It’s the month of November and we share the story of another remarkable organisation we have the privilege of being involved with, Pure Hope Kids.
Pure Hope Kids is an early childhood development programme that comprises a pre-primary and primary school for children from informal settlements of Plastic view and Mamelodi. The parents of these children are poor and cannot afford school fees or transportation of kids to nearby schools.
Despite being poor, many of the children are also in despairing circumstances at home. Pure Hope provides education and also balanced meals as well as remedial teaching and psychological assistance.
Most of the children have not even seen running water before attending the school, and the chance of an education is something most of their parents would not have thought possible. Due to the lack of a support system at home, children also receive assistance with homework in the afternoon, and they have a fully operational computer centre. The school is very proud of the children’s hard word and resulting high marks.
Some of the activities offered at the school are soccer, netball and cross country running. Friendly matches against neighbouring schools are organised and hugely enjoyed by all.
During a recent unrest in the informal settlement, 70 children and quite a few mothers were kept in the school for six days to ensure their safety.
All the little girls in Pure Hope School have the opportunity to receive ballet training. This is something that would be beyond reach for almost any child growing up in an informal settlement and is a wonderful privilege.
Talitha de Klerk, founder of the Rhythm of hope ballet school at Pure Hope, tells the story:
“This outreach program started four years ago with a dream to share the gift of ballet to those who would normally have no access to it. In 2013, we started with the first six Grade 1 girls. Then, very informally these girls were introduced to the discipline and structure of ballet, but also its joys and fun. In the following year, six more girls joined our program and our first sponsor agreed to fund our ballet attire. Now things felt more serious as we started looking like the ballerinas we were seeing on pictures.
With time, more partnerships made it possible for the girls to get exposure to real ballet productions in proper theatres by other young talented dancers, through the generous invitation of the Youth Dance Company of Tshwane (YDCT). This helped them see what the classroom work was for, and what it could lead to one day. And finally in 2015, four of the students got the opportunity to participate in Zanelle Wessels Studio of Dance’s ballet production at the Pretoria State Theatre. For them, and for their parents, this was a first, and a highlight which they will always remember!”