Update on the Woza Sidle Project
NOTICE: Woza Sidle is suspended during level 4 lock down.
We are taking a cautious approach during the third wave to make sure the children are not impacted.
We still need funds though for this and other St Vincent De Paul initiatives. At present we are collecting jumble for a jumble sale once lock down is eased. There are many people in need of your generosity – please drop off jumble at the parish office.
APPEAL FOR DONATIONS TO FUND THE EDUCATION OF UNDOCUMENTED LEARNERS IN DIEPSLOOT EXTENSION 12.
The funding will be used to provide a stipend to a retired, qualified teacher and her assistant, the learners’ stationery and textbook requirements, in order to bring undocumented learners to speed with their education needs. This letter should be read in conjunction with the submission to the department of education, in which the society is requesting the Department to consider admitting the same group of learners into the mainstream education system. The funding requested is therefore for a limited period of up to a year, or two at the most, while the society waits for direction from the department of education.
Background*Extracted from the letter to the Department of Education
The St Vincent de Paul Society is an international Catholic charity network of lay Catholics who volunteer to serve and assist vulnerable and marginalized people in local communities. It has been operating in South Africa since 1856 and is a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation (NPO 003/193). We aim to relieve suffering and promote human dignity amongst the poor. We also aim to provide a hand up not just a handout.
As the Bryanston Conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society, we conduct our outreach work in the Diepsloot community. Our work typically revolves around the lives of over 300 people. Family home visits take place fortnightly and we provide encouragement, comfort and assistance when distributing the available food items to the community. We initiated teaching people to grow food, knit and sew and sell goods in order to provide for themselves.
Our outreach work in Diepsloot has enabled us to get to know the families we work with a bit better and to understand their day to day challenges. The vast majority of these families do not have South African identity books and/or birth certificates. Others are foreign nationals with no proof of identification at all. This renders the latter undocumented migrants in South Africa. They have varying reasons for being in South Africa and many of them have been resident here for at least ten years. They consider Diepsloot as their home with no reasonable prospects of returning to their countries of origin due to the extreme financial hardship and/or political persecution they fled from. As undocumented migrants, they are not entitled to social security and relief packages such as grants, they struggle to access health care, they are not fairly remunerated for their work if at all they are able to secure employment, and they are unable to register their children into public schools.
We continue to encourage and train the adults in the communities we serve to become self-sufficient. However, it is apparent that they will not be able to give their children proper access to education as they cannot afford private school fees in neighbouring areas and are being turned away from public schools because they are undocumented.
In view of the above, the society has approached the Department of education for assistance in placing about thirty-five undocumented learners of school going age into the schools within the Diepsloot area, and to provide guidance on the disconnect between policies and practices on the admission of undocumented learners, as briefly stipulated below:
On 10 February 2021 the Minister of Basic Education published for public comment the Admission Policy for Ordinary Public Schools under the National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 Of 1996). The 2021 Policy will replace the 1998 Admission Policy for Ordinary Public Schools published in General Notice No. 2432 in Government Gazette No. 19377 of 19 October 1998. Paragraphs 23 of the 2021 Admission Policy for Ordinary Public Schools states the following:
Admission of undocumented learners
- The right to education extends to everyone within the boundaries of South Africa, the nationality and immigration status is immaterial. All schools are advised to admit learners and serve their education requirements irrespective of whether the learner or parent of a learner does not produce documents listed in paragraph 15, 17 to 20 of this policy.
This seems to contravene sections 39 and 42 of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 which implies that undocumented migrants cannot be absorbed in the south African systems-education included.
As an interim measure, while the society waits for the final directive from the department of education, the society has identified a qualified, retired teacher, to provide basic literacy and numeracy skills to all the children, until such a time that they can be absorbed in the mainstream education system. She will be assisted by an identified untrained individual. The Society would also like to provide stationery and learning materials to the learners, all subject to the availability of funding. These children are currently spending time during the week on unstructured activities at our extension 12 SSVP premises.
The teacher in question is a qualified Primary school teacher with about 29 years’ experience, the bulk of which was teaching grade one and two children. She also has experience teaching mentally handicapped, and autistic children at different levels. She also ran a pre-school for about five years.
Estimated Cost breakdown
|Detail||Cost per month||Cost per year|
|Teacher: 5 hours a week [ 20 hours a month], at a rate of R350 per hour||R7000.00||R84,000.00|
|Assistant: 5 days a week @R1000 a week||R4000.00||R48,000.00|
|Miscellaneous, e.g. printing||R 3 000.00|
|Total costs||R11 000.00||R143,219.49|
Your organisation/Individual to consider funding the project for a period of between one and two years.
Please note that all donations are tax deductible in terms of Section 18A as SSVP is a registered NPO.
St Vincent de Paul Society,
Account Number: 1522 039 570.