Empowerment through Education in South Africa
The key to getting people out of poverty is education. Education keeps children from early marriage, provides them with the resources to get out of poverty and provides access to greater opportunities in the future. Education empowers them to stand up and make their own choices.
Seven in ten young South Africans’ (18-24 years) have no qualifications at all. According to some reports, even among those with matric (the final exams of secondary school), only 17% are likely to get a job within a year of leaving school.
One of the millennium goals is to provide free education to all primary school children by the year 2015. The problem is that many orphans and vulnerable children don’t get the chance to access their free education. They are moved around from household to household and cannot get to their local school or cannot afford the school uniform to go. Often if they are the eldest child, they have to stay at home to look after the younger children or need to go out to find work to pay for the very basics of life. Often orphans and vulnerable children find the stress of losing a parent so distressing that they are less likely to attend school or miss it and when they do attend, they find it difficult to concentrate.
Empowerment through education
BSTrust knows the value of education in empowering children to greater choices in life and we boldly invest in our educational programmes
This allows access to funds within our Orphans and vulnerable children’s programme to help those children in hard hit communities stay in school. The hardship fund can help with the costs of uniform, school books and food parcels and it also contributes to access to further education.
It’s difficult to concentrate on your school work when you are hungry and don’t know when you will get another meal. Our feeding programmes are vital to thousands of school aged children and are often their only guaranteed meal for the day. The feeding programmes run in the Safe Parks during the day and in the after school programmes where the children can also access help with their homework and help from the childcare advocates.
Education through Drama
Through applied drama techniques, many orphans and vulnerable children are educated about HIV/AIDS, self-esteem, health and wellness, human rights, social justice and diversity. These programmes are run from the Safe Park projects and the more receptive environment of the drama techniques allows the children to really open up and learn how to change their behaviour and environment.
Our partner, THEMBA, is key in delivering the message of education through their drama workshops. Through training peer educators (aged between 18 - 30 years old) they are equipping the orphans and vulnerable children with strategies to deal with the challenges they face on a daily basis.