NEVER NEVERLAND SCHOOL will receive a Grant of $12,000.00 for 2020. This will be used for on-going programs and $10,420 to build a new classroom TIAS ARMS was the first to support Never Neverland with a small grant just six years ago. Then, the school was a single class for fifteen pre-schoolers in a small village where virtually every family has been impacted by HIV/AIDS. Now, the school hosts 80 children, educates them through third grade, and provides a variety of support services, including counseling, HIV/AIDS workshops, and overnight shelter during emergencies. And we remain the largest grantor.
At the end of 2019, a tornado hit this village and destroyed one of the classrooms which had been erected in early 2019. TIAS ARMS stepped in with a large enough grant that a new structure, made of concrete, can be built, sturdy enough to withstand another horrible weather event. And TIAS ARMS continues to provide funds for staff, food, and uniforms for the children.
Update December 2018
We have had wonderful news from Never Never Land Preschool, which, with our assistance and that of other agencies, now has two new classroom trailers. We also additionally funded staff costs so the school can remain open over the Holiday break and we fully supported the grant request for staffing and training, food for the children, and AIDS awareness education for the entire village. Never Never Land has enrolled 92 children. The growth of this school thrills us. The children of the village could not have a better advocate and educator than Zandile Khosa, the Director.
A note from Zandie,
We started the year on a high note!!! Schools officially opened on the 9th January 2019. Our enrolment is standing at 92 children. We had anticipated for 75 children but couldn’t turn them away.
We have held one HIV workshop already and are expecting Sister Mhlungu from the Department of Health today to come and bring us hospital referral letters for the 17 children found to be HIV positive and not on ARV’s. I am trying to organise transportation for them to go to Northdale Hospital for assessment and treatment.
Out of the 38 adults who attended our workshop on Saturday, 11 had the courage to get tested on the same day and 6 tested positive for HIV. They will also be referred to Northdale Hospital together with the 17 children under our care.
Sister Mhlungu has worked with a dietician to develop a menu that includes lots of veggies for out children and the 9 18-24 months children found to be malnourished. We are grateful for all the help we receive from you and I will continue fighting for the children (and their parents) to be on life saving ARV’s.
Also, we will have two brand new, fully equipped 2.5 X 12m containers, one as a preschool (Edutainer) and one as a library/resource centre/staff room/conference room (Booktainer).
I could never be able to put into words how thankful I am for TIAS ARMS generosity and belief in my work, vision, ambitions and passion. As we have always done in the past years, I still promise you all that the funds will be used appropriately to aid in children’s health care, nutritional care and educational care needs.
May the Lord continue to richly bless you.
Izandla zidlula ikhanda – My hands go up above my head in a gesture of thanks.
Zandile, Executive Director of Never Never Land, South Africa,has shared that she will be enrolling for a diploma in Psychology, which includes Child Psychology. She said “this would not have been possible were it not for TIAS ARMS funding her a stipend allowing her to save for the enrollment fee”. She told Joanne when they first met she would like to take a Psychology course to better equip herself to do her job with the children. Working with TIAS ARMS has made that dream possible for her. She told us it has lifted her self esteem and made her look forward to learning more and seeing where she can improve in the lives of not just the children of Never Never Land but children of Emandleni village whom she looks after, helps with homework, family problems, and gives them the courage to report and speak out about the sexual and physical abuse they receive and experience at home, school and the community.
I have no words to thank you. I will continue doing what I’ve been called to do, to care,protect and give hope to the hopeless and the helpless. I will do all I can to ensure the children in my care are safe,and well looked after. I will use all funds you so generously donated sorely for the benefit of the children whom I believe God has called me to give them a voice.
Director, Zandile Khosa, wrote:
“Tragedy struck 3 days ago in our community when one family’s shack burned to the ground with a 3month old baby inside. Sadly, the baby didn’t make it. Two of our nursery school children -oldest being 6, and doing grade1 with us, and the middle child being 3, were saved. The six-year-old was left by her working mom to look after her two younger siblings. [A fire in the stove], was out of control and [the six-year-old] managed only to grab her three-year-old brother and get out.
So, Never Neverland will keep their doors opened for 35 children who have no adult looking after them during the holidays. If we allow these children to be left unattended, we may lose them to fires, abduction, and [worse].”
TIAS ARMS provided emergency funds to pay for the food, medical care, and care-givers for three weeks of the holiday season so Never Neverland can keep its doors open to feed, shelter, and care for these children.