Growing beyond poverty

by | Feb 8, 2016 | Lifestyle

Each One Reach One and Teach One. This can be said of the Anna Foundation, born out of one woman’s desire to assist disadvantaged schools, and providing after-school support to children living on farms in the Western Cape.

The Anna Foundation was founded in July 2005 by Anna Brom, a remedial teacher at the time, who was volunteering in disadvantaged schools, both on a farm and in a township in Mpumalanga.

Anna grew up on a farm in Stellenbosch, often playing with the farm children as a youngster, seeing first-hand the kind of environment that farm children are living in. Anna’s practical teaching in Mpumalanga was intended to be a few weeks but turned into 18 months.

Remedial education at these schools largely involved teaching basic literacy to schoolchildren of all ages. It was found that a large number of children, aged between 15 and 17, were unable to read at the level of an average nine year old. No special needs teachers were provided and no support supplied for slower learners.

Anna started by running support classes in English and maths for learners from Ipani Primary School in Middelburg, Mpumalanga. The school had no library or sports facilities. This sparked her ‘library-ina-box’ system, providing the children with their first ever taste of holding and reading their own books.

After the 18 months, Anna returned to Stellenbosch and that is when the 3 R’s Programme started on farms in the Boland. Currently, the Foundation is still creating a stimulating environment for rural children in the Western Cape and hopes to expand into other rural areas, but requires funding to do so.

“We run a professionally designed programme in the afternoons, called the 3 R’s Programme: Reading, Running and Right-ing’. It is aimed at learners from Grade R to 12 and involves education, sports and life skills programmes. We focus on the complete development of each child,” says Carolyn Clark, marketing and public relations manager of the Foundation.

The Foundation also trains women living on farms to manage the daily running of the 3 R’s Programme. Through this the women are given the tools and skills they need so that they can feel proud about their role as educators. It helps inspire them to grow and grants them an opportunity to better themselves.

The Anna Foundation Programme directly reaches over 700 children on farms and rural areas throughout the Western Cape. “We value having the backing of the wine industry as it is the arena where the majority of our children come from,” says Carolyn.

Visit www.annafoundation.com to see how you can get involved with this initiative.

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