People Helping People - Ho Na Le Tshepo Childrens Mission School
How it all started
It’s amazing how this school started out. It all started when the need to provide education to the parents of the children that frequents the Soup Kitchen.
WE IDENTIFIED THE NEED WHEN PARENTS WOULD ARRIVE AT THE SOUP KITCHEN WITH THEIR CHILDREN. WHEN WE ENQUIRED ABOUT THE ACADEMIC LIFE OF THE CHILDREN, WE WERE INFORMED OF THE FOLLOWING DISTURBING FACTS:
THE CHILDREN, AGED FROM 4-11 WAS NOT ATTENDING SCHOOL AT ALL AND WAS LAZING THEIR DAYS AWAY AT HOME
PARENTS AND GUARDIANS DID NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO ADMIT THEIR CHILDREN TO ANY SCHOOL
SOME CHILDREN AGED 9-10 YEARS HAVE NOT BEEN IN A CLASSROOM SINCE GRADE ONE
THE PARENTS WERE DISADVANTAGED, POOR AND HAD ALMOST NO FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
CHILDREN COULD BARELY EAT AND WAS SKIMPILY CLOTHED
THEIR LIVING CONDITIONS LIMITED PROGRESS TO THE EXTENT THAT SOME WERE DENIED EDUCATION AND BASIC CHILDRENS RIGHTS, BECAUSE OF THE HIGH RATE OF POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT IN THEIR IMMEDIATE ENVIRONMENT.
We realized that something had to be done and needed our urgent intervention. been a comminuty outreach mission we found that the situation was unacceptable and the children’s rights to basic needs were not met. The condition of the children’s well-being was a direct result of the harsh environment they were forced to live in which involves alcohol and drug abuse, prostitution, and domestic violance both to wife and children.
The area we are involved in is surrounded by Crime, Drugs, Prostitution, and Abuse.
The issue was brought up in one of our many meetings. We realized that this was a very urgent matter and that no time should be wasted to rescue these children. The idea of starting a school was welcomed even when we knew we had nothing to start off with. Elize offered her services to teach the children the basic skills necessary to be cope in the mainstream schools a later stage.
When Sean De Klerk & Hugh Fourie gave us the heads-up, we immediately started to make arrangements to set up the classroom. Miss Paula blessed us with a back room that enabled us to start our planning. The Soup Kitchen staff all clubbed in to kick-start the initiative. The classroom was set up with the basic requirements and we were ready to go!
At the Soup Kitchen, usually held on Thursday afternoons, we announced our intentions to the parents and took down the names of the children. We had 12 children ready to start school for the first time. Praise God! As we proceeded in our investigation we learnt that the need for this type of education was much bigger than we anticipated. We compiled a report surrounding this demand and just knew that we had to find a way to accommodate the needs of all the children.
We commenced with our first class on April 12 2016 in an equipped classroom with an experienced teacher. The register marked 12 children present and still some children outside the property needing space. We were sad to turn these children away since the school initially started with the child’s best interest at heart and to restore their basic right to education and care.
Currently we have a waiting list of children that urgently needs this type of lifeline to be educated. We created an atmosphere where children are free to learn and play. The school operates from a scriptural point of view and the Word is the biggest part of our education system. God has truly made His intentions known in terms of the needs of the children. The school is growing everyday with wonderful encouraging reports and praise from the parents about the positive changes that their children exhibit at home.
The unemployed parents have been offered and welcomed the opportunity to look for work while their children are in our care. We have regular parent’s meetings where we give feedback to the parents about their children’s academic, emotional and social progress. We also use these meetings to encourage the parents and pray with them.
We are using the process of nation-building to sustain and maintain our standard of education.
We render this service for free and rely on donations to help us do the best in our quest. The school has a very high standard in terms of education and the ultimate vision is to be known as the school that gives hope, hence the name of the school Ho Le Na Tshepo (there is hope)
After identifying and analysing the academic, social and emotional needs of the children, we realized that we need to bring hope and restoration to the children and in so doing, reach out to the needs of the community.
To provide quality education with the focus on:
- Early intervention and
- School readiness
The Education System
The school focuses on early intervention and uses a school readiness programme to equip the children with the necessary skills, knowledge, values and attitudes which will enable them to cope both in society and in mainstream schools.
The focus is on early childhood development and given the children’s history, we focus on developing the child holistically, that is the child’s
- Personal development
- Social development
- Health promotion and
- Emotional development
Our aim is to
- Restore all that has been lost
- To train and not just teach
- To care and protect the rights of each child
- To design intervention strategies for learners with special needs and/or learning barriers
We do this by offering one-on-one teaching.
We also keep record of all the children’s holistic progress.
The core /heart of the Mission School
The heart of the Mission School is to
- Equip the children by providing a service of education so they can be able to fit into the main stream school
- To restore their dignity and
- To ensure that the basic rights of each child is met
My experience with the children
From day one, the children stole my heart. Their willingness and eagerness to learn was both astounding and refreshing. They are like sponges, soaking up all that is offered to them. The first few days was very overwhelming in the sense that I had a front row seat to who and what these children had become because of their circumstances.
I recall the following event that ripped my heart to pieces.
On this particular day, the kids enjoyed a healthy lunch consisting of pasta and Russian sausages. I watched them as they were eating. Some of them ate cautiously, protecting their plates of food. It seemed as if they were afraid that someone would take their food away from them. I make a point of it to always remind them that no one will take their food away from them. That gave them a huge assurance and peace of mind.
After lunch it was time for the kids to take a nap. This particular boy took his pieces of sausages and put it in his pocket. He then went to sleep. When he awoke, he feverishly looked for his hidden food. You should have seen how his face lit up when he found each and every piece of sausage. I asked him why he did not eat it at lunch time. He simply replied saying:’ if there is no food at home tonight, I will give one piece to my mom, another to my sister and to the rest of the family’. Need I say more?
Ho Na Le Tshepo. There is hope. PRAYER TIME LESSON TIME LUNCH TIME
A HUG AFTER PRAYER CLASS WORK GRADUATIONS