Over the years I had watched that hardly any of our farm children finish their 12 years in school: many girls seem to become pregnant as teenagers and then drop out and the boys kept telling us that they have to start work, because their parents cannot afford to pay the school fees.
Believing that education is the key to South Africa's future, I used every possible opportunity to try and persuade the youngsters to stay in school, mostly to no avail.
In 2002 we therefore decided to pay all the school fees for all the children of our employees, hoping that more children would be willing to attend school and accomplish their final matric exam. Despite this we had no dramatically positive result or change in the general pattern.
When Pebbles introduced us to the idea of starting an After-School-Club in the hall next door to the Kindergarden it made perfect sense: instead of hanging around in the afternoons, being bored and tempted to try out drugs and do nonsense, our ~ 45 school children are now being helped with their school work by 2 teachers who come to us from town every afternoon.
They are being taught life skills, for example how to avoid being abused, how to stay away from drugs, how to prevent pregnancy and Aids, they play games and all kinds of sport, they do art and some handcraft and enjoy playing drama.
The children visibly enjoy being occupied in the afternoons and I sense that we have much more of an atmosphere of learning and diligently doing school work, than ever before.
At the end of the year we were awarded by a fun concert, including various scetches, the playing of the Nativity scene and singing of Christmas carols.
Have a look at the pictures below.
The arrangement with Pebbles is the same as for the Kindergarden:
Pebbles trains and monitors, checks and controls the 4 teachers, the running of the Kindergarden and the ASC and our family business pays their salaries.
It is a wonderful symbiosis which must eventually result in the upliftment of our farm people.
For more information on Pebbles please click here: