School based facilitators – making a difference in children’s Lives.

Linda van Meygaarden shared her experience with School based facilitators. Reneiliwe ,one of the facilitators from Luckau village in Limpopo assisted the schools to link up with the community as part of the Caring Schools Programme. She is one of the local community members that responded to an advertisement and was trained
in the necessary skills to become accredited youth and child care workers.
There are 2 school based facilitators, both women, who come from the village and work
between two schools, a primary school and a high school.

They began to volunteer in June 2008 and continued their work in the village to date. Initially they received a stipend through the CIE but now the schools are responsible for their own fundraising to support themselves as volunteers and also support and care for vulnerable children at Makeke primary school in Luckau village.

Over time, the facilitators engaged with the children and they build a strong relationship. One day, A Grade 1 boy who was aware of the role of the school based facilitator came out confidently and shared with the facilitator the challenge he was going through at home. The boy shared that his mother was ill at home and just drank coke and did not get out of bed. There was no-one at home looking after him. He always kept some of his food from the school nutrition programme to take home to his mom.

After the child spoke to the school based facilitator, she was able to share the information with the school based support team. She then went and visited the
home of the child only to find his mother gravely ill. She had a conversation with the mother and she encouraged her to attend the local clinic where she was diagnosed with TB. The mother then was put on TB treatment. The child was very happy and excited about the steps that were taken to help her mother get treated. The child was also referred to the drop in centre to receive a meal after school. The class teacher was then able to keep an eye on the child’s wellbeing together with the school based facilitator who regularly visited the mother at home for counsel and encouragement.

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