Violence in the home remains a critical issue for children. Amandla has developed a domestic violence strategy for Philippi, working with our partners to make sure the women leaving a violent situation have the support they need to rebuild their lives and for their children to stay in school.
The challenges our learners face are dire, and so many of them are due to generational poverty. For some children, the only meals they get are through school. Another of the data points we have seen is that whether or not a child has a quiet space at home to do schoolwork is greatly dependent upon their living situation: if they live in a house, 76% have a quiet space to study at home; if their home is a shack, only 54% can find a quiet spot to study. One of the critical resources our Safe Space provides is simply the stability of knowing you have a quiet space to study. The fact that we also provide educational support, counseling, health services, music, dance, and community means that they are able to come to us for one need and be provided with a safety net for so many more.
In addition to the work we do directly with students, we work on several fronts within the community to improve young people’s lives and provide them with a stronger foundation — one which can improve outcomes in our Cradle-to-Career philosophy. For example, our Literacy Working Group is comprised of multiple organizations who focus on teaching parents how to help their children develop literacy and numeracy even before they enroll in primary school.
Working with parents expands our reach into the community, as they will not only help their own children, but serve as ambassadors within their communities. Something as simple as reading to a small child regularly can have a tremendous impact on school readiness, which itself can impact a child’s self-esteem and resiliency.