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds gathered at the Union Buildings (the seat of government in Pretoria) to protest the much-hated “pass laws” This demonstration was a perfect example of how actions speak louder than words, especially when changes need to be made. This is as true today as it was then, and draws attention to the numerous issues which still affect women today which include:
- Living a life of dignity and equality;
- Being free from violence and discrimination;
- Enjoying a high standard of physical and mental health;
- Having the benefit of freedom of speech and being able to vote;
- Receiving equal pay for equal work;
- Being protected against sexual and domestic violence;
- Receiving the best possible education;
Although the new Constitution guarantees these rights to women, South African women and their children face extremely high rates of rape and domestic violence. They are the ones who suffer the most and are often forced to play a subordinate role in society. In his address this year, President Ramaphosa pointed out that women’s economic hardship is constantly increasing because many men do not fulfil their paternity obligations. Every year, Women’s Day is a reminder of these urgent issues. In its various projects, Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt/SEEDS Trust is committed to safety, welfare and education of children and young people. Another important goal is the creation of jobs for women with adequate remuneration within the township communities, this hopes to break the cycle of poverty. Only financially independent women can develop to their full potential and be pillars of strength in our society. The following is a brief summary of Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt/SEEDS contributions towards its various partner organizations:
- Little Lambs Christian Day/Educare
- Five days a week approximately 300 children (aged between 1-6 years) receive exemplary pre-school and early childhood education. The centre provides these children with two nutritious meals per day, snacks and fresh fruit and the children are cared for in a loving environment and taught personal hygiene in order to give them the start they need in life.
- Children who are identified as being “at-risk” of developmental delays are granted extra therapy throughout the year in playful and interactive group sessions. To accommodate these lessons, a new classroom will be constructed shortly.
- Little Lambs employs 18 staff members which include 12 teachers, 2 kitchen staff, a principal, an office assistant and 2 handymen.
- Presently 2 teachers are completing a 1-year Level 4 education course at Cape Town College.
- An afterschool care centre for the 7 – 13 year old Little Lambs post-graduates is in the planning stages.
- Annually R 1,839,350 is budgeted for salaries and R630,000 for food.
- Heuwel Speelskool in Calitzdorp
- This Educare care centre cares daily for up to 220 children, who receive 2 nutritious meals and excellent pre-school and early childhood education.
- 18 jobs were created for mostly women from the Bergsig community which includes 1 male principal, 9 trained teachers, 4 assistant teachers, 2 kitchen staff, 1 office assistant and 1 gardener.
- The new Afterschool care centre, financed by Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt, is in full operation. 2 new teachers supervise lunch and assist an increasing number of children in the afternoon with their schoolwork.
- The adjacent playground has become a popular meeting point for an increasing number of children of all age groups from the Bergsig Township. Scholars above the age of 6 years old are encouraged to enjoy a healthy meal first, then attend to their homework before a fun-filled afternoon on the playground or at the pump track or skate park, the space is enjoyed 6 days a week!
- When working on the 2021 budget, we estimated salary and food costs at R891’900 and R447’476 respectively.
- True-North in Vrygrond/Overcome
- Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt supports 4 of the 29 ECD Centres currently under the guidance of True-North.
- In each of the 4 ECD Centres, i.e. Little Sunshine, In His Footsteps, Nourish Educare and Overcome Educare, between 50 and 70 children from the Vrygrond Community are cared for daily.
- Every principal is the owner of her own ECD Centre and is well prepared and trained by True-North to run her Centre independently, holistically and to the best of her ability. These principals preside over their organisations by employing the necessary teachers, establishing a budget, teaching the children under their care according to the DSD syllabus and keeping close contact with all parents.
- Since none of the 4 principals presently receive any government grants, they are especially dependent on our financial assistance until they are registered with DSD.
- iKhaya le Themba in Imizamo Yethu
- The project’s core work is to provide a safe and nurturing space for vulnerable children between the ages of 7 and 13 years old who have suffered from the effects of HIV/AIDS, poverty, and other stressful life circumstances.
- The NGO achieves this by providing a structured, holistic after-school care program and family support centre which is in the interest of the children. 115 children attend the programs daily and are nurtured, cared for and fed a hot meal by a staff of 11.
- The project provides homework assistance, literacy and numeracy skills as well as life skills, gardening along psycho-social activities and counselling.
- This project seeks to serve those children and families with the least resources for they are the ones who fall through the cracks without the support, encouragement and hope for the future needed.
- The project has developed a learning program that re-enforces what they are meant to learn in school. With hands-on activities like knitting, art, games, sports, expressive arts – dance, drama and songs; they can make the progress expected of them and more.
- Salary costs are around R840,000 and food costs about R300,000 per year.
- Sakhisizwe Youth Organisation in Imizamo Yethu
- This Youth Organisation caters for students and young people aged 14-21 years old in the afternoons, evenings and over weekends.
- A varied program of arts, culture, sports and schoolwork assistance is offered.
- The staff consists of 10 women who are mostly working on a temporary basis. Mhinty and her husband are the only permanent employees currently.
- Salary and food costs are around R540,000 and R60,000 per year.
- Support is provided to about 100 youngsters and their families through an after-school program, home visits, outings and camps.
Conclusion Over the past 20 years, Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt/Seeds Trust has made a significant contribution towards pre-school education and care of children aged 1-6 years old, as well providing healthy nutrition in the form of at least 2 warm meals daily, fresh fruit and vegetables. In this way, irreparable damage in these children’s development caused by inadequate nutrition can be prevented. For some years now, efforts have been undertaken to have primary school children, especially those who had previously attended Little Lambs, to be cared for in an Afterschool care centre to offer them a healthy lunch and supervision of their schoolwork. With the support of Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt, such an Afterschool Care has already been established in Calitzdorp under the guidance of Ursula and Klaus Triebe and a second centre is presently being planned at Little Lambs in Hout Bay. We are extremely grateful to you, the sponsors of Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt,e nabling us to support nearly 1,000 children regularly. It is particularly noteworthy that a total of almost 100 women can benefit from permanent employment in the above-mentioned projects. Furthermore, our long-term aim is to offer these women further training opportunities and to pay reasonable remuneration, allowing every woman to become independent from her husband allowing them to be able to support themselves and their children. Our long-term vision is that this might indirectly have an impact on the birth rate in the townships. With your help, we are able to keep the momentum going of our much-appreciated work in these areas of need.
Thank you for helping us make a lasting difference, without your continuous and much appreciated support, it would be extremely difficult for Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt/SEEDS Trust to further assist these projects. Our banking details are as follows:
Dietrich F. Liedelt Stiftung, Hypo Vereinsbank (Hamburg); IBAN: DE04 2003 0000 0602 0695 44; BIC: HYVEDEMM300, Reference: Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt
SEEDS Trust, Standard Bank, Constantia, Account No.: 076021459, Branch Code: 025309, Swift: SBZA-ZA-JJ, Reference: Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt
Thank you for your invaluable support! Warm regards Elke and Marlis