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A Mother’s Journey

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Stienie is sitting with us this morning telling us about how her children have inspired her. Her eldest son graduated from Children of Light Educare (COLT) in 2021 and his younger brother in 2023. Stienie heard about COLT from the other mothers in the Hadji Ebrahim informal settlement where she lives. She had seen how children attending COLT had benefitted from being in the Educare’s safe and loving environment, while developing the skills and life values that would help them advance to primary school.

Due to her battle with alcohol abuse one of the community leaders had been caring for her 2 sons, but Stienie was determined to take the step herself to enrol her eldest son at COLT in 2019. A keen learner he worked conscientiously and was very kind to the other children in his class. Also, he took it upon himself to help new children adjust to the Educare daily program on their first day.

Finding him placement at a primary school had to be delayed due to him not having all the necessary  documentation. He remained at COLT for an extra year while staff and Stienie followed up with his applications at Home Affairs. His father had died and this impacted on matters related to his documentation. This family’s plight served as a huge learning curve for COLT staff and led to the introduction of social services for our families.

Stienie is one of our parents who signed up for a 10 week parent education program, ‘Roots to Resilience’. The program is run by Arise Family, a Non-profit organisation (NPO) that offers family strengthening services. She says that the program facilitators provide a safe environment for the parents to express themselves, have fun, and at the same time focus on their relationships with their children and families. They are learning about empathy – learning to stop and think before just reacting and shouting!

This year Stienie started working at COLT as the general cleaner which makes her sons extremely proud. She says both boys tell her how much they love and support her. The road ahead is still bumpy, but now she has the tools to better navigate the future. Her medium term goal is to take her sons to the family home in Namaqualand to visit their grandmother and step sister. She has not been back home for 6 years.

Stienie demonstrates enormous courage and commitment to doing the best for her family, and COLT staff will continue to offer them support whenever possible.

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A Mother’s Journey

Stienie is sitting with us this morning telling us about how her children have inspired her. Her eldest son graduated from Children of Light Educare

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