Kids of Kurland in Kurland Village is located in the Crags between Plettenberg Bay and Natures Valley. Kurland Village is a community with severe social problems. Unemployment, alcoholism, family violence and AIDS are commonplace. A group of Crags residents decided to help address
the situation, particularly with regard to the children.
The Crags Primary School was built in 1981 and is the only school in Kurland Village. There are approximately 605 pupils from Grade 1 to Grade 9, ages ranging from 5 to 16 years old.
In the year 2000 the school had 11 teachers and one headmaster, all paid by the Dept. of Education. This resulted in an unmanageable number of learners in some classes and the headmaster teaching fulltime. The quality of education was not up to standard and the children were leaving school at 14 or 15, ill prepared for the pressures of modern living.
The 'KIDS OF KURLAND' school project was formed. In consultation with the Headmaster, Mr. Snyder, and the Governing Body, a desperate need to increase the human resources at the school was highlighted. At a workshop attended by all role players the most pressing needs were identified:
- Extra class teachers to split the largest classes of almost 70 pupils and relieve the headmaster of his teaching load.
- The voluntary remedial reading teacher to receive a salary as she was unable to continue her work due to lack of income.
- A social worker to run a life skills program and give individual counselling.
- A social worker assistant to work with the older boys.
'Kids of Kurland' is a registered Section 21 Company (not for gain). We are unique in that all funds go to teachers salaries and social workers. All administration is carried out on a voluntary basis.
Our fund raising includes:
- appeals to local businesses and individuals to donate monthly stop orders for salaries on a 'by the community for the community' basis.
- individuals giving time and expertise in lieu of money.
- seeking support in the corporate world and amongst small groups and schools in European countries.
- two fundraising events yearly.
The immediate results show a far greater positivity amongst the staff which has in turn filtered into the classroom. Smaller classes are producing better results. Social problems are being identified and addressed.
Along with help from Cadbury's Land and Buildings Project, voluntary art facilitators, the introduction of clubs and an after hours outdoor activities program run by 'Born in Africa', the school is becoming a beacon of hope in a depressed community. The long term effects can easily be imagined.
Our vision is that The Crags children, unlike their parents, be equipped to take their rightful place in the modern world.
The sustainability of the'Kids Of Kurland' project has become of paramount importance, not only to the school but to Kurland Village and the Crags Community as a whole.
We appeal to you to support this worthwhile and effective initiative.