Off the street, into life
How childcare defies vicious circles
Everyday life on the streets of the township Kleinmond, 110 km East of Cape Town, is marked by drugs, violence, crime, a lack of perspectives and poverty. In the midst of it all: the children. This environment leads to many of them becoming victims of these structures. They grow up in a vicious circle of drug consumption and violence, which is near impossible to escape on their own – until they themselves start selling drugs at some point. They are thus denied a self-determined life; also due to a lack of education and support.
Kleinmond Care Center, a centre for disadvantaged children, is working to prevent this, and has set itself the goal of liberating children from this spiral of drugs, violence and crime and offering them a safe place to live that is free of violence. The DER Touristik Foundation financed the construction of the Care Center. Currently, the centre cares for 30 children aged between 10 and 13, acknowledges their rights and promotes their skills. Families in the townships can rest assured that their children are well cared for at the center.
Source: iThemba elitsha e.V.
“We cannot take that for granted here, with children as young as eight years old often being encouraged to consume crystal meth by drug dealers in public playgrounds. In addition to drugs, gang- and drug-related crime, teenage pregnancies and HIV infections are a major issue”, Simone Dimmerling, Project Founder, explains the dismal situation in the townships.
That is why children are accompanied by adults on their way from school to the Care Center. Afternoons start with a hot, healthy lunch, after which both employees supervise the children with their homework. When playing, doing handicrafts and singing, they can really behave like children in the spacious indoor and outdoor premises. During school holidays, the Care Center is open every day. Some activities include daily excursions such as to see the penguins at Betty’s Bay.
During normal opening hours, teenage mothers and children without a birth certificate receive teaching in the morning, since they are not allowed to attend public schools. And once children in afternoon care have returned home at 7pm, high school pupils receive private lessons here. What is more, the centre provides educational work to protect children.
Currently, the DER Touristik Foundation is funding a Xhosa-speaking teacher and a swimming course for 35 children.
iThemba elitsha e.V.
The name iThemba elitsha originates from the South African Zulu language and means “new hope”. The association helps children and young people from the township Kleinmond at Cape Town with a comprehensive range of services so as to escape the vicious circle of poverty, and thus develop new pleasures, the opportunity for an education and thus a self-determined life and perspectives for the future within a safe environment.