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Education for orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa

Posted by Martin Keat

Success story: Education for orphaned and vulnerable children of South Africa

You know when you meet someone who is truly inspirational – a real dreamer of dreams?  Well meet the Venerable Sharron Dinnie – founder of Kwasa College. 

It says in the Bible,  ‘Do not despise the day of humble beginnings’ for that is where the Kwasa Centre began but now it has the vision of a mighty project – impacting hundreds of children every year. 

Started 8 years ago, Kwasa College currently provides pre-school education for about 116 children.     Kwasa College is committed to providing education for these children throughout the whole of their childhood.  Currently, Kwasa College also provides bursaries for 82 children who have previously been educated at the preschool and are now at primary schools within the Kwa Themba community.  Not only paying for the school fees, but also paying for the uniforms and transport to the schools until their education is complete.  This is a HUGE commitment of funds, bringing education to some of the most vulnerable children in South Africa.    

But Kwasa College didn't want to finish the education of the children at preschool - they wanted to allow the children to complete their education from start to finish at Kwasa - therefore helping the orphaned and vulnerable children within the community to access education which might otherwise be out of their reach. 

Plans began in 2013 when land was purchased, plans drawn and buildings erected - beginning to make the dream a reality and starting the small roots of a new school which eventually will provide education from grade 1 to matrix level. 

At the beginning of 2014, Kwasa College was officially recognised by the South African Government as 'Kwasa College' and began teaching its first class of 22 year 1 children. 

Each year the school will continue to add a year group until eventually the school is complete.  This will mean that vulnerable children in Kwa Themba township, South Africa, will be able to receive education for 15 years of their lives in the safe, secure, nurturing environment of Kwasa College - truly transforming the lives for these children and providing them with educational opportunities that they wouldn't access elsewhere.    Funding from the Government will begin in 2016 so there are huge financial commitments needed until then. 

You can become involved and support the work of Kwasa College through providing for the education of a child at Kwasa.  It costs, R6000 per child (around £400 at current exchange rates) to provide education, uniform, books, stationery, transport and meals at Kwasa College. 

The vision for the future at Kwasa is for a school complex which provides outstanding pre-primary, primary and secondary education for those in the local settlement who are orphaned and vulnerable.  Why shouldn't the children there have access to the very best education?  And you can be a part of this success story by donating online or finding out more about paying for a bursary

There are also the very sad cases of children within the community who have been orphaned and cannot find anywhere to live.  Here Kwasa steps in again and with support has built 2 homes for orphaned children; John Crane House provides accommodation for 14 girls (with a housesister) and the Mike Howes Boys House is currently being constructed and is due for completion very soon - housing safe accommodation for 14 vulnerable boys and a housemaster. 

So all in all - a real success story for Kwasa and the opportunity for education for vulnerable boys and girls which will transform their lives forever!

 

 

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A big part of our work here at the Bishop Simeon trust is committed to assuring that children and young adults in South Africa are able to challenge and conquer those obstacles in their lives that prevent them from accessing education and assuring that they can  make the most of the potential they possess to thrive and build a positive future.