Click on the Changemakers logo above to download a pdf with more information about this exciting new chapter.

Ithemba means ‘hope’ and was piloted in 2014 as a means to address the challenges tabled below.  It however evolved to include a number of additional elements that holistically address the resilience of family units so that we can have children growing up with hope and equipped to decide and work towards self-sustaining adulthood.




  1. Poverty
  2. Dysfunctional family units
  3. Lack of role models and leaders in their immediate environment
  4. Lack of life skills
  5. Insufficient early childhood development (motoric skills underdeveloped)
  6. Reading & Writing skills way below standard
  7. Just a number in a flawed education system
  8. Caught in this vicious cycle
  1. Poverty
  2. Dysfunctional family units
  3. Lack of role models and leaders in their immediate environment
  4. Lack of life skills
  5. In an environment where substance abuse is the norm
  6. Targets for gangs
  7. Very high risk for school drop-out (failed and over-aged)
  8. Reading levels at age 10 or younger
  9. Spelling levels at Gr 4 or younger
  10. Lack of constructive recreation
  11. Embedded belief system that things cannot change for them
  1. Poverty
  2. Hopeless
  3. Unemployed
  4. Low levels of education
  5. Affordable public transport
  6. Single parents with children
  7. Feeling inadequate in parenting
  8. Abusing substances
  9. Not involved in schooling of their children
  10. Embedded belief system that there is no hope for their children – so they guide them into making a living from government grants

The core of the model is to support children socially so that classrooms can focus on academics.  CAP child and youth care workers are present on school sites (VRT Pitt Primary, Bontebok Primary and Swellendam Senior Secondary School) to which at risk students are referred by teachers or come individually.  For a child to be supported socially it is essential to also work with their families.  We do the above through a range of activities summarised in the visual.

Children progressing from farm schools into our town schools are at much higher risk of dropping out due to the vast difference in their social frameworks (drugs vs dolls).  We address this by doing life skills at 8 farm schools with Grade 6 & 7 students on a bi-weekly basis.

From the piloting phases we have identified the following outcomes that excites us:

  • Learners in the Ithemba system possess a positive attitude toward school and adopt a positive behaviour.  They attend school regularly and have improved emotional stability and a sense of a support network.
  • Learners develop a stronger sense of identity and self-esteem.  This results in making healthier decisions having future expectations and cultivating coping mechanisms.
  • We have engaged learners at school taking part in constructive activities and stronger communities taking an interest in their children.
  • Primary care givers understand their role in their child’s education and future and are empowered to support their child to succeed.
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34 Voortrek Street

SwellenMark Mall


Western Cape


PO Box 732

028 514 1025

083 788 3365