02 November 2013

How to make a difference on South Africa's National Children's Day

Today is National Children's Day in South Africa! It is celebrated on the first Saturday of November. Earlier this year, my charity, CHW, linked with a new project - a Homework Centre in the Eastern Cape. It is the first South African organisation CHW linked with outside Cape Town (which is in the Western Cape). The Eastern Cape is one of the poorest provinces in South Africa.

Most of the children helped by the Centre are brought up by their grandparents, or are in single parent families. The Centre runs after-school programmes from Monday to Thursday, and gives children educational and extra-curricular support. More and more children want to attend the Centre. While this is good, it means the Centre itself needs more support, to maintain the high standard of assistance it gives the children. Those running the centre asked CHW for the funds for ten new tables. We raised the money quite quickly. The Centre has purchased the wood and the tables are in the process of being made right now! 
Children at the Homework Centre

Education is so important for children. Everyone at the Homework Centre believes this, and puts their greatest effort into supporting children with their schooling. There are ways that everyone can help though. In keeping with the South African theme, here are some ideas from the Nelson Mandela Day website:
  • Find out from your local library if it has a story hour and offer to read during it.
  • Mentor a school leaver or student in your field of expertise.
  • Donate your old textbooks, or any other good books, to a school library.
  • Offer to provide tutoring in a school subject you are good at.
  • Paint classrooms and school buildings.
  •  Donate a bag of art supplies.
  • Mentor someone. Make time to listen to what the kids have to say and give them good advice.
There are more suggestions of simple good deeds to do here (and not just to do with children and education). Although the idea is to take action to help others on the official Nelson Mandela Day, which is 18 July, it would be great to take action to help children on any day of the year! As the slogan says, 'Make everyday a Mandela Day.'

Please feel free to add any more ideas on how to help support children with their education in the comments section below.
From the Nelson Mandela Day website

I admire the passion the founders of the Homework Centre have, for supporting the children's education and for aiming to give them a brighter future. The Homework Centre will keep me updated with the progress of the tables and I look forward to fundraising for them again in the future! If you want to keep up with news from the Homework Centre, see their page on CHW's website.

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