High school scholarships for disadvantaged children
This project will enable six learners from around the country, who have shown the will and potential to succeed, to complete five years each of schooling at a good quality high school.
The KiDS Foundation was established in 1994 to create excellent educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged South African children. Our vision is to mentor motivated scholars in high schools helping them to achieve their potential in all areas of development enabling them ultimately to contribute to the present and future of South Africa. Our mission is:
- To provide opportunities for good quality education to economically disadvantaged children who have the potential and will to succeed.
- To help and motivate these children to achieve excellence academically and in all other aspects of their education.
- To mentor them and their families and provide support where the need arises.
- To encourage the creativity, leadership and good self esteem necessary to help build a prosperous and healthy nation.
The KiDS Foundation works to create excellent educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged South African children. This is done through sponsoring and mentoring 100 motivated scholars at a time through high school, enabling them to achieve their potential in all areas and ultimately to contribute to the future of South Africa. The KiDS Foundation operates mainly in the Western Cape (60% of scholars) but also has 20% in Gauteng, 10% in KwaZulu-Natal and 10% in the Eastern Cape. This project will enable six learners from around the country, who have shown the will and potential to succeed, to complete five years each of schooling at a good quality high school. R10 000 per scholar per year covers the learners’ school fees, uniforms and shoes, text books, stationery, transportation, sports equipment, musical instruments, school camps, scholar outings, school bags and projects. The six learners will be mentored on an ongoing basis through visits to schools (for meetings, prize-giving, drama productions, sports matches), home visits, outings, functions, newsletters and letters, and regular contact will be kept with their families. The learners will write letters and send news once a term too.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT THIS PROJECT
- This project goes beyond simply paying learners’ tuition fees and learning expenses and then “letting them get on with it” but actually engages with the learners and their families regularly throughout the years they are at high school and maintain contact once they have matriculated, maximising their chances of academic and life success.
- Scholars are mentored on an ongoing basis through visits to schools (for attendance at meetings, prize-giving, drama productions, sports matches etc.), home visits, outings, functions, newsletters and letters. Contact is also maintained via phone calls, SMSs and email too. Newsletters and letters are sent to the scholars at least once a term with follow-up phone calls on a regular basis throughout the term.
- Parents and scholars are encouraged to make immediate contact with KiDS Foundation should they need help, resources, advice or guidance. Scholars are encouraged to keep the organisation informed of all achievements, no matter how small so that they can be encouraged and praised every step of the way. A birthday card and Christmas card is sent each year as well as an end-of-year gift, and there is individual response to June and December reports. Scholars are also obligated to make an effort to write letters and give news once a term too. Outings take the form of hikes or walks together, meetings in restaurants, picnics, family braais or some activity like ten-pin bowling, where scholars can meet with trustees, have fun and get to know each other as well. KiDS Foundation have just introduced a camp for their Grade 11 and 12 scholars which address such subjects as problem solving, leadership abilities, team building and a whole host of other life skill subjects.
EXPECTED LIFE CHANGE
An investment of R300 000 will enable:
- 6 learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend a good high school, enabling them to achieve their potential in all areas and dramatically improve their life chances
- Approximately 36 family members of these learners to benefit from relieved financial pressure and the chance for their child to receive the best possible education and earn a good living.
- Direct life change at R1 429 per person per year.
This project has breadth in that the learners are selected from all over South Africa. It has great depth and intensity in that it will affect every day of these young people’s lives for the next five years and will provide them with an on-going wealth of social and educational opportunities. It has permanence because it is very likely that these learners will be able to go on to tertiary education and get excellent jobs which will be intellectually, emotionally and financially rewarding, making a contribution to our country and breaking the cycle of poverty in their families.
The legacy of apartheid still has a hugely negative effect on a large majority of the population in relation to education. Despite the efforts of all who are dedicated to creating a better South Africa, a good quality education remains a privilege instead of a right for many young South Africans. Statistics South Africa reported, based on the last available figures and for the period of 2002 to 2004, that 37.1% of people aged 7 to 24 did not attend school due to there being no money available to do so.
Without access to a good quality education in an establishment that is administered by qualified and competent staff, scholars are unable to reach their full potential. This obviously hinders them from one day breaking free from the poverty cycle and becoming the highly skilled future work force of South Africa. KiDS Foundation is attempting to address this issue by taking the financial responsibility off some of those families who are genuinely trying to better their situations and whose children have a passionate desire to achieve and a commitment to hard work and a culture of learning.
The KiDS Foundation works to create excellent educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged South African children. This is done through sponsoring and mentoring 100 motivated scholars at a time through high school, enabling them to achieve their potential in all areas and ultimately to contribute to the future of South Africa. The KiDS Foundation operates mainly in the Western Cape (60% of scholars) but also has 20% in Gauteng, 10% in KwaZulu-Natal and 10% in the Eastern Cape.
Scholars are referred to KiDS Foundation through schools or have heard about the organisation in the media or via word-of-mouth. Following an application and interview process, successful scholars are usually enrolled at the beginning of Grade 8 but can be accepted up to Grade 11 as well. Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis and the scholar must show accountability and effort each year in order for their scholarship to continue. All KiDS scholars sign a Code of Conduct when they are accepted and they are expected to honour this at all times.
Criteria for accepting applications:
- Applicant must be in Grade 7 – 10.
- There must be genuine financial need.
- There must be an ability to achieve and a will to succeed.
- The learner must be achieving at least 60% aggregate.
- Parent/guardian must be able to provide a reasonably stable home, parental discipline and the financial means for some or all of the extras needed (transport, uniforms, textbooks, stationery etc.)
- All enquiries will be followed up by a trustee with a phone call or a visit.
- Application forms will only be provided if it has been established that the applicant meets all the above criteria.
- Application forms will be accompanied by the ‘Rules of Engagement’ form so that applicants understand the terms on which KiDS scholarships are granted.
- Application forms must be signed by a parent/guardian and a trustee.
- Returned application forms must be accompanied by a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, their most recent school report and an essay written by the applicant about themselves, their achievements and their desire for the scholarship.
- All applications for the beginning of a year will be presented in summary form at a trustees meeting in the third term of the year before.
- Trustees will decide then on the number of applicants to interview according to the number of scholarships available.
- Interviews with the applicant plus a parent/guardian will then be conducted at the office with at least two trustees present.
- Applicants will then be decided upon after the interviews.
- Applicants will be informed of acceptance or rejection by phone call before the end of the third term. The phone call will be followed up by a letter of confirmation.
- Schools will be informed by letter if an applicant has been awarded a KiDS scholarship.
- Successful applicants must meet with a trustee to sign the Code of Conduct.
- Successful applicants must complete an ‘Enrolment form’ upon acceptance.
Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis. The scholar sets goals at the beginning of each year and at the end these are assessed to see whether the scholar has achieved satisfactorily. Reports from schools are also studied to complete the assessment. During a scholar’s 5 years with us the following activities take place to build relationships with the schools and the scholar and his or her family:
- Initial application interviews with scholar and family
- Acceptance letters
- Enrolment formalities (letters of acceptance, rules etc.)
- Attending school interviews
- Confirmation letters to schools
- Assessment of specific needs of each scholar
- Assistance with admission to schools
- Newsletters (3 – 4 per year)
- Birthday cards
- Annual gift at year end
- Assisting with purchase of uniforms
- Assisting with purchase of textbooks and stationery
- Transport problems addressed, sorted out and payment organised when necessary
- Assisting with purchase or donation of specific needs e.g. musical instruments, sports equipment, computers etc.
- Sourcing and organising tutors for extra lessons
- School reports assessed twice a year
- Individual response to reports – mentoring and motivation
- Counselling and help with difficulties, school problems etc.
- Follow-up with teachers
- Annual profile forms sent and assessed on receipt
- Home visits
- School functions attended (valedictory services, award ceremonies, school plays, fund-raising functions etc)
- Sports matches attended (cricket and rugby, water polo, tennis, athletics, netball, basketball, rowing etc.)
- Photographs (taken of scholars in class, at functions, school dances, playing sports, at their homes with their families etc.)
- Outings organised (in smaller groups to movies, to lunch etc.)
- Annual December gathering of all scholars and their families
- Annual Matric Farewell Dinner organized in November
- Fund-raising events involving the scholars (e.g. sponsored walks etc.)
- Medical needs (organising eye-testing etc.)
- Facilitating interaction with donors
- Organising groups of scholars for public relations events
- Assistance to find scholarships for tertiary education
- Organising donations of clothing etc. for especially needy scholars
- Regular phone calls for latest school news, achievements etc.
- Financial rewards for academic achievement
- Organising graduation gifts for matrics
- Special assemblies attended
- Annual trips by trustees (who all live in the Western Cape) to visit scholars in other provinces
THE PARENTS AND FAMILIES
- Application and enrolment interviews
- Dealing with queries on a daily basis
- Assessment of families' needs
- Counselling and advice when requested
- Newsletters, specific letters to parents regarding financial situation etc.
- Applications for siblings
- Regular communication re scholar's progress, achievements etc.
- Home visits, meetings
- Assistance with finding schools and scholars admission to schools
- Home support (organising groceries, clothing etc.)
- December gathering of parents and families
- Admission interviews with school principals
- Dealing with registration and admission of new scholars
- Confirmation letters to principals and bursars of scholarship students
- Dealing with requests for new scholarships
- Payment of fees by direct deposit or payment at school
- Payment of extras such as levies, extra lessons, matric dances etc.
- Payment of extras at schools hostels for boarders
- Faxes to schools for confirmation of fees paid
- Regular consultations and meetings with teachers, heads of department
- Regular contact with each school bursar regarding accounts, payment of fees, extras etc.
- Visits to schools with donors
- Visits to schools for photographs for files, donors, PRO etc.
- Letters to schools requesting update of information
- Thank you letters for visits, functions etc.
- Attendance at school functions (school plays, concerts, valedictory services, awards dinners, musical evenings, fund-raising events, prize giving etc.
- Attendance at sports matches, swimming galas etc.
- PR newsletters and information to schools
- Answering emails from schools
- Visiting schools' second-hand shops for books, uniforms etc.
- Requests for school reports twice a year
- Response to invitations from schools
- Annual request for yearly fees structures
Scholars are monitored on a regular basis via a scholar facilitator. This person is in constant contact with the scholar, parents and school administration staff. Home visits are undertaken and the KiDS Foundation staff also meet up with scholars in their school environment. School reports are received from the schools at which the scholars attend and extra classes are arranged when needed. Scholars have contact phone numbers, email addresses and can send a text message to a trustee should they need KiDS Foundation to contact them in the case of an emergency. Scholars are encouraged to set long and short term goals for themselves. The trustees assist the scholars in achieving these goals but always leaving the outcome firmly in the hands of each individual. Scholars provide the foundation with news about themselves and their achievements so that a close and supportive relationship can be maintained.
KiDS Foundation has been operating for 13 years and is run by focused and passionate individuals. Their model has proven its success over the years, with the sponsored scholars going on to tertiary studies and getting good jobs. The organisation has a clear and simple core purpose and its activities are aligned towards meeting these objectives. The KiDS Foundation has a good relationship with various schools and training institutions as well as with SOS Children's Villages. They have in recent years brought PR and fundraising skills on board, which has strengthened the small organisation. Having only two salaried staff does mean that the organisation can be stretched at times, but this is being addressed by expanding the number of volunteers from one to two. Salaries are also not market-related, which could limit the organisation’s long-term sustainability. The organisation could also benefit from more formal budgeting and strategic planning processes.
- Concept: The KiDS Foundation is now in its 13th year of operation and has provided 1 125 years of education to deserving young South Africans. The organisation provides a practical way to address the legacy of apartheid education and transform whole families’ lives.
- Design: The scholars selected have already proven themselves good candidates for success through their primary school results and through demonstrating a will to succeed in interviews. Only scholars with strong family or guardian support are selected and they usually continue to live with their families and be part of their communities, so that the whole community can be influenced and not just the individual.
- Capability: The staff is small but highly skilled, and staff members and volunteers bring relevant insight and expertise to their roles.
- Control: The organisation has audited financial reports and a proven track record.
- Sustainability: A good education will have a lasting impact on the lives of all the learners receiving support from the KiDS Foundation.
- Concept: Because this project only involves six children, and there is always a possibility that some children could drop out of school because of a change in family or personal circumstances, there might not be a 100% success rate, but this is mitigated by the family support and mentorship of learners provided.
- Design: The organisation uses ad hoc interaction with scholars and does not work from a formal plan.
- Capability: There are no scholar facilitators from similar cultural backgrounds to the scholars’ own to provide support based on a close understanding of, and empathy with, their experiences. The organisation does not have the services of a social worker to help deal with crisis situations and problems in the learners’ families and communities.
- Control: There are two family members on the Board of Trustees, which could have broader representation.
- Sustainability: Ill health could negatively affect individual children’s future. The organisation does not have a clear succession plan in place for the scholar facilitator position.
- External: There are some factors beyond the organisation’s control which could cause learners to drop out of school – such as illness, family responsibilities or drugs, but this is mitigated by the family support and mentorship of learners provided.
Project Profile EDU-WC-MAY-0002
Organisation: KiDS Foundation
Project Duration: 60 months
Project Budget: ZAR 300 000
Shares Issued: 6000
Shares Available: 0
Risk Assessment (0 to 5)
Organisation Rating (0 to 5)
|6 scholars for 5 years at R10 000 per year|
R10 000 per scholar per year covers some or all of the following items (please note that some scholars require more assistance than others):
|Total costs||300 000|
Many South African children face considerable barriers to learning: poverty, poor facilities, overlarge classes, a lack of facilities and resources, illness and family problems. And with so many of their parents struggling with illiteracy and poverty, the learning environment at home and in the community is less than ideal. If we don’t improve community access to a decent education in South Africa, the next generation faces a very uncertain future.
- Only 30% of the population over 25 had completed Grade 12 in 2003.
- Less than 20% of South African schools have libraries.
- South Africa’s education budget constitutes 17.8% of total national spending.
- An estimated 3 million South African adults are illiterate and another 8 million are functionally illiterate.
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