Realising the meeting point between play, education and access to justice

Involved alumni:

The challenge that the project addresses

The project addresses three main social challenges in Nketa 9, Bulawayo, namely:

a) Children’s lack of access to education because of poverty

b) The lack of educational and recreational spaces for children of all abilities

c) Lack of access to justice and unattended legal challenges

This includes complications around documentation due to parental neglect, issues associated with migration of their parents’ or death of parents; among children from poor backgrounds.

What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?

Our work entails two main strands. The first strand is called Scotch-Scotch Bhaza, initiated in July 2018. This is an inclusive sport and play project, involving the running of 2hr play sessions at the Nketa 9 community playground. The games are tailored to include children of all abilities. Life skills and values of inclusion are imparted to the children during these sessions. The second strand is about sponsoring the child members of Scotch -Scotch Bhaza with tuition, uniforms, and stationary. We strike a 50/50 ratio between boys and girls: from dire socio-economic backgrounds. The children include those from single parent households, unemployed parents, children of domestic workers, and orphaned children. In 2020, we collaborated with a start-up funder organization called The (Investment Through Action Initiative) ITAI, Khanya Foundation, as well as an Individual giver. We sponsored 10 children in 2020. In 2021, we partnered with ITAI, again to sponsor 11 children. The third strand involves close monitoring of the children’s educational progress, psychosocial challenges and their legal issues. We recently agreed with ITAI to monitor the children by arranging 2 meetings per child each term, based on the aforesaid categories. This will be initiated in July 2022. Capturing the children’ legal challenges will help us to start referring the children to the relevant public interest organizations and government institutions. This may also give us enough baseline information to seek a paralegal to support our project.

Describe the project's impact

The project promotes a culture of equality and inclusion amongst the children’s community by deliberately involving 8 children with mental challenges. On average 30 children attend each play session. The project diverts children from lure of drugs and alcohol abuse in the community. It also prevents children’s humiliation from being singled out during class time, because of unpaid school fees. The project reduces the risk of dropping out of school amongst children from poor backgrounds. Since the projects’ main volunteers are educators with over 15 and 25 years of experience in the primary school sector, respectively, children gain valuable academic and psychosocial support they many not otherwise receive at home.