We exist to support families to build life-skills
and realise their potential
Help us to empower people to create positive change, locally and globally! We guarantee all donations made to Thanda directly support our programmes to ensure every beneficiary receives the highest amount of support.
On the shelves of our Resource Centre are various artifacts that have been collected from around the world. They are not only decoration, but are used in staff training to discuss global interconnectedness. In these trainings we foster open discussions and challenge our perspectives by asking questions like, “Where do you think this bowl came from? And why?”
Carl Sagan said, “Science is more than a body of knowledge, it is a way of thinking.” Often as a warm up in our After-school sessions, Facilitators use fun science experiments to bring about new ideas, observations and discussions. This month, students got to see the chemical reaction of combining liquid soap, baking soda, food coloring and vinegar to simulate a volcanic eruption.
Recently, we installed an environmentally friendly hand washing device at our community centre. A foot lever allows the jug of water to tip and minimizes the overall use of water. We hope it can be an example of an easy way to promote hand washing with soap for our participants! Around 60% of the population in Umtwalume obtains their water from a natural source.
Over the past year, a local NGO, Siyakwazi, has engaged Thanda Staff in Disability and Inclusion Training where staff were asked to observe, reflect, analyse and act on how to better support children with disabilities and ensure that ALL children are included. This activity outlined services in our community that can assist us, such as speech therapists.
To prepare for Heritage Day, a South African holiday on September 24th, After-school participants discussed culture – how they developed and how theirs relates to other people and cultures around the world. These important discussions expand our perspective and worldview. Their colourful drawings symbolise an important part of their culture.
One of our After-school Facilitators, Mafiki, started a book club called the “Eager Beavers” with her class participants and any other children that wanted to join. They pick a book and meet once a month to reflect and analyse. Having strong literacy skills is a central objective of our after-school curriculum…over 6,000 books are borrowed from our library annually!
This month, 125 students from various schools participated in a chess tournament held at Thanda. Students who play chess in our After-school Programme have shown a greater increase in numeracy, science and critical-thinking skills than students who don’t – what an amazing game!
The oldest class in our After-school Programme is a dedicated and creative group of high school students, many of whom have been in Thanda for 4 years. Recently, they used magazines to create a collage of their lives including their hobbies, future goals and friends.
Every year, Thanda students in grades R-7 go on field trips. Grades R & 1 recently visited Mitchell Park Zoo in Durban, home to many small animals and birds including crocodiles, wallabies, and tortoises. It is an opportunity to learn about species from around the world and have fun in a new environment.
Our community centre is open 365 days a year, so we stay busy even when schools are closed! Last year 4,671 children visited during holidays & weekends. In July, we skated, made art, planted a new garden, sewed educational materials, & continued painting our under-construction ECD classrooms!
JIH is an on-going workshop that all staff undergo. They embark on a journey of emotional healing and trauma counseling in order to be better prepared to work with children going through the same process. The rock throwing exercise is a favorite. Participants ‘let go’ of a frustration and watch it disappear in the ocean waves.
One way we deepen our impact is through involving each child’s parents so that the successes and growth of the child at school can be shared and taken home. This month, ECD Facilitators exemplified this and hosted a very successful parents meeting! When a child enrolls at Thanda, their parents do too!