Radio Pulpit has been supporting the Refilwe Community Project on a monthly basis financially for the past few years. Refilwe Community Project was established in 1991 in partnership with the community. The initial design was for the centre to be community run and managed. The project saw the need for support and mentorship 3 years ago and opened up an after school program named Ithuteng, which means "never stop learning." The program now serves an average of 90 primary school children each day and a qualified teacher helps the children with their schoolwork. This has allowed them to fully invest in the children's educational needs.
A recent success story of the project is that one of their children was failing this year. The school notified his mother that he would have to repeat the year as his mid-year marks were very low and because he was already too far behind to complete the year successfully. The programme have worked very hard with him this term and helped him focus. They introduced a reading and comprehension activity into their schedule, which has been a huge benefit to all kids. This term he passed with an average of 60%. This is more than double his previous term. His mother came to them crying in joy because of how well he did. They have seen all the kids' marks increase over this year.
Refilwe Community Project have also instituted a peer to peer tutoring model with the high school students of the community where students learn and teach each other. They only started with this model this year and have already found that there has been an increase in academic performance and student confidence. Radio Pulpit is delighted to be part of these success stories through our sponsorship.
Ithuteng also runs a swop shop. The children of the community are encouraged to recycle tin, cardboard, plastic and glass. These products are then weighed individually and the child receives "mula", which is a fake money unit. They are then able to swop their mula for a variety of products in the shop like food, toiletries, toys and stationary. The child also has the option to save their mula. Most of the children use their mula for food, as that is frequently the only way that their families can be fed. The swop shop runs through 3000 tins of food in about 2 months, which shows the need in the community. One boy saved up his mula for 7 months to be able to swop it for a bicycle that was available in the shop. Unfortunately for him, he did all the work, as this bicycle has now become the bicycle of all the children in the community! This program teaches many children good financial principles, that can help break the cycle of poverty.
With our financial sponsorship to this commendable project, Radio Pulpit fulfils the vision of our Community Building Initiative to bring healing, hope and reconciliation.