For a number of years, CAST has been running an after-school homework club at Addington Primary School. Volunteers assist small groups of children with their homework and provide an alternative to spending the afternoon on the streets. Children are referred by their school teachers and a lot of them have severe learning problems.
This year, one of our interns, Rebecca Benn, decided to add something extra to the Addington Primary Extra Curricular programme. As well as assisting with Homework Club, she has started up an after-school Drama Group for girls.
Not having any indication as to how well-attended the group would be or if there would even be anyone interested in coming, this venture was a courageous one.
“I expected there to be about 5 girls attending the first lesson and instead, I was faced with 15”
So it was a good start and it got even better, as every week the Drama group grew and grew. She now meets every Wednesday with about 24 Grade 6&7 girls and is looking at starting a Friday class for the Grade 4’s and 5’s.
This kind of extra mural activity not only keeps the children off the streets but also provides them with a platform and the freedom to express themselves which they may not get in their home environments. For girls who battle with anger or depression, drama is an effective tool in allowing them to deal with their emotions in a stable way.
With regards to Homework Club, Rebecca aims to do more for the children that have severe learning disabilities as well the children who don’t understand or speak English.There are a number of children who come from DRC and a lot who only speak Swahili or French. It’s hard for our volunteers to help these children with homework because of the language barrier, so we are looking at running one-on-one basic literacy classes with these children in the mornings before school.
So far, we are so pleased at the impact our homework club and drama group are having, but we can definitely do more.If you are keen or know of someone who wants to help out in any way with this ministry, please get in touch with someone from CAST. We always appreciate suggestions and support and we love seeing people in our community getting involved hands-on. Small things can have an eternal impact.