As an NGO we are constantly asked how it all started and what motivated us to literally lay down our lives for children who otherwise will succumb to their poverty stricken environment and continue a cycle of drugs and gangsterism.
When we were forcibly removed from our homes almost fifty years ago, we were young and ignorant of what was happening and our parents protected us from the grave injustice that was forced upon us by absorbing the pain of the forced removal and allowed us to carry on being children.
We did not notice the desolation and isolation of the place we were moved to and how being cut off from the rest of society with minimal means of transport would one day result in the Ocean View of today, riddled with violence, gangsterism and drugs.
I was fortunate enough to move out of Ocean View but left behind family and friends who still live there today.
As a newly married couple back in the 80’s and 90’s my husband and I would arrange camps for children during the school holidays. We realised that parents do not have the luxury of exposing their children to the greater world out there and we took it upon ourselves to fill that void.
What started off as just children of friends and family now became busloads of children from all over and we soon realised that this was our passion, making a difference in the lives of children.
As a couple we soon realised that we needed more time and resources because the few weeks annual leave was not enough to accomplish everything that needed to be done …. both my husband and I made drastic changes in our work situations to accommodate the responsibility of being there for the children on a daily basis.
We care for each child holistically and employ qualified individuals to meet every need be it emotional, physical or spiritual.
The next step was to form our NGO called Children A’Loud because children should be allowed to be heard and we are their voice when they cannot speak for themselves and we will fight for them to have the future they deserve.
Help us to be the change we know we can be with the funding we so desperately need to run a resource centre. It will be a haven of hope for the hopeless to enable us to reach these children early enough and show them a better future before their surroundings makes that decision for them in a negative way.
When these vulnerable children know better they will do better and we will be there to guide them every step of the way.
This is how we build a better South Africa ... one community at a time... but we all know that without funding we are fighting a losing battle because these children need to be educated and trained to be better adults and I dare you to hold me accountable because the graveyards are full of people who had the best intentions to make a change but we at Children A’Loud will not go quietly into the night.
We will fight with our very last breath to leave a legacy behind of positive change in our communities.
As an NGO we are so very proud of our five graduates this year and have secured everything they need to start a successful life and know that they will give back to the community because of the help of our NGO.
They are being supported by our NGO to raise funds for their matric ball expenses as most parents cannot afford this luxury. We are currently in the process of securing interviews for them once they are done with matric. We have assisted with identity documents, cv’s and the opening of bank accounts.. we see them through every step because they have proven themselves committed to the program from start to finish and can boast that they have embraced every opportunity the NGO has provided.
All the children in our program are inspired and encouraged to emulate the success of these graduates.. they know the humble beginnings these boys came from and that they too can experience the same positive future.
The programs that we have implemented are mainly sport and sport is a positive experience which encourages communication, commitment and builds relationships because sport is a universal language that everyone understands.
The camps build comradery among the children and at the end of every camp the children are broken hearted to have to return back home because for a few days the pain of their surroundings are forgotten and they could be children with reckless abandon and that even though they were a few miles from home, they felt like they were in a whole new world and this is why we as an NGO do what we do and allow these children to experience what so many of us take for granted. Lifeskills are taught at these camps like confidence building, self esteem, anger management and most importantly building resilience and teaching them how to bounce back after facing adversity in their everyday life.
The organisation's main objectives are to identify and support youth at risk within the socially deprived community of Ocean View, in the aim of enabling young people to bring about change within their lives through daily positive re-enforcement and building of resilience and decreasing risk taking behaviour.
Our vision is to one day open a resource centre.
The resource centre will be established to offer:
Access to recreational and cultural activities which include sport, drama, dancing, art and music.
A program to help children and youth to identify lifestyle problems and help them to develop resilience building skills and grow together.
Academic support by providing tutoring services to children struggling academically.
Career guidance e.g. facilitating access to bursaries
Counselling and facilitating appropriate referrals.