DROP IN CENTRES CARE FOR COMMUNITY CHILDREN
Three child and youth drop-in centres together with a comprehensive community-based aftercare programme have been set up to provide a safe and stimulating environment for Noupoort’s community children. The programme, which kicked off a year ago is receiving the nod from teachers who are seeing a positive change in school work and children’s confidence.
The first of the three drop-in centres was set up at the local iKwezi Lokusa Primary School last year to care for thirty children from Grade 1 to Grade 3 as well as to help provide the therapeutic intervention, as announced in July 2018.
This intervention has expanded to provide care to ninety children, namely Eurekaville Intermediary School Aftercare, which commenced in July 2018; and the latest addition has been Noupoort Combined School in October 2019.
Mrs Gouws, teacher at Eurekaville Primary School has this to say, “I’ve seen such positive change in the learners who have been going to the aftercare. One that stands out the most is a young learner, who was really struggling at the beginning of the year as she had no proper foundation in maths and literacy. I referred her to the aftercare programme, which she loves it so much and she is so committed to that she never misses a day. She has made such huge improvements in her work and can how complete all her homework. It is wonderful to see that her confidence has grown so much that she now encourages and helps some of the other learners in her class”.
Children are collected from their schools, served a nutritious cooked meal and assisted with homework before being taken home in the late afternoons. In addition to this, literacy and numeracy programmes are run to help keep these young learners on track with their school peers.
“This programme is more than providing a roof and a plate of food to our community’s children, we also look to provide the necessary therapeutic intervention as the team is often working with children that are most affected by trauma, related to broken homes and other social challenges,” explained Sandisiwe Mntonintshi, Economic Development Manager of Noupoort Wind Farm, who fund the project as part of their socio-economic development programme.
Children receive therapeutic intervention and counselling in order to begin the process of healing and restoration from their often difficult circumstances. Play therapy is particularly affective and entails a variety of techniques that provide an opportunity for the child to communicate emotions, feelings, experiences and behaviour. The counsellor uses the responses in play to intervene and to heal.
Mrs Gouws, concluded, “I have seen really big improvements with all the learners attending the programme and look forward to that more children can get the extra help they need.”