Prochorus Newsletter April 2019

It’s autumn time, and time for our quarterly update. 
As the seasons change, we are often reminded of how quickly time goes by.

The first few months have been exciting. We’ve had sports events, tool kits handouts, a school holiday and many changes in between. 

Unfortunately, we have postponed our annual fundraiser, The Xhiliraces, until next year. We are on the cusp of some major structural changes – and in the interest of capacity and sanity – we put our annual fundraiser on hold. However, watch this space, 2020 promises to be an exciting and exhilarating year. 

With the New Year, we have seen new growth. We have officially opened our Riebeek Kasteel branch with the Dream Again project. This project is the heart of three ladies in the community who believe that the girls on the surrounding farms deserve to dream and to reach their personal potential. The exciting growth keeps us hopeful, that we can create a better South Africa one child at a time. 

At the end of the first quarter- in a nutshell – our year has been off to a busy start, but a fruitful one.  

STELLENBOSCH 

Jonkershoek Cycling Project 

Our year, unfortunately, started on a low. Our bicycle storage container was broken into at the beginning of January and the thieves got away with twelve bicycles, spares, tools and other equipment. This incident was very hard for the kids and we realized again how much they love the cycling programme.

For a while, we went running with them, instead of cycling, but we managed to put together enough bikes to start riding again around the middle of February, just in time to still do some training and partake in the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Fortunately, the insurance claim was successful, although it did not cover all our losses. Please consider donating towards the project, as we have lots of ground to make up after our setback.

Simply go to www.givengain.com/cause/303/campaigns/12272/ or search “Prochorus Cycling” on www.givengain.com to do a safe, online, once off or monthly donation.

On the 10th of March, the older members of the project participated in the Cape Town Cycle Tour. It was a tough day in the saddle since the wind was very strong, but everybody from our team finished strong. Thanks to PPA for the support on providing the entries.

Siyanda Playgroup 

At the end of last year, we had to relocate Siyanda to a new facility.  The decision had been taken to make space for the playgroup at the Prochorus offices in Kayamandi. The decision has proven valuable and the staff and the children are so happy.

Siyanda provides an educationally safe space for children between the ages of 3 – 5 years. Our focus is directed at getting children school ready. We work with children who come out of houses with unemployed or single parents. 

We started the year with 12 children. At the beginning of February, seven more children joined and currently, we have 19 children. 7 boys and 12 girls, that attend the playgroup.  We are very excited about this year and we hope to create a bigger space in the future to be able to accommodate more children, as the need remains big. 

In the first quarter we have worked through 7 themes, my body, I am special, five senses, summer, animals, colors and currently we are doing shapes.  

We started the year with testing all the children to see where they are at.  Some of the children couldn’t hold a crayon.  The teachers have focused a lot on pencil grip and the children are improving already.  The children enjoy coming to the playgroup, one of the children picks a flower for his teacher every morning when he comes to school. 

A donation of a very healthy breakfast porridge was made by Bester Feed and Grain.  Start Well porridge does not contain a lot of sugar and the children really like it.  We are receiving this porridge for a trial period of three months, hopefully, we can continue with the porridge.  

The principal and teachers have managed to build a good relationship and trust with the parents.  The children are going on an outing to Monkey Town next week and they are so excited.

Little Builders Playgroup

Little Builders Playgroup creates a safe space for children between the ages of 3 – 5 years old.  Little Builders operates in Cloetesville.  The focus of Little Builders is to educationally stimulate these children to be school ready.

It was a good start for the year and we raced away with 18 children and the crèche grew to 23 at the end of the quarter. Many of the children graduated at the end of last year, leaving to go to Gr R.  More than half of the children are new to Little Builders and that always creates a few extra challenges. It takes a while for the new children to get used to the teachers, the new environment, new friends, new routine. The first weeks were challenging, but the children are settled in and are really happy and enjoying learning with their friends. At the end of the quarter, it is always nice to look back and see the progress that was made during the first few months.  Children develop and learn so quickly if they are in the right environment. 

The themes that were handled this year so far was I am special, my body, five senses, summer, Animals and colours.  Little Builders follows the Prochorus curriculum. 

A donation of a very healthy breakfast porridge was made by Bester Feed and Grain.  Start Well porridge does not contain a lot of sugar and the children really like it.  We are receiving this porridge for a trial period of three months, hopefully, we can continue with the porridge.  

 

 Support a School Child

This projects mainly aims to support underprivileged and deserving school children with basic academic needs. Though school fees were abolished for public education in South Africa, lack of basic items for school still remains a major problem in poor households in Kayamandi which often results in children dropping out of school because they do not have the resources to perform well academically and their confidence often takes a knock and results in dropouts and even worse some of them being involved in criminal activities.

This project aims to support such kids with the resources they need such as stationary, uniform, school development funds (which they are often expected to contribute towards), textbooks and aftercare classes as needed.

Last year we ended the year with ten children on our project. Two of our beneficiaries have relocated to the Eastern Cape and two successfully completed their Matric last year.

We welcomed three new beneficiaries to our project. Two of the beneficiaries are currently living alone in their parents’ home. Their mom has passed away and their father is currently in the Eastern Cape looking after his sick mother. The beneficiaries are brilliant performers at school and have a chance at successfully completing their schooling – with such assistance.   

We are praying and trusting the Lord for more funding opportunities so we can assist more children, as the need is great in Kayamandi. 

To give to this project go to https://www.givengain.com/cc/1000x50/ 

Challenges:

Our biggest challenge at the moment is getting enough donors to be able to provide 100% of the children’s needs. Social intervention is also a factor, as often these children have home-based challenges that affect them emotionally such as lack of food, emotional stimulation and as with most of our cases the absence of father figures in the homes.

DELFT

Early Childhood Development project 

‘God is good to us’, “God is helping us’, ‘How good is God’ are the thankful words on the lips of the wonderful crèche educators of Delft as we delivered 65 boxes of teaching equipment at their various crèches last week. The AmazingBrainz toolkits contain all the toys and equipment the educators need to present the curriculum they are being trained in effectively. 

What a privilege to be part of a community that knows that part of our mandate as believers is to see streams of justice flow. Trusting for even greater things by the grace of God.

 

Riebeek Kasteel 

Dream Again Foundation 

Prochorus has branched out to Riebeek Kasteel with the incredible project Dream Again Foundation (DAF).

DAF focuses on support and guidance to school going farm girls in the Riebeek Valley, age group 12-18. This is achieved by teaching the girls practical skills, facilitating identity discovery and exploring their unique gifts and talents in a mentor group context.  Further, the programme aims to encourage and restore hope and self-worth in the midst of adversities within the beneficiaries through mentor groups.

The groups provide additional support for the beneficiaries, assisting the girls in the Riebeek Valley to deal with the devastating impacts of poverty, emotional distress and violence. In doing so create one community of people empowered with purpose, healing, hope through support and education.

Ultimately the programme aims to disrupt negative cycles and raise them up to become change agents and leaders in their communities.