On the 15th of January 2014 the Dwarsriver Valley Initiative opened an after care centre in the small village of Kylemore just outside Stellenbosch for 25 little ones. Teacher Carol Jobe awaited them with open arms, a big smile and, of course, lots of energy and ideas!! This year the after-care centre caters for 65 children, ages 5 to 7, every afternoon of the week from 1pm to 5pm. The centre provides food, educational stimulation, fun, sport and life skills programs. In a nutshell we create-a safe place where children can be loved, nurtured and stimulated to develop and grow as best they can- a real second home!!
How did it all start?
The Steyn family moved into the Banhoek valley in the middle of 2012. They immediately fell in love, not only with the farms and mountains of the valley but also with the quaint village of Kylemore. Marietjie, an educational psychologist, offered her services at the local primary school as a counselor.
In the months that followed, she became aware of the desperate situation that some children found themselves in. Parents working long hours, poverty and substance abuse led to many kids roaming the streets - hungry, bored and often feeling unloved and unwanted. Such children often find solace in groups. In similar situations and together, they get involved in crime, sexual promiscuity and substance abuse. After being part of an After-care centre in an informal settlement in Zandspruit, Johannesburg for 10 years, Marietjie had seen the fruit of such a project and knew that this was what the children of Kylemore needed- a place, away from the streets, where they would feel loved and cared for and be given food, attention and stimulation. Marietjie approached the Imbali Western Cape organisation, an established NGO in the Kylemore area, to incorporate the After Care Centre as part of their projects. After 15 months of being part of the Imbali Western Cape NGO, the After Care team decided to spread their wings and start their own NPO called the Dwarsriver Valley Initiative.