Access to Education
Access to education is an essential strategy to improve the health and well being of individuals and communities. Here in Nkandla, education attainment is low, with just 1 in 5 people over the age of 20 having matriculated, and nearly a third reporting that they have had no schooling at all. For the children and families we serve, the opportunity to go to school means everything. Still, there are many barriers that may get in their way of success. As a result, we focus much attention on educational support, because we know that a child’s hope for the future depends on his or her education today.
Sizanani came into my life when I was 12 years old, after the death of my mom. My situation at home was very bad. I was staying with my dad who was sick and my little brother, and it was my responsibility to take care of them. No one was working and there was no income at home. Sizanani took my father to the hospital but unfortunately it was too late and he died. We were left alone, and Sizanani supported us educationally, legally, psychosocially and environmentally. After matric, Sizanani employed me as a domestic worker. After a few months, I registered for a Social Auxiliary work course and Sizanani was responsible for payments of the course, transport and even accommodation. After I graduated, they employed me as a Social Auxiliary Worker and Peer Educator. Today, I am giving back to my community and to the youth too in schools. I feel so proud to help my community! Thank you Sizanani for your kindness and love and for the courage that you have instilled in me. I am who I am today because of you Sizanani and I am so proud of you… Thank you!
Research has shown that providing school uniforms to children in need has significant benefits. In fact, having the proper school uniform increases a child’s self esteem and sense of belonging. This leads to lower absentee rates and higher student participation in class. Another important consideration is weather, particularly in autumn and winter, when temperatures are quite low. The uniforms we provide include a warm jerseys, socks and shoes, which can really make a difference.
Sizanani’s Peer Education programme is led by four community caregivers who received additional training. They work in partnership with local schools, community groups, and clinics to establish, train and guide peer education groups. They train learners to facilitate informal education sessions at their schools. Their involvement ensures that information on topics identified by the students is disseminated widely. The goal is to help their peers make informed, healthy decisions regarding important issues that affect their lives. In addition, the learners trained in peer education develop their own leadership skills, which will benefit them in both social and workplace situations for the rest of their lives.
The number school aged children served by Sizanani. All together, these young people live in 871 of the families that we serve.
The number of school uniforms that were provided by Sizanani in 2015/16 alone. This was made possible because of the generous support we receive from donors throughout the world.
The number of children who participated in Sizanani’s Saturday educational playgroups last year. These playgroups also offer a fun, positive alternative activity in Nkandla’s most remote areas.
The number of teens who participated in one or more Peer Education sessions, including 6 Life-skills Core modules. A total of 64 sessions were hosted at 9 local schools, just last year.