Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
Many families and children that Tateni works with are caught in the “poverty-trap” fuelled by ignorance, feelings of helplessness and poor life style patterns. This condition is transferred from generation to generation.
To make a difference to people's lives that is sustainable, the cycle of poverty must be broken. With this in mind, Tateni launched an initiative that goes beyond caring for the sick, vulnerable and poor through its exiting home-based and child care services. It is a strategic intervention aimed at assisting some of the most vulnerable households, as well as the most gifted children in poor households that are on Tateni´s client list, to break free from those forces keeping them locked into poverty. This is done via the “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty” Program that aims at providing psychosocial support, child and family counseling, career guidance, extra classes and skill development for participants.
In order to meet the objectives and targets of the Program, Tateni provides the following:
- Home-based care and support for the chronically and terminally ill
- Promotion of community awareness through campaigns
- Social care and support for HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children
- Manage Drop-in Centers for orphan and vulnerable children
- Do referrals for child support grants and shelters
- Supply food parcels to those waiting for social grants
- Educational programmes for out of school beneficiaries to assist them to complete school level qualifications and to offer them career counseling
- pro bono services
- Serving as a channel through which people can give to the needy
- Creating platforms on which people can render volunteer services
- Forming coalitions and collaborations with other community, business or corporate service providers
- Requesting for “Give As You Earn” donations for which Tateni is authorised
- Capacity building for staff through workshops and courses
Extra Classes for Learners
Tateni offers three Saturday classes a month to more than 200 grade ten and eleven students three high schools. Classes run from 08:00 - 14:00 and a meal is provided at 11:00.(Unfortunately, the number of learners had to be cut from 260 to 200 because of a lack of resources, and quality maths, science and accounting teachers.) Learners are not only taught an academic curriculum, but also life skills dealing with topics such as safe sex, respect, morals and values, peer pressure, bullying, substance abuse and coping skills. Role models and motivational speakers are invited to encourage and motivate learners to focus on school work; For two weeks during the winter holidays we zoom in on maths and science. Learners are given revision from the beginning of the year to help them pass their exams at the end of the year. The other objective of holiday classes is to occupy their time and stimulate learning, so as to prevent children from otherwise wandering around and becoming easy prey for drug lords and other criminals.
Some of the immediate needs for which contributions and sponsorships are required include:strong>
- Teachers and tutors for maths, physical science and accounting
- Catering for 240 learners for two Saturdays a month, as well as 10 days in the June school holidays
- Overhead projectors
- Mentors and coaches
- Motivational speakers
Tateni wishes to acknowledge the generous sponsorship of Unisa’s College of Education for the Saturday classes as well as the school holiday camps. We also thank the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) who pledged additional finances and resources to include more learners during the June school holidays.
Motivational talk Students at Vlakfontein High School
Alleviating Poverty and Hunger through Education
The problems faced by the community (e.g. poor matric results, teenage pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, and a high rate of school drop outs) cannot be solved by teachers alone. Children must be provided with the psychological strength to be able to cope with all kinds of pressure by the time they reach high school and continue making them believe in themselves, that they can be achievers and excel in their studies no matter what the challenges. They need consistent mentoring and guidance as well as good role models. We need to work hand in hand with teachers to identify and reward good effort and outstanding performance at an early age.
Although Tateni already have Drop-in Centers where vulnerable children are fed a full meal after school, most of them go back to "empty" homes where they are raised by single parents or extended family members who are mostly unemployed and illiterate, and cannot deal with modern day teenage problems and challenges. There is seldom anyone encouraging them to study or to help with homework. Children often have to do a lot of housework like cleaning, cooking and taking care of other siblings. Such an environment is not conducive to studying and can negatively affect children psychologically.
Facing these challenges, Tateni responded by expanding their involvement in the community by looking at ways of eradicating poverty and alleviating hunger. Tateni is working on an action plan (with clear reporting structures, objectives and monitoring channels) to address this, and staff is already getting the necessary training. This is the largest project that the organization is embarking on, its more pro-active and long overdue.
What Tateni hopes to achieve is to see most of the children of Mamelodi not only finish high school with good grades, but also having chosen subjects that will see them follow good careers. We want to encourage those that have dropped out of high school to go back to school, and those who passed with poor grades to do Saturday or night school so that they can improve subjects and be helped with employment or tertiary education. Education is the foundation for reversing the cycle of poverty.
Some of the immediate needs for which contributions or sponsorships are required include:
- School uniforms and sports gear (R700 a year buys a jersey, shoes, underwear and two shirts for a child)
- Extra lessons for children with learning challenges (e.g. offering Saturday school, or computer lessons)
- Mentors and role models (e.g. "big brothers and sister")