Pebbles Project - Helping Children with Special Needs
| Our chosen charity is Pebbles Project in the Cape Winelands of South Africa. We have supported them for many years now by sponsoring children to enable them to attend crèche and give them a chance of early learning and development.|
Learn more about Pebbles and our children
Our sponsor children attend Villiera crèche - Ida is now working full time in the crèche as the crèche manager and is charge of the general crèche management. Annaline works half day in the crèche and half day in the after school club.
There is also have a social worker who is working with the children and their families on Villiera Farm. She will be addressing whatever needs they might have and any extra support that might be required. Villiera crèche was started in 1996. On average 25 children between the ages of 1 year to 6 years attend the farm crèche. Although all the parents of the children work on the farm, not all of them live there. Their homes differ vastly, as some grow up in farm houses and others in shacks (in a nearby squatter camp).
The crèche is actively supported by the management of Villiera and the crèche is almost fully subsidised by Villiera Estate itself. Parents are however required to provide the childrens daily food. A big focus this year, as well as providing all of our current support, is nutrition. This is a serious concern for us as many of the children have poor diets.
Ida and Annalene work and manage the crèche together and attend monthly Pebbles training sessions. The crèche follows a set routine each day; the children are divided into two or three age-related groups and educational equipment and materials are provided by Pebbles.
Football Kit for Pebbles
| Our two lovely grandsons Freddie and Bobby collected boxes of used kit from the teams that they play for and their Dad Ian, shipped it all to Pebbles - 8 big boxes full.|
Here are some of the delighted boys wearing the kit.
| Meet Jasmine, one of our sponsor children|
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/08/2009
Jasmine and her father live alone in a shack in the Simondium Township. Her mother and two older siblings live on a farm nearby, but very rarely come to visit Jasmine. Jasmines father takes good care of her, but he struggles to make ends meet.
Jasmine has just started school and we eagerly await another photograph of her.
Flenterskloof is a small farm in the heart of the Western Cape winelands. The community is made up of ten extended families and a number of seasonal workers and their dependants who stay on the farm part of the year. Flenterskloof itself is no longer a working farm so employment is found on neighbouring farms and businesses. The living conditions are cramped and basic with very little maintenance having been done over the past few years. The majority of the houses are made up of only two rooms for families, generally numbering eight or more. There is cold running water with a sink and a toilet attached although no bathing facilities are available.
The over consumption of alcohol contributes to most of the social problems experienced on the farm with the prevalence of weekend binge drinking.
The Flenterskloof crèche
Raasbekkies the crèche on Flenterskloof opened in 2011 in a small cottage. Pebbles at the beginning of 2012 renovated another bigger farm houses and a new crèche officially opened in February of this year. As a result of this we have been able to offer more children the opportunity to attend crèche and today we have thirteen children in Raasbekkies. The crèche is run by two community members Magdalene and Amanda who are both, receiving on-going training from Pebbles.
The introduction of the toy library which visits every other week has had a huge impact on the crèche children. The Mobile Toy library allows a child to choose their own educational toy to play with at home, before returning it two weeks later to choose another one. For most of these children this is the first time they have had a toy to play with at home.
The crèche has had a positive impact on the community and there are plans to build a community centre and make some improvements to the housing. The main focus for this year will be to establish a Pebbles After school club on Fenterskloof, that offers further support to those attending school. Pebbles believes with the right support and investment, many of these children will now complete their school education and have the opportunity to lead a full and happy life.
Click here to download an update about Jasmine
| Tom is our latest sponsor child. We are looking forward to receiving a photograph of him that we can share with you.|
Sibongumusa lives with his mother and grandparents in Wallacedean- a township near Villiera. His mother is 18 years old and is still at school. His grandmother works in the cellar at Villiera and she brings him to the crèche each day. Sibongumusa is a shy quiet child. He enjoys participating in the different activities in the crèche and particularly enjoys the free play sessions where he gets to interact with his friends.
The photograph above shows Misande on her very first day at her new special school. What a long way she has come with the help of Pebbles project and our sponsorship.
Misanda has been placed in Filia, a special needs school. She will start her new school in the beginning of 2013 and we are positive that Filia will be able to cater to the specific needs that Misanda has.
Misanda has grown so much since she joined Pebbles almost 3 years ago. The little girl with cerebral palsy who used to be shy and afraid, is now a more confident, friendly and happy child. We are overjoyed that Misanda will be going to Filia a Special Needs School next year. There she will receive the specialist care that will cater specifically for her needs.
This is what Misanda's crèche teacher had to say about her:
"Misanda was a wonderful child. We have seen her grow up before our eyes and the thought of her not being here at the crèche next year saddens me. I will always remember her as the little girl who loved to sing and hated getting her hands dirty. We will all miss her dearly."
| Nkohsikona was the first little boy that we sponsored - image soon!|
| The first little girl that we sponsored.|
Early Childhood Development Centres
| Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres|
Pebbles supports 16 farm ECD centres and 2 township ECD centres, our work supporting over 350 children aged 3 months to 6 years. We provide training for staff, furniture for centres, educational resources, libraries, a mobile toy library, social worker assistance and specific therapy for children with special needs. Where possible we assist with the renovation of an existing building or raise funds to provide a new building to accommodate an ECD Centre.
Pebbles has set up 9 after-school club facilities to cater for the needs of the children aged 6 - 16. Each club has a homework programme to assist the children with their academic school work and then our other programmes are divided into Junior Club activities and Senior Club activities and include sport, art, lifeskills, libraries and games boxes. We also supplement these programmes with additional workshops such as drumming, drama, music, jewellery-making, paper-making, careers advice and entrepreneurship.
Parents and Working with the Community
Pebbles provides 4 parent workshops per year for each farm, covering topics such as Substance Abuse, HIV/AIDS and TB, Positive Parenting, Money Management, Personal Development, Grant Advice and Health and Hygiene Issues.
Pebbles offers the younger children of the wine farms the opportunity to borrow an educational or recreational toy every fortnight. Many of the children that we support do not have the luxury of owning their own toys, so this is a very exciting way of developing their play skills and bringing so much happiness into their lives. The Toy Library was originally sponsored by Wines of South Africa (WOSA) UK Importers Committee and the SA Golf Open and has recently been sponsored by CJP Chemicals.