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Literacy; opening doors and unlocking potential.

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“International Literacy Day celebrated annually on 8 September, is an opportunity for Governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world's remaining literacy challenges” - The United Nations.  At Graceland, literacy is something that is taken very seriously, we sat down with our wonderful Project Manager, Elizabeth to ask her to share some stories about the children at Graceland, and what literacy has unlocked in their lives. Here is what she had to say!  We are thankful to have a space to dream, think, learn and grow. Our library is our safe haven, where imaginations can run wild and free. It wasn't always this way, but thanks to the generous funding from Imperial Logistics in 2014, our children have a loft Library, something of which dreams are made of!  Before we had two old bookshelves in the teacher's office, but thanks to Imperial, we have a dedicated space to teach our children all about reading and …

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live...

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On attending the Agape 2018 Graduation, we were met with a beautiful success story of Odwa Siwundla, a young girl that grew up in Asanda Village. 
Odwa had attended Agape from the age of 10 months old, enrolled in early 2012 and remained in the school, successfully completing her Grade R in 2017. Odwa was always a quiet child but seen as a confident leader by her peers. She did very well with all her school work, and as children do, she always loved to play. At Agape they strongly believe in the beauty of learning through play. A child’s ability to learn is shaped during the first six years of life through a holistic approach which emphasises the importance of the child’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being.
Today, she is in Grade 2 in Somerset House; a unique, well known private school in Somerset West. For some, this may seem normal, attending a school in a suburban area, but the sad reality of it is, people living in impoverished areas don’t attend “good suburban” school…

BEHIND THE THEMBA TRAINING DESK

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BEHIND THE THEMBA TRAINING DESK
It is an early start to the day in beautiful, Nomzamo. I’m assisting the team who are handing out 500 fleece blankets to less fortunate community members. There are wonderful conversations on the go, and everyone is getting to know each other a little bit better. 


Nonkqubela, one of our Themba Training Alumni who had made these blankets, looks on from the side, pride evident in her eyes. To think that only 11 months ago, Nonkqubela arrived at our Basic Sewing Training course, barely knowing how to switch a sewing machine on. I feel very privileged to have been part of the team to produce these 500 fleece blankets for this event, knowing that 2 people benefit from each blanket here today: the person receiving it, and the person who earned a skill AND an income making it.
It doesn’t get better than this, I think.
I look around the sea of people and suddenly see a familiar face. Olwethu is only smiles and joy as I walk over to greet and quickly catch up with h…

Jamie-Lee

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#MandelaMonth - The Power of Education In 2015, Jamie-Lee’s father passed away, and she was struggling to juggle primary school while taking care of her two younger sisters. She and another friend heard about School of Hope and immediately ran to enrol. Jamie-Lee knew that if she didn’t jump on this opportunity, there may not be another one. After arriving at the school and speaking with the principal, she applied, and eventually enrolled at School of Hope.
In 2015, she began dating a gangster. While there were aspects of her life that had fallen into place, with his questionable values and morals, her partner began derailing her life. Jamie-Lee eventually dropped out of school and moved in with her boyfriend. After taking the fall for an illegal act her boyfriend performed,  she was arrested and spent a month in prison. Once she completed her sentence, Jamie-Lee knew she had to get her life back on track, as there was a better path somewhere out there for her. Jamie-Lee moved back in…

Luthfiyah

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#MandelaMonth - The Power of Education
Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Sometimes the most important tasks are the ones that seem the most impossible. Goals can seem too grand, too far, and as if there is no possibility of ever reaching them. However, once they are accomplished, when determination, support, and hope triumph over disappointment, disunity, and despair, then those goals that once seemed impossible are all the more fulfilling.

School of Hope provides support and opportunities to determined learners, offering a second chance for those who dropped-out and may be too old to attend a ‘normal’ Secondary School. School of Hope, is a Thembalitsha Foundation project, a Non-Profit Company, meaning it can only function through the financial support of its supporters. By donating R250 per month, you provide a learner with the means of making the impossible seem attainable. Previous supporters have afforded the opportunity of an education to learners a…

Sibahle

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#MandelaMonth - The Power of Education
School of Hope works with learners of all backgrounds, accepting applications from potential learners up to 21 years of age. Private donations provide School of Hope with the funds they need to provide learners with desks, food, and a safe place to learn with a dedicated staff that encourages their education and hopes for the future. Donate R250 each month to sponsor the desk of a learner, and provide School of Hope with the funds they need to operate and welcome learners like Sibahle through their doors. >>> https://www.hope.org.za/sponsor-a-desk





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Sibahle is a Grade 9 learner in School of Hope, is fourteen years old and dreams of one day attending university to continue her education after matriculation. She hopes to one day be a physio-therapist, stating that she loves helping people and relieving pain and discomfort. Currently, she enjoys her isiXhosa classes at the School of Hope, spending time with her friends that she has made at th…

Caryn

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#MandelaMonth - The Power of Education

Her name is Caryn, she is 13 and one of School of Hope’s Grade 8 learners. Caryn likes to sing, dance, rap, and read when she isn’t spending time with her friends. Caryn is enjoying her time at School of Hope, and already knows what she wants to do after she matriculates. She dreams of going to university and studying trauma psychology so she can be like the detectives she admires so much on television. During her time at School of Hope, she has met numerous children with stories that may be difficult to hear, but this has opened her mind to a future of helping others get through hard times. 

Her name is Caryn, and she has never considered dropping out of school. When asked why, she asks, “Why would I waste so much of my time by dropping out when I’m so close to being done? If I dropped out, I would not be able to do anything, no job, nothing.” She lives with her parents and younger brother, and although she enjoys school, she had great difficulty …