” I don’t know how to express in words the impact that Naledi Projects had on our community since 2011 and will continue to have in the future. In 2010 we had 42 pre-schoolers, 20 afterschoolers and 10 slow learners in school.
The pre-school building was falling apart, the floor was all broken up, the ceilings were rotting, bricks were missing from the walls and the doors were broken. There were no security doors, burglar bars, or alarm system. There were no bookcases or cupboards to pack things into.
The staff were volunteering and were paid no stipends/salaries.
The children were transported by an old VW Kombi that was more broken than fixed.
At the end of the 3 year period we had 80 pre-schoolers, 30 afterschoolers and 80 schoolchildren. The pre-school building were renovated and furnished completely. A brand new building was built for the school kids. Ablutions for the toddlers were built. A new kitchen was built. Staff was employed including a social worker for the community.
The impact on the community is phenomenal:
From an educational perspective –
1. The children of the community will not be far behind anymore by the time they are supposed to start school due to the pre-school program. Our pre-school program is working beautifully.
2. The primary school children were able to received education in English from Grades 1-3 whereas in the township school it would have been in Zulu. In the township schools in Grade 4 the kids switch to 6 subjects in English. Up to 20% of children in township schools fail Grade 4 because they cannot read or write English. The failure rate at Ubuhle School is almost non-existent.
3. The children at our project are flourishing and they are so happy
4. We started with a group of afterschool learners where most of them are failing. Now most of them are passing.
5. Our community is education on HIV/AIDS due to the home training done by the social worker over the past 3 years.
6. Most everyone in the community now has an Identity book and birth certificate for their children. They receive grants from the Government for the children and their quality of life has been improved.
7. Unemployment declined due to the fact that we now employ more than 30 staff members, 15 ladies in the community are making and selling craft products.
8. The children are transported safely to school in a brand new 40 seater bus.
9. Many of the community volunteers who are now employed are studying to be Pre-school teachers and Primary school teachers.
10. The community has turned from despair and depression to a place of joy and hope.
11. The 3-year support from Naledi Projects and Luxembourg Government provided a sound foundation for us to build on in the future.
UCDC offers 200 black families living in the rural area on white farmer’s property, social care, a kindergarden, an english primary school up to level 3, after-school care, healthy meals, workshops and courses for adults, as well as some aid to develop new income sources. UCDC was founded in 2008 by local women and men (black and white), who are all working on a voluntary basis, even though most black employees do not have any other income.
>> The initiative comes from the base.
Naledi Projects helps UCDC to renovate and extend the current buildings (provided to use for free), to pay for the running costs for salaries, material and food for during 3 years and to establish new income sources. This provides UCDC with the chance to become self-sufficient and carry on its work on without the help from abroad and take care of 500 families.
>>Naledi Projects provides with aid to self-help.
At first sight the project might resemble a combination of a “Maison de Relais” with an adult education centre as we know them in Luxembourg. Is this really necessary? It would not, if the situation of the children would be a different one. The reality is described in the following randomly chosen accounts, that are examples of situations that children and families taken care of by UCDC are living in. These accounts explain the life of these children without the support of UCDC, how UCDC helps them in practice and how the life of these children and their perspectives for the future have been improved.
>> UCDC is the children’s harbour breaking the vicious circle of poverty.
The project helps in the first place the children. What is the additional benefit?
UCDC creates 23 jobs and trains adults. Metsweding is located close to the main cities, Pretoria and Witbank, and only 20km away from Bronkhorstspruit Town where some jobs are located for people from the rural area with some education. Thanks to UCDC, some adults already found new jobs; so UCDC is the stepping stone for the uneducated population living in rural areas.
UCDC brings social help to the rural area and provides the people with the chance to live there and work in town. The alternative would be the escape to the overcrowded townships which are in catastrophical conditions.
UCDC builds links between people of different ethnical and social origins. The wealthier people from the community come and visit the centre and work there on a voluntary basis. They meet the employees and the children and once they get to know each other, the social and ethnic walls disappear.
>>Development cooperation in South Africa contributes to remove barriers of the past, the fear, the lack of knowledge and helps to reduce social gaps.
Some numbers and practical information:
The families are living in a perimeter of ca. 20 km. The elder children got bicycles in order to travel between UCDC and their homes over the fields. The younger children and those living further away are picked-up by UCDC with a minivan.
The total project costs are EUR 216.788,85 in the first year, including the renovation and extension of the buildings, EUR 96.687,41 in the second year and EUR 92.559,48 in the third year. Naledi Projects has handed in the project to the Ministry for Cooperation asking for a cofinancing who accepted in August 2011. Naledi Projects needs EUR 67.672,62 for own contribution.
Beneficiary: social aid to 500 black families living in the rural area on white farmer’s property, a preschool for 40 children, an English primary school up to level 3 for 80 children, after-school care for 100 children, healthy meals for all; courses, workshops and income generation help for all parents, as well as building up of a craft- and catering business for up to 10 workers.
Aim of the project: After the project, UCDC is sustainably reinforced. Renovation and extension of buildings, financing a part of the running costs for salaries, materials and food for 3 years and by that, giving UCDC the possibility to create income sources.
Duration of the project: 3 years
Local project partner: Ubuhle Care and Development Centre (UCDC) – http://www.ubuhlecares.org.za/
Costs of the project: 406.035,74 €
Jean-Marc Turping, Tel. + 352 / 621 28 87 93
Course of the project: