Winburg, Diocese of Kroonstad, Implements ECD Programme

On the 16th October 2012, Priscilla Rakhetsiof the SACBC AIDS Office accompanied the ECD facilitators to the Winburg sub sites. The main purpose of the visit was to monitor how the care workers are putting into practice what they have learnt during the ECD training as far as psycho social activities are concerned.

The site has 100 children registered in the programme and five dedicated child workers who provide services to them. Most of the beneficiaries are from the informal settlements, where the rate of poverty is very high.

The project has an after school care programme where children are being assisted with homework, psychosocial activities and a peer education programme. They have three peer educators who were trained in Bloemfontein by their local schools.

The project is working closely with Victim and Empowerment (NGO), to which they make referrals for children who are sexually and physically abused.

The project’s main challenge is the high rate of sexual abuse in the area. Often perpetrators are the stepfathers. Recently a 16 year old girl was raped by her stepfather, the stepfather was arrested and the child received treatment from Bongani Hospital in Welkom.

Most of the children in the area do not have ID documents and Birth Certificate because there are no Home Affairs offices in Winburg and the community depends on Home Affairs in Welkom which is 75km away.

The Winburg project carried out their ECD activities successfully. The facilitators were very impressed with the effort made by care workers in planning the activities done at St Joseph’s Catholic Church during the after school care programme. Additionally, the interaction between the children and the care workers was terrific.