Jerusalem Ministries has established the Human Dignity Centre (HDC), which assists orphaned and vulnerable children as well as any caregivers, in the Western Area informal settlement of the Walmer Township in Gqeberha.
Our Pre-School addresses the basic children’s rights of both education and food.
We aim at giving the children a quality education. We currently have 3 classes for children between the ages of 3 – 6. We try and limit each class size to 20 children per class, which will allow each child to receive the individual attention they require. The children are taught in English, as this will assist them more in future employability, however, all instructions are reiterated in Xhosa as this is predominantly their home language.
The children are taught basic life skills as well as to identify the letters of the alphabet, write and count. We try and follow our national pre-school curriculum so that these children will be able to attend local mainstream schools.
Once the children are ready to transition to mainstream schools, we put on a graduation ceremony, which not only provides great excitement but gives the children a sense of worth.
Our teachers are not only qualified education givers, but they also need to be able to meet the emotional needs these children will require.
As our government grant does not cover all the projects we run, our teachers earn a minimal wage. The job they provide is done out of pure love and the “want” to assist our less fortunate communities.
As well as providing a pre-school education we also focus on minimising the problem of malnutrition. Each child who attends our school receives 3 healthy meals during the day. For some, this is the only food that they will receive.
The cleaning of the school is done by the caregivers of the children (many of whom don’t have any employment). This is their way of “paying” for the education of their children/ or children they care for.
When possible, we provide food parcels for our children and carers, which is often shared with the greater community.
As well as tending to the younger children, we provide an after-care facility for +- 60 school-going children. We provide lunch for these children as well as assistance with their homework.
They are also given the opportunity to be children, take part in activities and ball games, whilst indirectly learning life skills.
Our trained staff and facilitators are also there to discuss the day-to-day child and teenage issues such as abuse, in all forms, and teenage pregnancies. By keeping them educated on these issues, we can only hope that the often-sad circumstances they experience daily can be changed.