South Africa Series: Kathy McClure (part 4)

Giving Children Hope

Today we visited the Reagoboka Community Center. Much like the Maubane center I’ve been telling you about. This center feeds 181 children porridge before they go to school in the morning, and then has a EDC class of about 22 children ages 3-5. They also feed the children on their way back from school in the afternoon.

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Parents pay $5/month for their children to attend the EDC class. It costs less here than the $15/month at Maubane, because they have a small building already and are able to get a few government grants and stipends.

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After school is over around 1pm, the EDC children return home and the school age children are fed while they attend to their schoolbooks and homework. South Africa actually has a really good primary education system established with these workbooks and what they teach the children during the day.

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The municipality also installed the Enviroloo for the bottom part of the toilets. The TenDollarTribe through Help One Now paid for the construction of the top of the toilets.

Elizabeth runs the community center at Reagoboka. Tears filled her eyes as she shared about how she used to sit and pray every day for a bigger building to help these kids, and now God is answering that prayer!

You see, Elizabeth, is the daughter of “Gogo”—an elderly Grandma who has prayed for years, and still lives on the property in Reagoboka. Elizabeth has seen Gogo live out her faith and is using the talents God has given her. It is because of her gift of administration and management, and because of how God has miraculously moved through unique fundraising supporters, that Reagoboka is where it is today.

In order to get stipends and grants from the municipality for an Early Childhood Center, you need a building. In order to get a building, you need money. You can’t continue on with the grants, until you have an inspector come and give you the go ahead.

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They are currently half way through the construction of the next building, which will be much like the building under construction at Maubane. It is a blessing that Maubane and Reagoboka are so close in proximity because the buildings can be constructed at the same time. When the cement trucks come out, they go to both locations. And the kids love to see these big trucks that are so rare to see! You can see in these pictures that the roof has been poured. 

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The next step is to finish the skylight, walls, windows and all the furnishings. The skylight will be burglar proof and very similar to these skylights in the current children’s room.

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Abba’s Pride is another organization that the Take Action team supports. This group comes in and trains the teachers on how to organize a classroom, what toys to use and when, and so on. They provide more valuable training than the actual training one must take to receive their ECD training certificate. To give you an idea of the children’s day:

– Served Breakfast

– Morning Routine (calendar, weather, etc.)

– Child Development (this month’s topic is fire safety)

– Nap from 11am-12noon

– Lunch and the parents pick up the children

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Each teacher must continue their education training once per month. At this they learn how to have patience, love the children better, and so on. Take Action is very pleased with the Reagoboka teachers because they are so good at applying what they are learning. 

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We were fed a delicious and authentic South African lunch of bogobe (porridge), morogo (spinach and potato mash), chakalala (beans and vegetables) and kgogo (chicken).

Foreign food can be scary, but I can’t begin to tell you how delicious this food was!! I especially loved the spinach/potato mix and the beans!!! I could literally eat it at every meal.

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This afternoon we toured two different homes. There are no words for their poverty.Their position can easily feel hopeless. If they take a taxi to Pretoria (2 hours away because of taxi switches), it will cost them about $17. A days wages for being a gardener or house servant would only be about $30. So half of their wages goes to transportation. If they don’t have a job they can get a grant of about $35/month but they must stand in line for 3-4 hours once a month to receive their pay and go through a lot of paperwork.

The Reagoboka Caregivers (a team of ladies that goes out into the community to help households like this family and check up on them—kind of like our social workers only they serve the family too) has given them blankets, given them vision, guidance and encouragement and has helped them learn the skill of budgeting. Now instead of spending their money on food right away, they are able to allocate savings for things they need to buy, like beds.

South African Words I Learned Today

“buck – ee” – pickup truck (in Afrikans)
“robot” – traffic light (in Afrikans)

FYI: I am not going to try to spell the actual word in their language!
Just pronounce it like I wrote it above, and you got it! 🙂

-Kathy

Written: 9.14.16