The Melkbos Care Centre is a registered non-profit care facility for children. The Centre is not government funded or subsidised and relies solely on the donations of individuals, companies and organisations to provide the care free of charge to these underprivileged children. We are a registered NPO, with PBO status and we are also registered with the Dept. of Social Services. We provide our services to orphaned and underprivileged children, many of whom live in homes affected by HIV Aids and substance abuse. Our services are a life line to many of the children who attend the Centre, whose parents/guardians are unable or unwilling to provide for the needs of their children.
We start off our day bright and early at 05:45am with the first of five trips in the ‘Melkbos Care Centre National Lottery’ bus which transports 75 children to the various schools in Melkbosstrand and Atlantis.
While the kids are at school the Care Centre prepares a scrumptious home cooked meal, and washes and irons their school clothes for the next day. We set up and get ready to assist with homework and projects, as well as ensuring all the paper work and administration which goes behind running a organisation is attended to.
When school and extra murals are up we collect the children at the various schools and bring back to the centre to begin their routine of washing hands, saying grace, eating a warm cooked lunch, washing up and changing into their newly laundered clothes. Homework and studying for tests begins with assistance from the Centre staff, information is easily accessible for them on the internet which is available for research, for school projects and for their enjoyment after their work is done. There is a play area outside and trampoline to use up excess energy, and the day is rounded off with a quiet time and talk about the day. The children then have a snack, brush teeth and then its time to take everyone home safely until the next day.
With the high illiteracy rate amongst the parents of the children we assist, many of whom are unemployed and are substance abusers, it is up to us to ensure the children are motivated to attend school and have the necessary recourses available to them to partake in school and achieve their dreams.
Our Current Projects
Get to school safe
This has been a core service we provide to the impoverished children in our community. As the only non-profit free after care facility in Melkbosstrand, serving 40 underprivileged children every day and transporting and additional 35 we are conscious of the changing demographics in our service area, and are committed to growing and adapting our centre to meet emerging needs. We currently transport 75 underprivileged children to and from school each day who would otherwise be left to brave the harsh winter weather and face the dangers of the road all by themselves.
Stay in school project
Prior to the establishment of the Melkbos Care Centre the children attended a farm school where the level of education was of a very poor standard. One of our learners aged twelve (12) years could barely read or write and the others were in similar circumstances. Their school attendance was inconsistent and there was little motivation to complete their school years. One learner aged nine (9) years had never been to school before. Since the inception of the Care Centre in 2005, we have successfully enrolled more than 40 children into local schools offering a higher standard of education. We believe a good education is a crucial building block in the growth of an able and ambitious young adult.
After care & extra-mural activities project
The Melkbos Care Centre has a dedicated and professional team of staff to implement and ensure the success of the aftercare project. We provide a safe and stimulating environment whereby children can come after school and during school holidays to do their homework, receive extra lessons, extra mural activities, computer lessons, rest, eat a healthy meal, receive medical care and are motivated to attend school.
Early Childhood Development Project
Since 2005 we have successfully enrolled more than 20 learners into pre-schools. Due to the high cost of pre-school education in South Africa these children would not have had access to pre-school education without the assistance of the Melkbos Care Centre. Pre-school education is of utmost importance for these children as they lack the basic skills such as being able to differentiate between colours, how to hold a pencil and the ability to build puzzles. Without these basic concepts and skills they are at a distinct disadvantage when they enter Grade 1. They are left far behind their peers often causing them to repeat Grade 1, which negatively affects their self confidence.
Look, laugh & learn project
There is nothing more wonderful than hearing the sound of children laughing freely and seeing them in an environment where they are just having fun. Cultural and environmental outings form an important part of the Melkbos Care Centre. These outings are both educational and fun and are used to motivate children to attend school each day. The rewards programme implemented at the Care Centre has given the children goals to work towards during the year and this has helped to ensure that the children develop holistically. Outings are also an important ‘eye opener’ for children, where they get to see life outside of the informal settlement. This gives them insight into possible opportunities that await them in life, such as career choices, personal goals (such as owning a home), and healthy social interactions (hobbies and sports).