Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R4,400.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 1 | Amount of People in Need: 225
In a place where history breeds poverty and poverty breeds violence – making in itself an entirely new heartbreaking history – what if we took some time to read a book? Dream a dream? Imagine?
Ntombenqaba Petros has asked herself those questions many times over the course of her life. In the early 2000’s, she started to volunteer with the University of Cape Town project SHAWCO, where she went around Capetonian township schools to foster a love of reading in students.
One day, a parent asked her if she had ever considered opening an educare centre, where she could ingrain a love of reading in the children of Nyanga, her poverty-stricken home. That question catalyzed not only the establishment of Masakhe Community Development Programme, which educates and cares for 225 Nyanga children under 6 every weekday, but a weekly Reading Club where children of all ages are welcome.
Every Saturday, Ntombenqaba hosts this free reading session, where books and stories are used to carve out light in the midst of a lot of discord.
Currently, the centre has 8 classes spread out over two sites – 3 classes in Ntombenqaba’s home, and 5 classes in donated classrooms in the churchyard down the road from there. Along with Ntombenqaba, Masakhe Community Development Programme has 11 other caregivers who make it their business to set up their students for success.
The Department of Social Development helps the team with a monthly grant for 36 children, which covers only one-sixth of the centre’s basic expenses. This is supplemented by monthly fees from parents, which range from R250 to R120 a month.
The centre struggles financially, and staff salaries are often sacrificed to make the money that does come in, last longer.
Photographer: Donovan Hanslo from Hanslo Photography | Voice Artist: Usisipho Ngxubaza | Writer: Ané Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Children and Youth, Development, Literacy