our work / A Path out of Poverty
"Even if they are still poor, they will not be impoverished in their souls" - the impassioned words of Ann Templeton, who runs Goedgedacht Trust in Western Cape, a project dealing with the poverty and health issues experienced by the farm workers and their families in this wine growing region of South Africa.
The Olive Path out of Poverty programme improves the economic, educational and health conditions of farm workers and their families.
The children of these families are affected in a number of ways - by limited access to education, by neglect resulting from alcohol abuse, and from the effects of alcohol on pregnant women, leading to children born with foetal alcohol syndrome.
The pre-school aims to stimulate the very young children, so that they are given the opportunity to intellectually develop as well as play and socialise. Children are fed with e-pap, a nutritious porridge - so they not receive the vitamins and minerals they need to grow and stay healthy.
The after school programme offers children of all ages the opportunity to do their homework in a quiet and focused environment. The homework club has a small library that can be used, and help and advice is given.
Sophie, now 23, first came to the project at the age of 13, when she was caring for younger siblings following the death of her mother. Sophie is now a youth leader at Goedgedacht.
She organises discussions about other religions or cultures, they study other countries, including cooking some of the national food, and go on trips to Cape Town. She happily recalled the dizzying joy of a coach full of young people who were seeing the sea for the first time.
Pelokazi, 21, was involved with the project since she was at school. She is now running her own business, sourcing bikes from Belgium and Holland, restoring them and then selling them.