THE BABY FINDS HER FEET

Nikita working alone and not running around.

Nikita is the youngest member of the homework club – and she’s also the sneakiest! When we began homework club, she needed her own designated minder to sit with her the whole of homework club, because as soon as you looked away, she would disappear. This was a big problem because we didn’t have enough volunteers to have one person focus on only her.

Through patience and positive reinforcement, we have seen a new Nikita. She now sits quietly and does her puzzles, colouring-in and many other educational games until she is finished.

She cannot wait to show anyone who is willing to look at the work that she has done! She loves learning and showing off all the new things she is learning at her new school, Sparrow Foundation School. In her joy she will shout out random words like “yellow” to show you what she has been learning.

We are so grateful for the partnership with Sparrow, supported by the Old Mutual Foundation!

FIRST DAY JOYS

Nthabiseng (4) is the youngest of 3 children whose mother came to South Africa from Lesotho and settled in Alexandra. Her family has made a lot of progress since Rays of Hope took them on the programme. Their granny, who has been the primary guardian of the children since their mother died in 2013, expressed to me her worries about the 4-year-old not being in crèche and the danger she faces playing in the streets of Alex.

Gogo’s health has been deteriorating and she is no longer strong enough to keep up with the energetic 4-year old’s whereabouts during the day. She wished she could afford to take Nthabiseng to a crèche and that she had the right South African documentation to be admitted into one. As the fieldworker assigned to that family I let the rest of the team know about this and we got to work to see how we can use Rays of Hope’s resources and partners to help.

Finally, on the 30th of January 2018 I went to tell Nthabiseng (4) that from tomorrow she would be going to crèche. This little girl jumped with joy! Oh and the smile on her face -it was just breathtaking!

The following morning when I arrived to fetch her to take her to crèche I found her on the street waiting for me! The moment she saw me, she came running and jumped on me. As we walked there she was smiling all the way, telling everyone we met that she is going to crèche and people applauded her and encouraged her. It was beautiful! Thanks to Rays of Hope for paying for Nthabiseng to go to crèche. – Dikeledi Phiri (fieldworker).

TALES OF CAPACITY

Mishack, on of our drivers helping the kids with their homework whilst waiting for the others at Sparrow School

It is my job to fetch the children from school to take them to homework club every day after school. I always look forward to seeing the excitement on children’s faces when they see the Rays of Hope “bus” parked outside their school gate.

On this particular day I had no expectation of how this everyday trip would be for me. As we pulled up to one of the schools the children waited for us as normal, except today there were many more children than we usually pick up. One of our regular learners who is in Grade 3 ran up to me and excitedly started to narrate to me that she had told other children at her school about her “other mum” (ROH Fieldworker assigned to her family). This “mum” comes to visit her at home and she gets to go to Rays of Hope, where she gets help with homework and things she doesn’t understand in class, and gets gifts as well.

She also told them that they too can come to Rays of Hope with her afterschool because the Rays of Hope car fetches them from the gate. I secretly choked up at this, as I looked at all these excited and expectant children that I would have to leave behind and break their spirits because we didn’t have capacity. As we drove away I wished that we had more volunteers, more space, just more capacity. In the same breath I was glad that God is a provider and the fact that our children see the value in what we do with them at Homework Club. – Tsholofelo Mabeleng (Fieldworker).

LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG COMMITMENTS

Some of the boys showing off their thumbs after committing to TRUST GOD to help them Love

Valentine’s Day came just in time as we at Homework Club closed off our two weeks of learning what love is, why we should love and most importantly, who gives us the strength to be able to love.

Love is one of our core values so it was important for us that the children commit to it. To close off learning about this core value we asked the learners to put their fingerprints on the value as a sign of commitment only if they were willing to TRY to trust God with being more loving. They really enjoyed the process of placing their fingerprints, and we pray that they would really commit to trusting God with this value.