Thutong ya Bana
Thutong ya Bana (meaning: young people’s place of learning) provides basic schooling to children living on streets and in the informal settlements around Kimberley.
Those fortunate enough to be with their families in the informal settlements live in tiny squats pulled together out of corrugated iron and plastic sheeting. There are no bathrooms, no electricity, and no running water for these families who face winter nights in below freezing conditions and summers in well over forty degree heat. For many of these students the meal they receive at Thutong ya Bana is their only meal for the day.
There are currently 90 students, between the ages of 9–20, enrolled in the project. The aim is to eventually re-integrate these children into mainstream schooling or vocational training programs, by providing them with all the support possible to make that transition successful. Each student receives a daily meal, all their books and materials, and uniforms. For the street children there is also the provision of shower facilities, and a counseling service aimed at re-integrating them with their families. The staff of Thutong are all volunteers – young third level students – who give of their time and talents to help uplift the ‘youth at risk’ in their community.