Pupils’ lives impacted by NPO

2015-11-17 06:00
Ikusasalethu board of management John Whitfield, Joe Mthembu, Jean Meikle-Braes, Wendy Smith, Peace Ntloko and Jill Lawton. Photo: supplied

Ikusasalethu board of management John Whitfield, Joe Mthembu, Jean Meikle-Braes, Wendy Smith, Peace Ntloko and Jill Lawton. Photo: supplied

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IKUSASALETHU, meaning “our future”, is an NPO that makes a huge difference in the lives of more than 400 Grade 8 and Grade 9 pupils at Thabela High and KwaNthebeni High schools in the Valley of 1000 Hills.

iKusasalethu spokesperson Joe Mthembu said: “Through a faith-based school curriculum the project equips young adolescents with knowledge, skills and values to make informed decisions and reduce risk-taking behaviour.

“It is with much sadness that we had to say goodbye to Botha’s Hill Primary pupils and teachers after many years of interaction - from 2008 to 2013 - with them. This has been a time of tremendous growth and development for teachers and pupils. Changes in the school curriculum have necessitated a move from the primary school context to high schools in the Valley.
“We would also like to express our appreciation to Mrs Khubisa, Botha’s Hill Primary principal, for allowing us the privilege of working with these outstanding young people.”

By moving to the two high schools, which receive the majority of pupils from Botha’s Hill Primary, the NGO is able to continue its relationship with pupils who participated in the initial three years of the five-year programme developed by iThembaLethu, Glenridge, he said.
“This programme has been implemented for 10 years in Cato Manor. It has been evaluated by the Health Economics and HIV/Aids Research Division at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.”

He said the plan is for youth workers to meet every child in Grade 8 and Grade 9 once a week for the duration of the school year.
“They use interactive methodology, group work, discussions, projects and worksheets to present a curriculum which includes understanding their own value, understanding the value of others, understanding sexuality, building a knowledge base regarding HIV and abuse, overcoming pressures to engage in risky behaviour and a positive orientation to the future and its possibilities.
“An extracurricular programme is to be introduced to reinforce the classroom youth and holiday club programme.
Mentoring sessions with youth workers will meet individually with children who request it or who are identified as needing support and counselling in terms of sensitive issues , including a leadership development programme and supplementary intervention with parents.

“Our vision is to positively impact the lives and future of young adolescents in the Valley of a 1000 Hills, who are impoverished and vulnerable to sexual abuse, HIV/Aids and violence. With long-term financial planning and large-scale investments, we aim to expand the programme to include more needy children in schools throughout the Valley of 1000 Hills.”

For more information on IKusasalethu contact
031 765 3080, email joe@hillside.org.za or visit www.ikusasalethu.hillside.org.za

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