We rent a small property to provide a home for our at-risk pupils, 19 boys and 10 girls.
Our welfare team is often involved in crisis situations involving our pupils, and whenever possible we try to assist families so the children can remain living with them. That can include counselling, guidance and giving parenting lessons. Sometimes it involves intervening in financial and social/welfare issues too – like negotiating rent payments.
But occasionally the situation at home becomes too risky for the children (for instance if a girl is at risk of rape from male relatives staying in the home) or if a child loses both parents (many are dying from HIV) and they have no adult to look after them. Then they come and live in our children’s home where they are assured of food, a warm bed, safety and love.
With generous donations from the UK we have fitted brand-new, locally-made furniture – that’s a bed each, plus a lounge/community room for eating, chatting, homework and relaxing.
Two of our school staff members stay in the home... Pius heads up the boys and Rose our girls.
The current home where they live is no better than a lock up garage with no windows. There is barely room to move around or store any of their things, which are minimal. One of the greatest needs is for a new home for all the children to be able to have more space and better living conditions.