Somerset West Education Programme
SOS Africa's Somerset West Education Programme was established in early 2017 and funds the education and care of underprivileged children from the Lwandle/Nomzamo Townships. This initiative now supports the education and care of 12 primary school and 3 high school children and funds learning support programmes for 45 children from Somerset West Methodist School.
Lwandle and Nomzamo are township dwellings based in the Helderberg Basin. The settlements were originally established during the Apartheid era to accommodate single male workers, but have since expanded into family homes at a rapid rate. The population of the Nomzamo Township alone stands at over 60,000.
Due to its high population density and reliance upon seasonal work, many of the Nomzamo households are heavily reliant upon social welfare with no other sources of sustainable income available. Education is also problematic; there are only a limited number of places available in mainstream schooling for children living in this region. Furthermore, many of these children are surrounded by poverty, gang violence and abuse in their every day lives.
Somerset West Methodist School
SOS Africa formed a partnership with Somerset West Methodist Primary School because of its great need for educational support with large class sizes and limited resources. The school itself has between 850-900 pupils attending from Grades 1 – 7. Despite these challenges, the teachers have a wonderful attitude when it comes to giving the children the best they can in terms of education.
The school itself is very popular because of its ability to offer English classes as well as Afrikaans. This caters for many of the Xhosa families whose second language is English. We were very excited to partner the school as we felt there is so much that we could do to support them.
SOS Africa's Somerset West Education Programme
SOS Africa's Somerset West Education Programme is run from a building situated at the centre of the school campus. A hub of constant activity, the building has a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere which embodies SOS Africa's enthusiastic and passionate approach to the education process.
One of the education centre's major strengths is its Learning Support Programme which is spearheaded by the charity's reading programme expert, Eden McDonald. Since its introduction in 2018, many students have graduated from SOS Africa's reading programmes which seek to eliminate barriers to learning, enabling children to excel in the classroom and reach their potential.
SOS Africa Somerset West is also known for the variety of extra-curricular activities offered by its holistic education programme including yoga, art classes and the children's favourite, Kung Fu...
January 2020 represented a very proud moment for SOS Africa Somerset West staff as the programme's first 3 primary school graduates were accepted into Hottentots Holland High School.
More than anything, the centre represents a safe space for children with very challenging backgrounds. They know that every afternoon they will have a place to go where they will receive care and support which will enable them to grow and indeed flourish...
Find out about SOS Africa's other Education Programmes...