January 2024It’s off to school for our kids
Monthly news from Kids Haven
Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. – Malcolm X.
With clean school uniforms and shoes on, backpacks loaded with lunchboxes, and stomachs full of breakfast (and some nerves) our Kids Haven Incare children headed off to school this January to start their 2024 education journey. What an exciting day it was!
This year two of our children started Grade 1 and 56 continued to the next grade in primary school. We also have 15 young people who started Grade 8 and 52 remaining in high school with 9 in Grade 12 this year. Yes, it’s a big year for us.
“Kids Haven uses a network of 24 different schools in Benoni and Daveyton, which ensures that every child is able to attend school and can thrive in the most suitable school,” says Terri Heatlie, Manager in charge of Education. This can mean finding a school where the children are taught in Zulu, Sotho or Afrikaans. “We always consider the exit plans of the child as best we can to pick the best school to meet the child’s needs so that there is a continuum of care when the child is re-unified with family.”
Along with that the Kids Haven team attends parent-teacher meetings, supervises homework sessions and encourages every child to remain in school as long as possible – preferably completing Matric. “We also provide all the resources necessary for every child to attend school, including after-school support, extra lessons and remedial lessons. Our children are transported to and from school daily,” adds Terri.
This would not be possible without the support of our generous donors. Thank you.
Currently a sponsorship of R350 per month or R4 100 per year covers most of the primary school fees in the fee-paying schools. Our children also go on school outings and tours. A sponsorship of R210 covers these costs for the year per child. We also need to buy school uniforms as the children grow. The cost per year per child for uniforms is R270.
“We believe it is important for our children to be dressed appropriately, be able to participate in sport activities and to go on school outings and tours like all the other children. Belonging is very important in the healthy development of any child,” says Terri.
How you can help
- Sponsor a child’s school fees, uniform, outings and tours.
- Donate appropriate consumables: Donations of paint, modelling clay, paper, cardboard, textbooks, any stationary, etc are most appreciated.
- Donate second-hand books, games etc: We work on instilling the love of reading in our children and donations of all books, magazines and games are most welcome.
- Volunteer involvement: We are always looking for tutors to assist our students after school. If you have any teaching experience, we would so appreciate any time you could offer our learners.
- Sports equipment and uniforms: Our learners are encouraged to join sports teams. With this comes the need for sports equipment and uniforms. Any donations or pre-loved gear to assist is most welcome.
We are looking forward to the year ahead and wish all our children a happy and fulfilling year at school.
Kids Haven runs a Bridging School Programme for children from 7 to 16 years old who are living at Kids Haven who have never attended school, dropped out of school, have significant behaviour challenges or who have been excluded from school. It is run at the Kids Haven Centre during school hours following school terms. There are between three and 15 children in the Programme at any time.
Terri Heatlie, Education Head, says the aim is to ultimately place children into formal school into the most appropriate grade for their age where they will meet the required academic level and make progress with their classmates.
Before this can happen, however, behaviour must be stabilised so that each child is able to concentrate and learn. “The academic programme is customised to the needs of each child, but always includes Literacy, Numeracy, and the broadening of general knowledge through project work. Each child learns at his/her own pace. It is so important for children to increase their attention span and become curious and interested in learning,” she explains.
Children who come to Kids Haven have stopped attending school for many reasons – some are excluded due to extreme poverty or lack of documents; many families move around so often that children do not consistently attend school and fall behind; hurt and traumatised children struggle to focus at school or become disruptive in class and may be excluded; children may have undiagnosed learning difficulties that have made going to school very hard. The children start to miss lessons, then whole days at school, to avoid feeling bad or doing poorly. There are also children who have never enrolled into formal school even though they are well beyond the age of 7.
“The Bridging programme accommodates all these learning challenges in a kind but structured environment. There are many fun activities provided to build a love of learning. Children move from the Bridging programme into formal school after assessment and when a place at a school is secured. Children who struggle at school and who are not doing well, are able to return to the Bridging programme to try again,” says Terri.
How you can help
Sponsor a learner per month – R500
Sponsor a learner per year – R6 200
Donate any amount on a monthly or annual basis
- Funding for outings
Sponsor all children for one outing per term – R1 900
Sponsor all children for four outings in the year – R7 600
Sponsor one child per outing – R50
Sponsor one child for four outings in the year – R200
- Donation of appropriate consumables
Donations of paint, paper, cardboard, any stationary, etc are most appreciated.
- Donation of second-hand books, games etc.
We work on instilling the love of reading in our learners and donations of all books, magazines and games are most welcome.
- Volunteer involvement
We are always looking for tutors to assist our Bridging School Programme students after school. If you have any teaching experience, we would so appreciate any time you could offer our learners.
We are so grateful to see our children head to school each year but schooling does not come without its challenges. Here are a few we thought we should share and perhaps you could get involved to assist us:
- Transport – we have limited transport so while we lift every children to school and back our drivers need to leave early and often drop off children late in the afternoon. Additional transport resources would make a significant difference.
- We are needing to provide public transport money to our matric learners who stay at school until 5pm daily, and attend lessons on Saturdays. All schools are taking Matric extra classes very seriously and they are compulsory. Kids Haven needs to find around R160 per week for four children who cannot walk to school from our home. This adds an extra R 2500 to our monthly transport expenses.
- School fees – school fees are on the rise as we need to make use of more independent schools because government schools cannot always accommodate all of our children. Sponsoring a child’s school fees would be a great way to support us.
- Textbooks – textbooks are expensive. Our older children need textbooks to keep up to date with the academic curriculum. Covering the cost of textbooks is a growing need.
If there is any way in which you can assist please contact Connie Biyela at Kids Haven on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0117067959 or WhatsApp 071 860 0505 to reach us.
Thank you for your support. We appreciate you!
It was all fun, relaxation, and Christmas cheer at Kids Haven over December. Our children were so excited to receive their Santa Shoeboxes as well as the other stocking-fillers and gifts on Christmas morning. A very big thank you to our friend, Charmaine, who collected and distributed beautiful gifts for EVERY child. Father Christmas even came to visit during the weeks leading up to Christmas!
Our Pre-school also enjoyed a fun Graduation event and Christmas party with delicious goodies for families and party packs.
We catered for 150 people for our Christmas day breakfast and lunch which was a celebration for all who attended. The Boxing Day picnic and New Years Day braai were also highlights.
Besides enjoying sport and game days, ice cream days and lazy movie days, our children went on several outings which included a visit to Carnival City, a hike, picnics at the Bunny and Bokkie parks and a day trip to Monte Casino’s Bird Park. The giant snake was very impressive!
I want to thank everyone who so kindly donated items and made monetary donations so we could celebrate during December with our children and staff. Our 90 staff members work tirelessly throughout the year protecting and caring for our children and young adults so it was very special so be able to give them a care pack each as a thank you. The children had so much fun, enjoyed treats and made memories that will last forever. We appreciate and thank you all.
CEO Kids Haven
You can get involved by volunteering, donating money or second hand goods.
If you think your company could help make a difference please contact us.