There is a question related to how much help organisations can offer as far as intervening and improving the lives of the underprivileged in the communities they are in; in terms of education, in terms of nutrition, in terms of living conditions, and in terms of economic and psychological aspects of their lives.
The big question should be: how can communities, parents, and other stakeholders, assist organisations in improving the community. Most organisations within the community promote nutrition through offering daily meals. the next popular item organisations promote is education through daily reading sessions implemented after school and homework assistance. Children are taught to speak out and to be confident. Children are also taught that they should not allow their situations to defined them. One would wonder how is it that we still have children that are demotivated, that lack confidence and show no sign of self-love despite all the interventions.
I have worked in such an organisation and for a long period of time I have asked myself what is the stumbling block to the development of the children living in working class communities. I have realised that children lack role models for the path that they are trying to embark on, to rise above their circumstances, chase their dreams, educate themselves and being well-informed.
The regrettable part is that the working class mind has been programmed to believe that they will always be the working class which is evident in their daily lives. That lost hope is slowly finding a home in the new generation through the mind-set by from their surroundings, norms and traditions. Taking a newspaper and reading it is abnormal for a teenager in a working class community and that is because he/she has not seen it being done. On a contrary, going to party on a Friday and coming back on Saturday morning would be easy to do because it is the norm and it is tradition.
Is there hope for change? Yes, there is. The only way it can be done is through working hand in hand with progressive organisations with the full understanding that working together is more fruitful. How can this be done? Through encouraging children that they are the future and breakers of the cycle of slavery instead of constantly educating them to be charity cases of the government indirectly. Most importantly, through changing our lifestyles which we can do without government involvement and be the role models the children can look up to in our communities.
This article was submitted on 15 February 2023. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.