Mafikeng Education Programme
SOS Africa Charity's first child sponsorship scheme started in 2003 to provide education and care to underprivileged children from the townships surrounding Mafikeng, South Africa. It represents the birthplace of the charity's operations in South Africa and since the scheme was first introduced, it has expanded to empower 20 children from the region through education.
Mafikeng Background Information
Mafikeng is the capitol city of the North-West province of South Africa and has a growing population of 292,000 people. It is a town rich in cultural history but has a struggling economy hampered by the gradual decline of South Africa’s mining industries. The town itself is surrounded by large township dwellings, the residents of which suffer from high unemployment and limited access to reputable educational institutions.
In the 2011 census, the town reported a 46.5% unemployment rate among its youth (ages 15-34). The limited access to education is of further concern given that the 0-4 age range represents the town's largest age group (11.4% of its total population).
SOS Africa Mafikeng Education Programme
In addition the charity provides each child entered onto this programme with transport, school clothing and school stationery; essentially everything they will require to excel both in and out of the classroom. 13 years on, 20 children now benefit from this scheme and the charity's first child Mavis has recently graduated from High School and gained a college scholarship.