Outreach with a difference
An Introduction to the Integrated Community Development Programme (ICDP) Trust of Kingswood College
As part of our mission and Chapel programme, Kingswood College initiated an outreach project into the local underprivileged community which flanks our school campus. While the initial objective of an outreach programme was to expose our own pupils to community service and to teach them compassion and Christian caring, the project has mushroomed into a fully-fledged pre-school and after-school care programme for the many underprivileged children from the surrounding community. Although our school and pupils contribute considerably (both financially and in service) because we feel obligated to respond to the dire need in this community, we do have to source additional financial assistance. Proceeding largely on faith, we have managed to raise donations from certain benefactors – alumni, parents of the school and some corporate sponsorship - but we are now having to seek other sources of support to keep the initiative alive at the level to which it has grown since its inception in 2005.
Our Integrated Community Development Programme (ICDP) managed within a year to acquire premises, Lebone House, near our school, at which the Little Red Dragon Preschool operates for 23 5-year olds, and an after-school and enrichment programme for 15 children declared as “vulnerable” by local Child Welfare and other NGO’s. “Vulnerable” is the term that has been adopted to cover a myriad of things, from HIV infected and affected, to abused and indigent. Grahamstown is an area characterised by poverty and unemployment due to the lack of any large industry in this area, and with this comes inevitable social and economic hardships.
So many of these children come from homes where parents and relatives are suffering from HIV/AIDS, unemployment is rife and life is a daily struggle. Kingswood College has managed to establish a haven of care and peace for them at Lebone House. Reports from their schools show that their behaviour and results have improved significantly since our intervention.