Born in Africa stimulates social and educational development in children, striving to create economically self-sustainable adults

Born in Africa stimulates social and educational
development in children, striving to create economically
self-sustainable adults

Our Work

Born in Africa supports a number of activities and projects, and through our facebook and newsletter we are able to keep you informed about our latest projects. We regularly post new photos about our activities and projects on this site, so that you may see how your personal donation is being used by Born in Africa.

  • Academic Program

    Born in Africa’s academic program aims at supporting school going children and young adults in their academic career so they can reach their highest individual potential and have a...

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    Born in Africa’s academic program aims at supporting school going children and young adults in their academic career so they can reach their highest individual potential and have a realistic view of their opportunities in the labor market.

    Born in Africa organizes homework classes, art & craft classes and swimming lessons during the afternoons. To help the schools we support them with infrastructure and assistant teachers. For our older students we organize study method workshops and tertiary education.

    Background & Challenges

    Background: The Department of Education’s statistics show that the general level of literacy in most primary schools is insufficient. Especially schools in disadvantaged areas, where children score below the minimum required levels. Many factors contribute to these results: lack of stimulation in the children’s homes, parents who have dropped out of school themselves, lack of educational material in the home, poor equipment in school libraries, and overcrowded classes.

    Many schools have limited staff resources, and are unable to address the needs of their overcrowded classrooms. This leads to a burnt out feeling amongst the teachers, which in turn heavily affects the children’s results and feeling of well being in the schools.

    Often children, who do finish their matric, don’t have the means and resources to apply or pay for a tertiary education. Therefore the growth in South Africa’s workforce is halted, and the necessary development to improve its circumstances are slowed

    Challenges: Due to the focus on the academic curriculum that teachers are asked to follow in detail, children with a backlog face great difficulties in keeping up with the pace in the classes. The overcrowded classes make it very challenging for teachers to discern each learner’s needs, learners’ levels and parents are often not able to help their children with extra support at home.

    Additionally, children maintain an unrealistic view of what academic requirements are needed to enter into their desired profession. Likewise, they also do not know the risks they take should they drop out of school before reaching matriculation. A lot of potential goes unrealized due to the lack of career guidance.

    Besides the challenges mentioned above, a big problem that remains for most children when it comes to successfully reaching their full potential, is the lack of finances to pay for FET (further education and training). Many families cannot afford the fees and/or the costs linked with studying far away from home. In the Bitou area there aren’t many colleges or training programs where young adults are able to follow courses that fit their needs. Going to university or college as far away as 100 to 500 kilometers is not an exception if students want to follow the education of their dreams.

    What We Do

    Besides the general support of selected children during their school career (eg provision of uniforms and individual follow up) we have developed several specific activities to answer the challenges above.

    Born in Africa provides homework classes, assistant teachers, study bursaries, career guidance and infrastructure for the schools.

     

    Homework Classes

    The purpose of the homework classes is to help learners who are behind in class or who could benefit from extra exercises. We focus on study methods, learn to do project work, and tutor those who need it. It is also a perfect way to work with children to develop life skills such as confidence, assertiveness, and a positive self-image. Since society asks for people who believe in lifelong learning, we focus on instilling an eagerness to learn.

    Amongst the children in the program a number of learners from grade 4 up to grade 6 are selected in groups from different schools where we work.

    Study Method Workshop

    Our older BIA learners are often left in the dark when it comes to adequate study methods. Many of them find it difficult to study at home with so much outside interference. The demands which the school curriculum puts on them are also strenuous. Chores at home also need to be fulfilled as mom and dad often work long late into the evening. We teach them study methods to ensure they are prepared. This puts them in a comfortable routine by which they can successfully complete their homework and study for tests and exams. By gaining this valuable skill our students systematically gain confidence, empowering them to move on to a tertiary level of education.

    Tertiary Education and Career Guidance

    Children are encouraged to enroll in tertiary education institutions once they have finished secondary or high school. Extensive career guidance is given to the students at least two years before their completion of high school, to help them identify the best career choice. What is most important is the student’s attitude towards wanting to study further. Various aspects are taken into consideration before enrolling students into tertiary institutes. Learners are advised of the university application requirements and are guided toward other possibilities when these levels seem to be out of reach for them.

    Once the learners have been accepted into university or college Born in Africa supports them financially (school fees, accommodation and daily living) and socially during their studies. Born in Africa provides transportation to the institution and settles them in, along with providing all stationary and text books for their studies. Telephone conversations take place on a weekly basis between the student and the mentor to ensure that the studies and mental wellbeing of the student combine as a positive experience. After successfully completing his or her studies, the student is released from the BIA program with a successful strategy.

    Infrastructure

    Kranshoek Computer Classroom:  

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This classroom was built by BIA and currently houses 28 computers where the learners are taught computer skills. 

    Crags Gr R classrooms: 

     

    Due to the importance of the learners Gr R(reception year) BIA did extensive fundraising to build these two classrooms who each house 25 learners.

    'Liliannes Classroom' in Wittedrift:

    A BIA initiative located at Wittedrift Primary where a wide variety of activities are taught-ranging from Ballet, Art & Craft, Drama and much more. 

    BIA wooden classrooms in Harkerville, Kranshoek and Wittedrift: 

    These were our first classrooms we built to house our mentors and their group sessions

    Kranshoek wall: 

     

     

     

     

     

    the 30 m long wall facing the north side of the school playground

    BIA office and volunteer house: 

    Our BIA house is where our volunteers live and it is the central hub where our staff work from

    Qolweni crèche: kitchen & fence:

     

    Building a new kitchen and a fence added value to the learners and their parents.  They now know that their children are fed on a daily basis and with a secure fence around the school, they can rest assured their children are safe. 

    Mazisame youth center for ABET (adult education)

     

    The centrewas build to offer a safe but practical environment for youth at risk. There they receive abet education and a warm meal on a daily basis

     Siya Phambili shop

    A Group of BIA mothers learned in 2007 how to work with beads. This training was offered by Born in Africa. The business is now fylly selfsustainable. You can find the shop next to the Peppermill in the Crags. All art is created by Adje Bos. The shop is daily open.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Uniforms and School Equipment

    Every year we provide all of our 400 children in the BIA program a new school uniform. They receive socks, shoes, trouser, shirt, jersey, jacket, backpack and school equipment.

    Assistant Teachers

    We have placed dedicated assistant teachers in three of the schools we work at. Judy Mintoor assists the Gr 1 class with all their daily tuition, while Ronel De Waal helps both Gr 1 classes at Crags Primary school. We also fund a full time teacher at Kranshoek Primary-Magdalena Jacobs who teaches 35 Gr 3 pupils.

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  • Social Program

    Born in Africa’s social program aims at developing strong social and emotional skills amongst the children in the Born in Africa program, so they become confident well rounded...

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    Born in Africa’s social program aims at developing strong social and emotional skills amongst the children in the Born in Africa program, so they become confident well rounded youngsters who are able to take their future opportunities at hand.

    Background & Challenges

    Background: The Bitou area, situated along the Garden route in the Western Cape, is perceived to be fabulously wealthy, but in reality there is a huge disparity between wealthy and the impoverished.

    Tens of thousands of people struggle in abject poverty, and most families live in townships in small 2 -3 roomed homes. These are often overcrowded with up to 10 people sharing a small room. Social conditions are impacted by unemployment levels exceeding 30%, combined with a historic abuse of alcohol. The children are exposed to alcohol at a very young age and are therefore at a high risk of dropping out of school and being involved in crime. Born in Africa works mainly in Afrikaans speaking colored communities who have been marginalized over time, battling to find their identity.

    Challenges: The social assistance to the Born in Africa children is quintessential to support their academic curriculum. Without it, they would struggle even more to be motivated to attend school, to do homework, write exams and envision a future career whereby good school results are mandatory. In the area where Born in Africa is operating, there is an enormous deficit in social workers. Therefore, Born in Africa needs to train and debrief their staff on a regular basis in order to be able to respond to the huge social problems the children face. Organizations who deal with family problems are overburdened and private counseling is not affordable, so the responsibility to guide these children is therefore partly shifted towards the organization.

    What We Do

    Born in Africa employs 6 mentors who work with between 50 and 90 children each. The children attend monthly mentoring sessions in small groups of 6-8 children, where they are encouraged to explore and resolve problems in their own lives and communities. Individual sessions are held with children who are experiencing social or emotional pressure. The sessions centre on 6 character traits: Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Caring, Citizenship, Respect and Fairness

    These 6 character traits build upon self confidence. “I believe in me” is the most important message that Born in Africa wants to bring to children who grow up in a social environment that lacks those support systems needed to outgrow poverty.

    The mentors also communicate with the schools and teachers to get academic and behavioral feedback on a monthly basis. Twice a year, the mentors visit the children’s homes to get a clear picture of the (often changed) living conditions of the child that is following the program. Parents are also invited to parent meetings twice a year where they get an overview of what their children do in the Born in Africa program.

    Furthermore, Born in Africa builds strong networking ties for referrals to other social service providers and legal systems.

    We also look at the wellbeing of our children by offering and assisting medically where required.

    “Sight for Life” Program

    It is a huge pity that so many children do not complete their school careers due to poor eye sight. Many children grow up with an obscure view of the world which they perceive as normal just because they are not afforded the opportunity to have their eyes tested. BIA established this project to ensure that all of children’s eyes are tested on a regular basis.

    Glasses are ordered for those who need and a number of children are referred to specialists where further care is required.

    Dental Care

    Due to poverty and the lack of recourses, many of the children suffer from painful dental issues. We take it in our stride to assist those in need by ensuring they visit the dentist when required and that the necessary treatment is given.

    Nutrition

    We provide food hampers to children and families in need when funding allows it. Our children always receive a meal and a healthy snack during BIA afternoon activities as well as their mentor sessions. We also work the “E Pap” foundation who supplies us with a very balanced porridge. This too gets offered to our learners during BIA activities.  "Pharmacists without Borders" is a big supporter of our feeding scheme and we are so greatful for this. Thanks to Woolworths Plettenberg Bay and Kwikspar we regularly receive food which we hand out on a daily basis. 

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  • Life Skills Program

    Born in Africa’s life skills program intends to expose Born in Africa children to the broader environment outside of their normal daily routine. The goal is to transfer basic or...

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    Born in Africa’s life skills program intends to expose Born in Africa children to the broader environment outside of their normal daily routine. The goal is to transfer basic or necessary skills to become well rounded, independent young adults.

    Background & Challenges

    Children in the Born in Africa program come from poor and disadvantaged communities, which leave them with little possibilities to broaden their view and experience their environment.

    Because of the harsh living conditions, there is little room for children to be a child since they are asked to help out with household activities and to help taking care of their younger siblings. The limited after school activities or sport clubs that exist in the area are not easily accessible for these children because of the distance and/or the money that is needed to participate.

    It is of vital importance that children get to know the world in order to have a realistic image of what lies ahead in their future. Knowing what possibilities they might have and what they need to do to reach their potential is key. If children are excluded from developing their creative skills or discovering their hidden talents, they fall prey to apathy and become prone to abuse.

    There is enough awareness as to the importance of developing “soft skills’ in schools, but unfortunately the schools lack funding to take up this role and take the children on outings or educational trips.

    What We Do

    A specially assigned educational coordinator organizes camps, outings, swimming lessons together with volunteers. They act as role models and show the children how to be creative with little means.

    Camps

    Every year 9/10 camps are organised for a specific age group with an accompanying theme. For the younger children the camps are less formal and filled with games and fun, playing freely within the bounds of teamwork and respect.

    The older children are also provided with a fun camp but with more focus on team building, life skills, problem solving and even health and safety. There is also room for career counselling with visits from professionals in specific fields.

    The children are provided with meals and snacks as well as fun activities such as quizzes, movies and games

    Every year 10 camps are organized, each for a specific age group and defined focus. For the youngest children the camps are filled with fun and games to allow them to spend a couple of days playing freely within the boundaries of teamwork and respect.

    The older children are also provided with a fun camp, but here there is more of a focus on team building, life skills, creative problem solving, and prevention.

    The oldest group is also enjoying fun camps, but the focus lies heavily on learning to implement life skills in their daily lives. There is also room for career guidance, often combined with visits from professionals to give testimonies about their jobs.

    Outings

    Local organisations help out by lowering entrance costs to hiking trails, on boat trips, into wildlife centres and for activities. The kids get to see with wild animals in sanctuaries and even in their natural environment on nature hikes or boatDuring the holidays we organize outings to nature reserves, the beach, and game parks for the children who have participated in our homework classes and who have attended the individual and group sessions.

    Swimming Lessons

    Every year we run a swimming programme with a different group of Born in Africa students in order to ensure all of our kids at each school and each grade get a turn to learn how to swim. We do a pre-test and post-test with the kids to assess their abilities and improvements.

    These lessons are fun and educational but also vital as every year in South Africa children drown in the ocean, swimming pools, lakes or rivers. Teaching them basic skills and the ability to keep themselves above the water will help prevent these terrible occurrences from happening.

    The children learn how to hold their breath under water, swim underwater with their eyes open, hold themselves above the water, how to kick properly and how to use their arms properly. They also get free time in order to enjoy themselves in the water and for some this helps with a fear of the water too.

    We have also linked with another local project called Adopt a Swimmer where they take training further with experienced instructors. See their website: www.adoptaswimmer.co.za

    Not only for their own safety, but also to widen possible job opportunities in this water rich area, swimming lessons are organized. Pre- and post tests are performed to measure their progress.

    We have also linked with another local project called Adopt a Swimmer, where they take training further with experienced instructors. See their website www.adoptaswimmer.co.za.

    Art and crafts

    Children can participate in different after school activities such as woodwork, painting, needlework, and other articles they can use at home.

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