To influence the children in Windsor East, we've always spoken about how important the holistic development of a child is.
Project Ngonyama's Saturday program has been a great introduction to the children, and it is one of the most effective ways to get to know them. I still love the impact it has on our reputation in Windsor. Like yesterday, when we were driving to go buy some fruit and we passed some kids who were walking home. I stuck my head out of the window and shouted, "hello". The kids looked up at us at first in confusion, and then smiles spread across their faces as they started squealing and waving, shouting, "Ngonyama!"
At the end of last year, a conversation began about the possibility of us taking leadership at the after care that runs at the Windsor East recreation centre. We were very excited at the prospect, because that meant that we would have greater influence and face time with the kids. The decision was taken slowly, having consulted with lots of people along the way, however, a we finally arrived upon a consensus between Project Tshepo and us as to what it would look like, and how it would work.
This idea came to a final fruition one month ago.
Since then we have implemented some great incentives. We have introduced a daily and weekly structure to the program as well as establishing a great foundation from which we plan to launch a reading program within the Month. We've connected with all the parents and consolidated all the registered learners and gotten accustomed to the culture of after care.
We've had heartbreaking conversations about their lives, damning professional assessments of their intellectual, emotional and physical growth and tons of laughter and fun playing sporty games and creating colourful art together.
The size of the job facing us can seem daunting, and is going to take long, but we're prepared to tackle it one afternoon at a time.