In 1990, a 15-year-old had a 71% chance of surviving to the age of 60.
In 2006, that chance dropped to 41%.
- One in every 10 children in South Africa is infected with a chronic illness.
- Approximately 24% of schools have no clean water within walking distance and they average one toilet per 20 students.
- Nearly 12% of schools have no sanitation at all. The result is that many children regularly use “pit latrines” for toilets.
- According to South Africa’s Education Atlas, approximately 1.2 million school-age children are not attending school, and some 40,000 children attend only on a part-time basis.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. –Nelson Mandela
Due to factors such as past neglect, caring for dying parents, time spent surviving on the streets, or extended illnesses, many of our children arrive at Acres of Love with large educational gaps or delays. When a child enters our care, he or she undergoes an extensive overview to establish a long-term medical care program and IDP (Individualized Development Plan). Our IDPs enable our caregivers to measure progress and the impact of our strategic intervention in each child’s life. We work with consultants and therapists to educate our older children and teens on necessary life skills, finding their strengths, and living with HIV.
We work with tutors and specialized schools to help them reach their full academic potential and restore self-confidence lost due to circumstances beyond their control. At Acres of Love, there are children on all ends of the academic spectrum, and we work to meet their unique educational needs, while helping them uncover or build their strengths. For our students who excel in their studies, we help them attain entrance to schools that will encourage their strengths. For students with unique needs (such as profound hearing loss, limited mobility, or learning challenges), we find the appropriate academic environment that will allow them to flourish and reach their full potential. For our youngest children, we provide our own Acres of Love crèche, or preschool, to give them everything they need to succeed once they enter local schools.
In 2018, we opened three Acres of Love Homeschool Academies for our children with more complex educational needs. Our Bright Stars Academy meets the needs of our most medically fragile and severely delayed children. Offering them a place to belong, learn, and engage at their own speed, we are able to see them grow in confidence and understand that they have potential. Our Junior Academy meets the needs of our primary students who cannot thrive in a traditional classroom setting. This vibrant community of learners is led by a teacher who offers differentiated instruction, hands-on learning, and many field trips to allow for maximum learning. Our Secondary Academy allows our older teens a place to pursue their secondary completion requirements while also exploring future trades, internships, and apprenticeships. Our full-time secondary teacher offers each secondary student an educational plan that works for their strengths and areas of needed growth. These Homeschool Academies allow us to particularize educational care where needed, and offer every child at Acres of Love a pathway to academic success!