About Our Fund Drive
Most farms on the Karoo as well as other areas of South Africa are too far away from towns and cities where the schools lie. In some cases, it can be a 1-2-hour drive. 20-30 years ago, there were more schools throughout the region however the ever-changing fiscal situation has caused many to close. This has triggered families to look further away for schools to send their children to. The staff of Hopetown school works very hard in keeping the school up to academic standards. Last year Hopetown school had the second highest senior results in all the Northern Cape Province. Hopetown school is a publicly funded school and gets funding from the South African government. The government funding is not enough to support the entire operational costs of the school. Families are required to pay tuition to cover the shortage. Some families in the hostel can not afford to pay the full tuition and are supported by donations from other farm families.
The hostels receive some funding for a portion of the staff salaries. This is further explained by the included letter from Mr. Ebert Bosch Superintendent. The tuition covers the basic needs of the hostel’s daily operation; however, it leaves little for physical improvements of deterioration that has occurred over the years.
The hostel has its own staff of nine and is detailed in the letter from Mr. Bosch. There is a “house mom”, lead cook and support personnel. The house mom helps the kids with homework, oversee playtime, and mealtime. She really becomes their “Mom” away from home. She is there to comfort them when they are sad and miss home. At night she tucks them in. Her room is close to the little ones in case they need anything.
The hostel is in dire need of repairs.
We, as family members associated with the hostel, are seeking donations to fund several improvements. The improvements would help raise the standards of living at the hostel and thus provide the kids with a better environment to live and learn in. The children in the hostel are away from their families Monday through Friday. It is especially hard on the lower grades. Imagine being 6 years old and living away from your parents. With some basic improvements, the hostel would be a nicer place for the children to stay during the week.
Sister’s Loudine (Botha) Byleveld, who’s kids live at the hostel and Lo-ami (Botha) Knox who grew up in the hostel in Britstown, are overseeing the projects and associated expenses. We have taken on these projects without any assistance or involvement with the South African government. A full report of which will be available to any donors.
Loudine’s farm Kareehoek, is about an hour away from Hopetown. It is the farm she and Lo-ami grew up on as kids while attending the Bristown hostel. Loudine and her husband Casper are financially taking on some of the smaller projects on their own to start the improvement process. They purchased paint and covered the labor costs. The new drapes for the dining room and lobby are complete. The room is also freshly painted. New table cloths have been made. The lobby has been freshened up with some new art work, coffee tables, and chairs. With the new drapes installed the dining room will be much cooler during the hot summer as this room is not airconditioned. Pictures are shown in our completed project section. As we get funding available we will start making new drapes for all the kids' bedrooms.