Families

Our work would be incomplete if focussed only on education of children. A key to breaking the poverty cycle is to address the needs of whole families, which helps to ensure that the next generation can build on firm foundations.

Through the education projects, we address the health needs of families, by providing consultation, and basic treatments like vitamin supplements and deworming treatments. We refer serious medical cases to organisations (like Samaritans Purse) which specialise in helping these children.

Every year, our staff runs several marriage and family seminars, teaching a range of topics designed to help strengthen the family unit. These teachings include conflict resolution, financial management, child rearing, as well as issues relating to intimacy and healthy relationships. These teachings have been very well received, and several hundred couples have participated.

In 2009, we started a new project to help families living in rural towns, where unemployment is extremely high. Most families live on plots of about 500 sq.metres, and one of our staff families has started training some families to use the land to grow vegetables. Starting with 10 families in 2009, seven in 2010 and another 10 in 2011, the team has been invited to other provinces to conduct training events. In addition to teaching how to enrich the soil and grow healthy fresh vegetables, the families are taught how to use their produce, how to store it in winter, and how to market the excess to hotels and guesthouses. In addition to the obvious health and economic benefits, we have seen how the inclusion of children in the projects has strengthened family relationships and the educational foundation as the whole family participates in sowing, caring and harvesting.