CHANGING THE WORLD – ONE CHILD AT A TIME
August 17, 2009 § 2 Comments
Impact Direct Ministries, the organization of which I’m an active part, is busy with spiritual and moral awakenings in the schools and we have adopted Kewtown Primary School as our focus point. Kewtown Primary School was established in 1965. It is situated on the Klipfontein Corridor and is in a small community on the Cape Flats. The choice of this school is significant since it’s in an area where gangster activities, drug abuse and other social ills are the order of the day.
“The school is better off without these students here,” said an educator at Kewtown Primary School. These are students that we, the IDM counselors are working with and they make up the core of the after-care program that we’re running here from the Centre. IDM has taken on the responsibility of bringing hope in this seemingly hopeless situation. The after-care program runs on Monday and Wednesday and starts at 14h30 till 17h00. The learners are picked up at the school grounds and are transported to the Impact Centre. On arrival at the Centre they have the opportunity to have a warm shower and a get a hot, home-cooked meal. This is the highlight of the week for many of these students as most of them don’t have warm running water in their homes. Life Skills, Arts and Crafts, Spiritual Guidance and ongoing counseling are the foundation from which IDM is working to reconstruct the young lives of these children.
These youngsters need to be kept off the streets to break the cycle of gang culture. Children in Kewtown are living right in the middle of an internal turf war between rival gangs. According to the Kewtown residents, gang bosses are targeting and recruiting these young people to do their dirty work. The high unemployment rate has taken its toll on this community resulting in even greater problems of drug abuse and drug related crime.
The counseling sessions that IDM is giving these youngsters is very effective. The students have been referred for counseling because they are disruptive in class, disrespectful to teachers and fight with other pupils. While at first they were reluctant to open up to the IDM counselors, they are finding it easier as time goes by to know what to expect in the counseling sessions. They also find it easier to talk to the counselors as they begin to realize they are not talking to a teacher or parent. These students’ emotional needs are being met and as a result they open up to the IDM counselors and actually look forward to the sessions in which they have the opportunity to be both heard and counseled.
Initially it was strenuous on the counselors listening to the backgrounds of these students. Some of them are from families living with 15 people in a 2 bedroom flat. Children have to sleep in shifts and often find themselves roaming the streets. On the staircases of these flats gangsters often smoke drugs and these kids have to pass them in order to get to their front doors. These are only a few of the daily challenges these students are faced with.
The team is really trusting God to come through for us big time where the kids are concerned. It is our responsibility as children of God and followers of Jesus Christ to guide these young people in such a way that they become so entrenched in what is good and right that they will seek a life on higher ground and avoid the ills of the area in which they live.
As we continue to work with these students I’ll be sharing both the happenings and the progress with you. You’ll get to see what the young people of this generation and community (and others like it) are faced with. You’ll also be able to share our joy as we work with them to turn their lives around.
Matthew 18: 5-7 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come.”