When I moved to South Africa in 2003, I was struck by the beauty of the country, and devastated by the poverty that prevails there. Daily, I passed through the slum Sir Lowry’s Pass Village on my way home. From the start, I felt an urgent need to help. Through friends, I first met Emily and then later the former headmaster of the school, Mr. MacDonals. One thing soon led to another and the first two projects were born: Help for Emily’s Soupkitchen and the school sponsorship for the Sir Lowry’s Pass Primary School.
Since then, several projects have been realized and new ones added continuously: the swimming project, the homework classes, the teaching assistants. For some time, my friends Anja and Sandra have been helping me on site. Of course, we all are volunteers. Administrative costs do not exist! Take your time to look at the individual projects. Thank you for your interest.
Since 2007 I’ve been trying, through the sponsorships, to give the children at the Sir Lowry’s Primary School a better chance for their academic futures.
With the sponsorship fees of 90 euros per year, we support both the sponsor children and the school. The sponsor children receive all the necessary stationery each year, as well as a new school uniform and a birthday present. When the children have outgrown their school uniform, it is of course not simply thrown away, but rather passed onto younger siblings or other family members.
Additionally, the fees pay for the salary of two assistant teachers.
This is incredibly important and necessary, as the classes are excessively overcrowded, with a student to teacher ratio of more than 40 to 1. Particularly for the lower Grades, a regulated routine is impossible. Many children start school without any pre-schooling. Even holding a pencil or scissors is totally unfamiliar to them. Therefore we want to diffuse the situation in the overcrowded classrooms a bit, with an assistant teacher. For this, we chose Zoleka and Damian both from Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, who thereby receive a regular income.
The rest of the money is used to help children who either are in desperate need of something themselves, or whose family is in need.
Normally the teachers and the headmaster Charlton de Morney suggest the children. They have to prove themselves in the first year of their sponsorship, by regularly attending school, trying hard, and not attracting negative attention.
If it turns out that the younger children are struggling to complete their homework at home, they can attend our homework classes in the afternoons free of charge (see also this project, that is fully funded through the sponsorship fees.) .
At the beginning of the school year (January) we are always looking for new sponsors. Please let me know in advance, if you would like to help, and take over a sponsorship.
My friend Sandra Mess is running the organisation of the sponsorships since the beginning of 2016. Of course also voluntarily. She is involved with a lot of love and I am very happy to have found a very energetic help in her.
In the slums of South Africa, learning to swim is not the norm and even most adults can’t swim. Every year, countless people, including many children, drown. After only recently two more children drowned nearby, it was clear that action was necessary!
Consequently, the Learn-to-swim-Project was launched. A transport company from the village gave us a good price and now transports the preschool children from Sir Lowry's Pass Village to a swimming pool in Somerset West. I found two swimming teachers who first ensured that the kids lost their fear of the water, then found the fun, and finally learnt to swim. We work close together with the Sir Lowry's Pass Primary school. All kids of the four pre school classes get once a week a swimming lesson during the whole school year. After successful participation in the course, our young swimmers receive a medal and a certificate. You can imagine how excited and proud the children will be. Here is a small video showing a few of the beautiful moments ...">
PARTICULARLY THE YOUNGER CHILDREN OFTEN STRUGGLE TO COMPLETE THEIR HOMEWORK
Often they are unable to work at home without being disrupted, or there is simply no suitable space. Therefore we offer homework classes in the afternoons. Zoleka supervises and helps the younger children in the facilities of the School. She also lives in the township Sir Lowry’s Pass Village and is able to earn a small salary through this work. This project is fully funded by the sponsorship fees.
Sir Lowry's Pass Village is a little village with lots of families and children with an underprivileged background. Thousands of people are living here in an inhumane condition.
Over 40 years ago, Emily’s mother Lucy founded a soup kitchen. She felt a need to feed the many hungry children. Everything started with a couple of sandwiches. Through donations, the project was able to expand and later on Emily took over the soup kitchen.
In 2005, I met Emily. I have now supported her and her outstanding work for about 10 years.
Through the help of many sponsors, the kids now don’t only receive a warm meal, but the soup kitchen has also turned into a kindergarten.
In 2013 and 2014 we were able to expand the school and now have three classrooms, which provide a safe space for the children. In summer, the rooms provide shade and in winter they provide a dry space. My friend Anja Dalton (see also About us) helped significantly with the expansion and organization, and was an important help in this demanding time. Emily’s Soup Kitchen turned into Emily’s Play School.
Emily has always been supported by a few women from the village. She herself has attended various trainings and courses. Some of the women want to follow in those steps and are waiting for the confirmation of a one-year training course. We have employed one more qualified teachers (Unita), who teaches the children age-accordingly.
Since Einfachhelfen also works closely with Sir Lowry’s Pass Primary School, we frequently receive praise and confirmation that those children coming from Emily’s Play School have been very well prepared for school.
We have completed the expansion and set the Play School onto a good path.
After many months of waiting, the government has now finally recognized and registered the Play School, and will in future provide financial support. Anja and I are very happy and proud, to be able to say that our work here is now complete. Emily will surely continue to ensure the children’s happiness and a successful transition to primary school.
Junell and Carolyn, two assistant teachers who are financed through the sponsorship fees, help the teachers manage the overcrowded classes of more than 40 children.
Particularly with the younger children, this usually leads to major problems.
Therefore, part of Junell and Carolyn’s job is to give support to the weaker students. They both also help us with the swimming project, in particular with the accompaniment on the bus to the swimming pool.