In the impoverished neighborhood of Sowetho (formerly Itipini community), in Mthatha, South Africa, education takes a back seat to daily survival in an area rift with poverty, unemployment, lack of food and sanitation. Many parents, disabled by addiction are not motivated to encourage education, assist with homework or involved in the school life of their children. In this environment children are exposed to violent crime, domestic violence and the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.
In years past student attendance was inconsistent due to lack of parental support. The free school the children attended was known for an inferior education, lack of moral/emotional support, and crime.
Near the beginning of the new school term in 2019, the parents and children of Sowetho were offered an opportunity to send the children to boarding school at nearby St. Patricks’s Catholic School. Under the guidance of Touching Acts, a non profit organization directed by Noluyolo (Yolo) Mehlomakulu, 20 children, ages 5-13 in grades R-7 enrolled in St. Patrick’s with the tuition and boarding paid by the municipality of Mthatha.
As the year has progressed, Yolo and her volunteer staff of 3 have arranged for school break camps to provide for a safe and loving environment away from the student’s Sowetho home. The camps provide:
spiritual enhancement with prayer
counseling to access psycho social issues
life coach sessions to envision their future
social workers to study individual interactions
plenty of play time to just be kids.
Arm In Arm In Africa is proud to partner with Touching Acts and is very grateful for their involvement with this community. Support from AIAIA for the Sowetho children includes funding for school uniforms, personal supplies and camp.
Area: Sowetho, South Africa
Assistance: Food and clothing