Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 60
Although South Africa is world renowned in terms of wine production, the communities who live on the farms are often forgotten. Many of the people who used to be generational farmworkers are no longer permanently employed as seasonal jobs has become the main form of livelihood on numerous farms.
Seasonal workers are constantly rotated, meaning that several who live on the farms are now unemployed and stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one side, they can’t relocate to the informal settlements in the area without the fear of being completely ostracized, and on the other, staying on the farm means that they have to do so without any support.
This has led to a situation where the farm workers of old are caught in a cycle of generational poverty. Because there are no pre-schools or schools in the area, and because there is no money to send them away to school, the children remain at home, trapped in the same cycle and subject to all of the evils associated with living in poverty such as alcoholism and abuse.
One of the only ways in which to break this cycle effectively is through education.
Op die Plaas Pre-School started this mission, to educate and support the children of their community, in 2012 and have not looked back since. They currently have 60 pupils ranging from 3 to 7 years of age, getting them school-ready and developing them not only intellectually, but also emotionally.
It is a place where little lives are transformed with love and support in a safe environment, providing children from previously and presently disadvantaged communities the opportunity to receive excellent early childhood development education that will set them up for a successful schooling career and becoming confident adults living life with purpose.
In order to ensure the continued support and success of the students, there is also a community centre next to the school. Here, graduates from the school, along with other children of the community, are given nutritional meals, homework support, computer classes and supervised activities, keeping them safe and on the right track to a better future.
The dream for Founder Jo Swart and her team is to duplicate this model in other communities where the same struggles exist, but the project needs to become self-sustainable in order for that to happen. The parents pay a minimal school-fee per child and even though they receive sporadic donations and a small contribution from the Department of Social Development, continual support is needed for them to grow.
Photographer: Eugene du Plessis from Take My Hand NPC | Voice Artist: Sisipho Mbopa | Writer: Eugene du Plessis