HELP is currently working at two schools in Cape Town: Heathfield Primary School in Elfindale and Thomas Wildschutt Senior Primary School in Retreat.
HELP Daily Programme
A homework programme four afternoons a week for disadvantaged children, helping them to understand and expand their knowledge in both reading and numeracy.
- Each child receives a nutritional snack, piece of seasonal fruit, juice upon arrival. We feel this is very important because a hungry child cannot focus.
- Depending on the grade and the need, between 8 and 25 children with potential, are selected by the relevant class teachers according to a criteria list compiled by HELP
- HELP assists children from Grades 2-7
- Each grade is assigned to a volunteer who assists by encouraging the pupils in reading, writing (English) and mathematics
- Every lesson is divided into English and Maths – We find that many of the children are really good at Maths but because they do not understand the English they are not sure what they are being asked and this penalizes them heavily.
- HELP takes care and notice of each child within the group and monitors any situation that seems out of sorts and reports this to specialists who can assist the child. HELP approaches each child with respect, care and love
- As a priority the children have the opportunity to complete any school homework they were given. Once their school work has been completed, personal assistance is given to each child to encourage a positive good work ethic using the HELP extra work which is both challenging and fun.
- Each child works at his/her own pace
- HELP endeavours to facilitate the children’s studying by giving them notes on their various subjects so that they can learn from them for their exams.
- Quarterly progress reports and meetings with parents/guardians/foster parents
- A qualified teacher is employed focusing on the weaker children
- HELP organizes cultural outings to broaden the limitations of the children.
- Children who have a possible health problem, eg ADHD, lack of sight or hearing are taken to the necessary medical specialists for treatment – at the cost of HELP
- International visitors from different countries come to broaden the children’s horizons. As an example, we invited a Brazilian group of student girls who explained their traditions and the children were introduced to Brazillian music and dancing. We recently had a Beauty Queen from the DRC and she has made HELP her project.
- We bring interesting speakers to talk to the children and give them a broader knowledge about, for example, South African history. Ambassador Priscilla Jana recently gave a talk with questions and answers to the Heathfield Primary and Thomas Wildschutt Senior Primary school children and we look forward to inviting her to Heathfield to tell them about her experiences as a human rights lawyer during the dark days of apartheid. Ambassador Jana was a political lawyer and defended most of the children in the then Transvaal during apartheid and was also the family lawyer to the Mandelas, Sisulus, Mbekis, and many other leading political activists.
- We have 7 computers and have installed an internet connection for the children to do extra guided research. This is important especially for when they go to high school. These basic skills will serve them for the rest of their lives.
- HELP believes, and has proved, that by giving children more individual attention and making the lessons as interesting as possible, the children’s marks and self-esteem improve dramatically.
The Ambition Motivation Vision Club runs every Thursday afternoon during term time.
- Four qualified teachers focus on English and Maths, stimulating the children to achieve at their highest potential
- Upon arrival each child receives and enjoys a nutritious snack
- Outings to cultural events for stimulation
- Assisting with applications to “better” high schools and potential scholarships
- Attendance rate is 100%
- We run the Holiday Club during the June/July and September holidays
- Take the pupils on excursions
- Assistance for the children who still need the nurturing and encouragement
- Run by 2 teachers and 4 volunteers
Future Plans for HELP
Even though we are a small, totally transparent, registered Charity, we are achieving results.
These results have confirmed that through empathy and commitment, education is possible – therefore our ambitious plan is to build a HELP building in Vrygrond.
Prospective plans are in place to build a specific HELP building which will cater for:
- The HELP Programme
- The AMV Club
- Early Childhood Development
- Empowerment of the unemployed women in the mornings
- Adult education in the evenings
- Weekend classes such as pottery, painting, computers courses so that the children are off the streets.
Twelve computers for each campus:
- Essential for the children to learn the computer
- Internet for projects and to broaden their world
- Combats lack of volunteers
- Excellent educational programmes
- Adult education
We often spend vast amounts of money on transporting the children to the various outings using local taxis. Not only are these taxis unreliable and often driven by unlicensed drivers in unroadworthy vehicles, but they cost an arm and a leg. It is of paramount importance that the children are safe and dropped off at their homes after an excursion. We are hoping to raise funds for a 13-14 seater carrier van this year.
Our dream is to expand HELP to a further township school in the coming years, but this will depend on finances and the availability of volunteers.
You can help make these dreams a reality.