BecomingKids is an early intervention program focusing on high-risk children living in the Cloetesville area. This programme addresses the needs of the children through a holistic approach focusing on the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of each child. The program is based on the philosophy that children need to be children and strives to create a safe space where they can flourish as individuals.
We now have homework club on Tuesdays as well as on Thursdays. Tuesday homework club is still run by grade 10-12 Paul Roos learners who offer their time to come and help the children with homework and to help them develop skills like planning, organisation, critical thinking, etc. Stellenbosch High School also wanted to become part of the homework club, and they are responsible for Thursdays.
Trauma is a part of life, and this is especially the case with the children on our enrichment program. They are repeatedly exposed to different kinds of emotional trauma. We are trying to create a safe space where our kids can be and hopefully feel safe enough to share with the BecomingKids staff.
Our children still receive two cooked meals a week which is provided by our partners within the community. Better nutrition improved the general health of the children and enabled them to concentrate for more extended periods at a time. We recently received an egg cooker that helps us give a more balanced meal to the kids on days that they do not have cooked meals. The children love boiled eggs, and it is so easy to make with the egg cooker that they can participate in the making of their lunch.
Parent support programme
At the end of 2015, we invited all the of the mothers, fathers, aunts, foster parents or grandmothers involved in the children’s lives to join us for a session once a week where we talk about the challenges of raising children in the Cloetesville context and how to support them the best way possible. The parents came, and the first group is almost two years old.
The mentorship programme is a programme where the mentors meet with their mentees every week for one hour. The mentor sessions consist out of 20 minutes of working on an academic problem area of the mentee, 20 minutes on emotional intelligence and life skills, and the last 20 minutes is spent by playing games or practising a hobby together. These relationships are essential for all our children as they learn about different lifestyles, study areas and given hope for their future. The feedback from volunteers has been fantastic and they keep on mentoring year after year.
At the start of 2017, she started therapy for our children twice a week in the afternoons. Most of the children in our program have experienced traumatic events in their lives. Children also have trouble voicing their experiences, so we address this by using colour therapy in individual sessions in the afternoons. These sessions enable the children to give voice to their experiences and perceptions of certain events.
Camps and outings
We believe that children learn the best through first-hand experiences. So to facilitate such experiences we have some different outings and camps throughout the year. The excursions expose the children to different experiences and broaden their knowledge and world view