Ithemba takes notice of the students who show academic prowess and prepares them to go the best schools in town. However, the public schools in Jeffreys Bay only go up to Grade 8. Our teenagers must walk over 15 KM (9.5 miles) to the next town without reliable transportation, which takes about 3 hours. We have a much better option. Through your giving as a lüō hero, we can provide scholarships for kids to attend the Global Leadership Academy right in town. GLA is the only high school available in Jeffreys Bay, and teaches high school curriculum while developing leadership within the community.
The lüō safehouse was built in 2009 to provide a beautiful home to abused, neglected, abandoned or orphaned children. The house can hold up to eight children. Along with a loving house mother who cooks nutritional meals every day for the family, we also have a welfare counselor who works directly with the children.
Each child is tested for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS when they begin Ithemba Preschool. The Ithemba staff watches each child closely to insure each child is staying healthy. When a child shows signs of illness, a teacher becomes a mother. Over-the-counter medicine is always available at Ithemba, and the Principal takes the children to the doctor if their condition is more serious.
Ithemba Preschool requires each child wear a green tracksuit with Ithemba embroidered on the chest. Parents are charged a very small fee for the uniform in order to instill pride and responsibility in the community. Jeffreys Bay Primary (the best local primary school) requires a white and navy blue polo shirt with Jeffreys Bay Primary printed on the chest and navy blue pants or skirts. Global Leadership Academy has picked out several uniforms from Billabong that the teenagers may wear each day.
In 2013 lüō was blessed by an anonymous donor to purchase a van for Ithemba. “Auntie” Amanda renews her professional license every year to drive the van. She picks up the Jeffreys Bay Primary students at Ithemba in the morning, gives each child a hug, and drops them off at school. Each child has a different schedule due to sports and other extra-curricular activities, so Amanda makes several trips in the afternoon to the school and brings them to the Deo Doxa Church for small group tutoring with a ratio of 1 adult to 6 children. They are safely dropped off at Ithemba at the end of the day.
Lüō believes that education is the best way to set children free from poverty. At Ithemba Preschool a foundation is laid for the rest of a child’s life. Many of our children were raised on the backs of their hard-working mother who had to bring their children everywhere with them. Unfortunately, our youngest preschoolers have trouble with depth perception and never learn to crawl. Studies show that crawling improves hand-to-eye coordination and math skills. At Ithemba each child learns basic motor skills along with shapes, colors, and the Afrikaans language which is used in Primary School. In the Ithemba Kindergarten program a child is assessed for Primary School, and we are able to provide school scholarships for the children who have gained the necessary skills to do well.