ZAKHELE Programme in South Africa
Za Foundation fund a dynamic youth group called Zakhele. This group, based at our partner charity Thembalethu, are the cornerstone of all our programmes. They use music and drama to deliver important educational information to local children and young people relating to HIV/AIDs and other social issues.
The group work throughout the Nkomazi area and in addition, every two years, Za Foundation fund the group to visit the UK. They visit schools in North Somerset interacting with nursery, primary and secondary school children. The aim of these UK visits can be found on the Za in the UK page.
The Zakhele programme in South Africa
- Ante and Post-natal Clinics: The group work in clinics located in Schoemansdal, Jeppes Reef and Buffelspruit. They use drama to convey information to young mothers. These dramas have been created in conjunction with the clinic management and staff to ensure that they incorporate relevant issues e.g.
- the transmission of HIV from the mother to the child
- the importance of taking conventional medicines and not mixing these with traditional medicines from the Sangoma / witch doctor
- information on basic hygiene skills
- encourage family planning
2. Schools Programme
In schools they dramatise the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, they portray both the personal and social tragedies of HIV, rape and teenage pregnancy and they discuss the impact of bullying and social exclusion. Furthermore they help them understand the necessity for compassion, sensitivity and tolerance. In such a troubled society it is imperative that young people are empowered to take control over their lives and that they are given the tools to become street wise and safe. The subjects covered are aligned to the South Africa National Education Department: Life Orientation Curriculum.
3. After School Clubs
After school clubs are run by our partner charity Thembalethu, set up to assist orphan and vulnerable children from the local community. They operate at the end of the school day, Monday – Friday, in the areas of Schoemansdal, Jeppes Reef and Bufflespruit. In these clubs, Zakhele play a defining role as if they were surrogate parents. They become teacher, mentor and good listeners for these very vulnerable children. Each child is provided with a hot meal, help with their homework and through the drama provided by Zakhele, they are taught the life-skills that are essential to help them cope at home and in the community. In addition, care workers from Thembalethu, are on hand to identify and where necessary, provide assistance with any problems that these children may have at home.
These clubs are nothing short of ‘safe-havens’ for the most vulnerable children in this community that are often traumatised and confused in a world without their parents.
4. School Uniforms
Za Foundation provide funds for the purchase of school uniforms for the orphan and vulnerable children that attend the After School Clubs.