Daily kitchen activities cater for hot porridge to be served at 08h30 every morning, followed by a mid morning fruit or yoghurt snack and a balanced, nutritious and tasty meal at noon. Much of the goodness from our meals derives from our own home grown vegetables and herbs which are an integral part of menu planning.
Before leaving for home our aftercare, children are given fruit and a meal to ensure they have nourishment for the rest of the evening
ECD Crèche and pre-school: Mondays – Fridays 08h00-13h00
Early Childhood Development education is the key to a sound platform of learning for the children. We believe the vulnerability of the children will be reduced by giving them the confidence to succeed at school in far greater measure than the neglected children of the past.
We have place for 75 children aged 18 months to 5 years. Ideally they arrive as toddlers and three years later are ready to move on to the Grade R class of Primary School.
Our children are transported daily (Monday to Friday) from three major areas. Approximately half these children are from the Informal Settlement (Plakkerskamp), whilst 26% are from the neglected “Station/Stasie” area, and 24% from the under resourced Happy Valley township. We have a dedicated minibus, driven by Mr Jurie de Vos, with over a decade of dedicated service at Bonnie People.
We have 6 ECD practitioners (teachers) with National Certificate qualifications at various levels. The Principal is Ms Berenice Pekeur, who was the most senior teacher for three years before being appointed to this position. Being a member of the Breede River ECD Forum keeps us in touch with education needs around us and provides opportunities for further training and workshops.
Our teachers serve with the love and compassion that is essential for the children from neglected homes.
After School Care: Mondays – Thursdays 14h30-18h00
Our key focus for the next three years is the after-school care youth programme. With local fund raising we managed to raise close to R400, 000 over the past 3 years. At the end of 2017, we started erecting a new youth building, and we are close to completion of phase I. This building will provide a safe space for the youth of the informal settlement, where we can assist them with homework, extra classes to help them with their school work, healthy and constructive sports and culture activities.
In 2018, our objective is to ensure that every child in this programme, from the age of 6 – 18 years can read, write and learn and understand the basics of mathematics. Basic literacy is the greatest need and for this purpose we have 1:1 or 1:3 tutoring as far as possible. Once the self-confidence of understanding written concepts are in place, the child is ready for further skills training. We have acquired additional educational materials to assist, and our teachers and volunteers are ready to guide and assist the learners. The biggest problem the youth in South Africa is facing, is illiteracy – the children do not understand what they are reading. Furthermore, they are unable to master the basics of mathematics. Research has shown that if an average child at the age of 12 cannot read or write, they will fall out of the educational system and most probably never have the ability to read, write or understand language and mathematics. The largest number of the youth in our programme is between the ages of 6 and 13, therefore we are committed to spend an enormous amount of time with these children.
Besides the children already in schools, attending our after care programme, we also have a small number vulnerable youths who have fallen out of the school system. We have a morning programme for them on a 1:1 or 1:3 basis on the “home schooling” principal. Specific programmes have been developed for each child, based on their individual capability and capacity. Again, the key focus is language and mathematics development.
Every child deserves the best education there is to offer, and it is our mission to ensure that every child passes their grades with good merits. Educated children with solid social and life skills will lead a next generation with good leadership, hard work, and superior ethics.
It is however not all about hard work, it is important to make the after school programme fun as well. We are introducing the following classes and activities this year:
Choir practice and the opportunity to participate in larger and well-known choirs
Sports such as soccer, netball and cycling
We believe these activities are not only fun and enjoyable, but also provide structure and discipline. It further provides them the opportunity to be exposed to external people and experiences, a much needed requirement to develop social skills.
A corner of the new building will be dedicated as a library. Reading is extremely important, and we want to create a space where the children can relax and enjoy reading books. The more they read, the better they will get at understanding what they read, and eventually master languages.
We will continue with holiday programmes to keep children busy and fed in a healthy and fun manner.
Hope View Youth Skills Development
The greatest challenges are to broaden the base of participation from the Informal Settlement. Since 2015 we have been working on the following skills development classes, and will continue and build on these in future:
Sewing: a small but very successful sewing group has emerged, using modern sewing machines to high standards.
Needlework: knitting and crocheting form a large part of the weekly activities for a group of women under auspice of “Siyasebenza” Ladies Club.
Life skills: In addition to the practical skills learnt, the candidates are encouraged to realize the importance of punctuality, respect, responsibility and other skills that will advance future employability. Entrepreneurship will be developed as skills become more marketable.
Siyasebenza Womens Club
A weekly gathering of the mostly unemployed women from the Informal Settlement has been running for several years. Focusing mostly on needlework and crafts, this club gives women the opportunity to spend time chatting in a safe environment over a cup of coffee. Many life-skills topics are brought into the programme with general upliftment and bien-etre as the result. Up to 20 women participate, when not involved in seasonal fruit-picking.
Parent Partnership Programme - Wordworks
A seven week workshop following the “Wordworks” programme provides 2-3 hours of coaching parents in ways to support their children’s education, using everyday items and events around them. Focusing on informal and fun ways of introducing numeracy, literacy, spatial awareness and a general positive and interested life view, this workshop is a great inspiration to parents and grandparents. 1-2 courses a year are offered for the parents of our ECD and After Care children.