One of our projects, The Human Dignity Centre(HDC), is a multi facetted community centre to assist orphaned and vulnerable children and their caregivers in and around the most Western Area Q informal settlement of the Walmer Township(Gqebera)
Our pre-school aims at quality education and minimizing the issue of malnutrition in the area. We ensure that by the time each child has left our school at the end of the day, they have received 3 meals. In some cases this is the only meals they are receiving. This ensures that the children’s nutritional needs are met, as the food parcel’s given (when available) are often shared with the adults in the home and even neighbours. Our food is cooked by men from the restoration ministry and the cleaning is done by the carers (parents and responsible persons) of the children to ‘pay’ for their children’s fees, as many of the parents are not working. For this reason we started the KWASA Project.
As part of the project to help orphans and vulnerable children, we run a pre-primary. At the moment we have 3 classes giving excellent education to the children of our project. We use English as the medium, but all instructions are reinforced in Xhosa, in order to ensure that the children are strong in their mother tongue and yet are being tutored in English so as to ensure employability in the distant future.
Our teachers have been hand-picked in order to ensure that the children’s unique emotional needs are met. For the most part, they earn only a stipend, and their dedication is thus more remarkable. The learners are thus taught to count, write their name, write the letters of the alphabet and other basic life-skills. These learners are aged between 3 and 6. We try limit each class to 20 learners in order to meet their individual needs.
The Grade 0 class is prepared for school and a graduation ceremony marks the transition at each year end. We are sometimes able to raise funding so that each child is given a full uniform.