Khula Community Centre

OVERVIEW OF GENESIS

The Genesis Trust is a registered non-profit and Public Benefit Organisation based in Port Shepstone in the Ugu District of southern KwaZuluNatal, South Africa. It was founded in 2002 as an outreach programme of the Norwegian Settlers Church to serve people infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, TB, unemployment and poverty.

Currently, Genesis has a 40-bed step-down palliative care ward as well as a Training Centre where students are trained to be become an accredited Home Based Care worker. Genesis also has youth centres, a crèche, after-school care, feeding schemes, a health clinic, food gardens, gymnasiums, a music academy, after-school maths tuition, interns’ leadership, a post-matric life skills group and a sports development project that serves the disadvantaged districts of Murchison, Mahlabathini, Marburg and in 2013 Genesis opened a centre in the seriously destitute community of Lamberts Bay in the Western Cape.

Several professional and ordinary people volunteer their services, as they recognise the valuable role Genesis plays in serving those in need.

OVERVIEW OF THE GENESIS KHULA COMMUNITY CENTRE
A Community in Need

The Mahlabathini district, some 45 kilometres inland from Port Shepstone, is a highly impoverished area, severely affected by HIV/AIDS, TB and unemployment with few facilities where children can be safe and cared for while parents/carers are away.

There are limited educational facilities for children below primary school level.  Women caring for local children are mostly uneducated and unable to prepare them for school.

Due to the financial constraints of the families, many children and elderly people are malnourished, which affects their health and general wellbeing.  Due to the distance from main towns and hospitals, the ill do not receive vital medical attention.

Meeting the Needs

The Khula Crèche was started in 2006 by a local pastor and his wife in response to the need for care and education for pre-school children. Genesis was approached for assistance, funds were raised and the Genesis Khula Community Centre was opened in 2010.  A steering committee of local residents, parent representatives and committed partners, together with Genesis staff manage the Centre.

Today the Khula Community Centre consists of the following facilities:

– A day crèche catering for up to 100 children between the age of 2 and 4 years

– A kitchen which provides about 250-300 warm meals per day for the crèche children and pupils from the neighbouring primary school

– Reading/Learning facilities and outside play/soccer ground

Health Clinic where about 150 patients, including their children are treated three times a month by mobile clinics from the Department of Health and Hospice, distributing medication, screening for STD’s and TB and attending to minor medical procedures. Education on parenting and on general child health is an important part of the impact of the Health Clinic.

All facilities support the community but the main focus is on the development of our children.

EQUIPPING CHILDREN FOR THEIR FUTURE

Four local women and a crèche manager committed to caring for children have been trained and are employed as teachers.  The crèche is registered with the Department of Social Development and follows a structured early child development (ECD) curriculum for children aged two to four every week day during the school term.  The Brain Boosters Programme has been obtained and is showing astounding results, with children’s educational and maturing levels comparing very favourably to almost any school in South Africa.  At present 76 children are registered for 2017 and more are expected as they turn two years of age.

There is a soccer field, a 13 metre jungle gym, a demarcated scooter and push-bike track, and a well-stocked library with books in IsiZulu and English.  Khula is a safe haven in often difficult and unhappy circumstances. 

In addition to these benefits, three local women are employed to prepare two meals daily for the crèche children as well as food for the after school children from the nearby Enxolobeni Primary School.

The long term impact on the lives of these disadvantaged children is supported by the fact that over the past six years 242 children have graduated from Khula Crèche to Grade R at Enxolobeni Primary School. The principal and teachers of the school support the work done at the crèche as the Khula children are better equipped to excel, often outperforming other learners. The solid grounding they receive develops self-discipline and maturity, and helps them to thrive in the large classes of up to 50 learners at the primary school.

MONITORING & EVALUATION

Genesis places a high value on maintaining good levels of accountability and the financial records have been audited annually since 2003.

Daily attendance registers are kept and the crèche manager ensures the curriculum is being adhered to. The children’s educational progress is evaluated each term through controlled assessment techniques and meetings are held with parents or carers on a regular basis. Monthly records and reports are kept submitted as per requirements.

Monthly meetings with the Khula steering committee, operations manager and the crèche manager take place to discuss the Centre and to monitor the needs of the community.  In addition, the operations manager submits monthly reports to the Genesis trustees.

THE NEW EDUCATION PROGRAM

South Africa’s schooling has its challenges and many children would miss opportunities because of quality issues and rules. Extra schooling is needed to fill the gaps in the present system. The Khula Community Centre will start two programs. One that will offer extra classes for grades R and 1 to 7. These children are 5-12 years old. And the second program is focussed on youngsters who failed matric. Matric is the last year at secondary school, so grade 12, 17-18 years old. At the moment Khula has 170 primary children grade R 7 (12 years old) and 11 post matric students aged 18-23. The afterschool project is twice a week on Wednesday and Friday for Maths and English lessons and also on Monday for Craft lessons. This takes place between 2-4 pm.

Why the post matric program? If students fail at secondary school, they are only allowed to re-write their exams at the high school, but are not allowed to sit in on the classes. Therefore, the way we are planning to  support them with tuition is to buy tuition material in the subjects they have failed in. We have a quote from Impaq Education, an accepted education program provider, and they can supply tuition materials and online tutor support. With the materials from Impaq Education we can support the students with their studies and help them to learn correspondently.