Archive for the ‘Developments in Rooigrond’ Category

“A child must learn early to believe that she is somebody worthwhile, and that she can do many praiseworthy things…” ~ Benjamin Mays

Education is an important tool for breaking the cycle of poverty. However, the Rooigrond Early Learning Centre not only ensures that the children receive access to early education; but through the lifeskills element in the curriculum, it also ensures that they learn their value. They are encouraged to believe in their dreams, in themselves and their abilities. This serves to create a sense of self-determination in them from a young age, allowing them to know that their respective circumstances do not make them any less valuable.

All too often we see many young adults in Rooigrond who allow poverty to undermine their sense of worth, something we are changing.

The Rooigrond Early Learning Centre’s learners represent a new generation of Rooigrond, the generation that knows they can rise above any circumstance to pursue their dreams- a generation that knows that, despite their poverty they are just as valuable and important as every other human being…

“Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life? There is no deficit in human resources. The deficit is in human will. “~ Martin Luther King, Jr

Our will power combined with the kindness of others has ensured that our Daily Feeding Program continues successfully. We believe that, no child should ever have to go hungry, when there is enough food in the world for us all.

2011 saw our beneficiaries increasing from 483 kiddies to 556 kiddies. Though not an easy task, with challenges being met often, the Daily Feeding Program has become central to our operations. The knowledge that this is the only meal that most of these children have each day, is not always easy, but has becoming quite a driving force for us.

Playing a part in ending hunger in Rooigrond, not only brings great joy to us, but can make the difference between life and death for these children. Hunger can drive humans into doing things that no person, more so a child, should ever have to do- something that we can all play a part in eradicating.

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”~Maria Montessori

At Operation: ROOIGROND, we believe in the use of education and empowerment as a means of creating positive change. In April 2010, after seeing the potential in the children of the Rooigrond Informal Settlement, the idea of establishing an Early Learning Centre came about.

The Early Learning Centre would seek to nourish that potential in the children and would also aim to develop their self-determination from a young age, in an effort to ensure that they know and believe that their circumstances do not have to dictate what they become. However, bringing this idea to life wouldn’t be easy. Many thought it an over-ambitious dream and shot it down, we never gave up on the belief that it would happen and each day, whilst stepping through the village and seeing the little children, the belief we had in what we were doing just kept growing.

In May 2010, whilst discussing the plan with a local farmer’s wife, our belief and faith was vindicated. Her husband who happened to overhear our topic of discussion offered to buy building equipment so that an Early Learning Centre could be built. From that moment forth, blessing after blessing poured forth and through partnerships formed with others, the Rooigrond Early Learning Centre was built by the community.

On Monday, the 6th September 2010, the Rooigrond Early Learning Centre opened its doors to 30 learners from the Informal Settlement. It was welcomed with great joy and goes beyond educating the children of the community. The Rooigrond Early Learning Centre has become a symbol of hope to the community, a symbol of how faith coupled with hard work can make things happen…

Substance abuse and crime had become quite common practices amongst the youth of the Rooigrond Informal Settlement area. In an effort to tackle this problem, with the very appreciated assistance of Mr. Thabiso Moleleki and Orapeleng Khula, Golden Stars F.C was born, on the 30th November 2009.

It hasn’t always been easy, due to a lack of resources; yet the team members have faced all challenges with exemplary loyalty, dedication
and even now, they continue with amazing perseverance. The team has also made an incredible impact in the community, as they have managed to draw very supportive and dedicated fans, who go the extra mile to show their support for the team. Some even go as far as following the team by foot whenever they play outside games.

Golden Stars F.C. has built a sense of pride amongst the youth of Rooigrond Informal Settlement and every effort is made by us to ensure that the team’s great efforts are recognised and to ensure that they can continue in their journey of creating a legacy for the youth of the Rooigrond Informal Settlement area.

These fine young men are a shining example to the Rooigrond youth and serve to show that if given the right kind of support, people are willing to work hard to ensure that their dreams become a reality. True evidence that, “Together, we can overcome…”

Food of Hope

Posted: January 24, 2011 in Developments in Rooigrond

“Those who wish for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world are helping to make ending world hunger a major priority… Together we can end hunger”.~Robert Alan

The Rooigrond Informal Settlement area is an area that is characterised by poverty. Unfortunately, the ones that suffer the most are the children, who often go hungry. The idea for a Feeding Program came about in December 2009 and through the formation of partnerships, this idea became a reality and was implemented. In January 2010, we began feeding 483 children in the Rooigrond Informal Settlement. However, our benefactors have increased, as of the 13th January 2011, we feed 556 children daily.

The children usually come in 2 groups, with the first coming in just after 12h00. This group includes, children not of school going age; children who don’t attend school for some reason or the other and the lower primary school learners. The second group, which comes between 14h00 and 15h00 is the rest of the school children and the more older children in the community.

However, as can be expected from an operation of this magnitude, problems are encountered, but we always explore every possible avenue to overcome these challenges, in an effort to assist in ending hunger. For some of these children, the meal received here is their only meal for the day, hence our drive to overcome challenges faced.

Some of our beneficiaries enjoying their meal

The Feeding Program has indeed been a blessing for the community, as it does much more than just feed the children. It provides a meal that comes with hope, hope for change and hope for a better future for these children…