Signature of Hope Trust Kicks Off School Shoe Project in the Western Cape

non-profit organisation in South Africa

Cape Town | May 2016

1,150 school shoes distributed to children within the Western Cape. This was the first leg of the Signature of Hope Trust’s school shoe project for 2016.

Grabouw School Shoe Handout

Grabouw School Shoe Hand-Out

The Signature of Hope Trust, a proudly South African, approved non-profit organisation was initiated by four goal-driven businessmen in the financial sector who all share a vision of providing “hope” and supporting projects that will empower young minds in less fortunate communities.

The Signature of Hope Trust, a proudly South African, approved non-profit organisation was initiated by four goal-driven businessmen in the financial sector who all share a vision of providing “hope” and supporting projects that will empower young minds in less fortunate communities.

In partnering with the NACCW (National Association of Child Care Workers), the purpose of this year’s school shoe drive is to collect 6,102 (2016 backwards) pairs of school shoes to be distributed to children in under privileged areas around South Africa.

The first leg of the drive in April 2016 saw 1,150 pairs of school shoes distributed to under privileged children within the Western Cape. Areas reached include Grabouw, Mitchells Plain, Saldanha, Murraysburg and Hout Bay. During this leg, teams from the Signature of Hope Trust visited three of these towns and assisted in handing out school shoes while there.

Says Roxanne Austen of SOH Trust, “Children who are registered with the NACCW are in great need as they come from broken homes, have been neglected or abused, have lost parents or are being fostered by extended family members. All these children were most excited at the prospect of receiving a new pair of school shoes and were treated to an extra surprise when they received a juice and a packet of chips in their box as well.”

The challenges faced by the communities are extensive, where children are vulnerable to many socio-economic difficulties.

The prevalence of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in areas like Grabouw is a significant problem, and many children suffer from it. The Peninsula Feeding Scheme feeds each child within their programme on a daily basis, ensuring that vulnerable children in these areas receive one fortified meal per day. As for the NACCW, their teams welcome all children into their safe parks on a daily basis, but only a portion of them are part of the NACCW.

New School Shoes – Making a Difference to Children’s Lives

In recent years, areas like Hout Bay have experienced an increase in gang activity. Two of the Child and Youth Care Workers who are based in this area were previously part of gang life, and they base their work with young people on a positive “serve where you live” model. Both of these volunteers work with children in the area on a daily basis and are committed to seeing individual and community change.

The Signature of Hope Trust team often receive opportunities to conduct home visits to those in need in these communities. Work done by the NACCW is assisting young children to do better both in and out of school.

Austen says that seeing the sheer challenge that everyday life presents to vulnerable people in impoverished areas makes the Signature of Hope team immensely grateful for the contributions that make this sort of project a reality:

“To most this would not seem like a large gift but to these children, it makes an immense difference. The average cost per pair of school shoes, along with a snack is under R80.00 per pair. It is thanks to the people who contribute to The Signature of Hope Trust that these initiatives are made possible.”

The Signature of Hope Trust teams are looking forward to the next leg of the drive that sees 6,102 pairs of school shoes distributed to children in need this year. They continue to focus on equipping and empowering not just individuals, but whole communities to rise above their individual hardships and reach their full potential.

Says Austen, “By uplifting young people in the Early Childhood Development sector, we hope to promote and enable effective learning and emotional development.”

Hout Bay School Children

Hout Bay School Children

Murraysburg School Children

Murraysburg School Children

 

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