The trustees of the St Francis Outreach Trust, who run the Homes to Grow project in Masiphumelele, are faced with the increasing cost of maintaining two foster care homes, as well as covering the expense of all the school needs of 12 children. Although there are some government grants available for education they are not easily accessed therefore the Trust is reliant on the generosity of donors.
Over the years school fees have vastly increased - for example, an average cost per year for one child is: R22,000.00 / £1,200.00 / €1,350.00 / $1,540.00. This figure does not include other items such as books, stationery or uniforms.
Many of the children, due to past circumstance had a poor start without proper schooling, some never had the opportunity to attend school. Most were well behind their peers, never having learned the basics. The trustees have worked tirelessly to remedy this situation by engaging a team of remedial teachers who supervise school homework; the home foster mothers who instill routine and volunteers who assist with reading and language skills. A dedicated classroom has been built onto one of the homes and afternoon lessons and homework are assiduously undertaken. Through a process of assessment over time, the children have been placed in the correct grade and attend schools recommended for their individual aptitude - whether academic or technical.
This has been a tremendous challenge since the Trust was established in 2009 and it is wonderful to see the transformation of these once fearful and shy children, now so full of confidence and improved in school performance.
With your generous care and support may these promising children continue to have a chance in obtaining a decent education and aspire to becoming self sufficient and productive citizens.