Meet some of the children

All information shared in these stories is shared with the signed permission of the parents concerned. Names have been omitted in order to protect the identity of the children and families concerned.

Chisoma`s family is from Malawi. His father left family for two years while attempting to find work in South Africa to make a better life for his family. There are three siblings - a ten year old daughter lives with grandparents, then our little boy and a 2 year old little girl. The father has been unable to find sustainable work and now does part time gardening. C has presented with language delays and was quite anti-social when he arrived at Udobo School. After just four months he has become a popular child with many friends and is co-operating in class and working hard.

A family has joined the Udobo family, dad is from the Congo and mom is a Malawian. Dad works on a commission as a general worker and mom, who is unemployed, has recently had a baby. They are so grateful for all the school is doing for their daughter - she settled quickly and will spend another year with us in order to develop her lanuage skills. without our school this little one would have missed out on all the important skills necessary to enter Grade one on an equal footing with her pers.

We ahve had a dear little girl with special needs in our school for two years. When she arrived last year she had no language and severe spatial relation problems as well as defensiveness. She was extremely disruptive in class and unable to climb or move freely (she even battled to climb stairs). It was a joy to watch her as she slowly developed some language and learned to climb the jungle gym. During the second year she has learned to line up and copy positive behavior in class. She loves to play with ball and has now attached herself to a set of twins at school. It is a cause for celebration every time shelearns something new. She is in the process of being placed in a special needs school next year where she will be able to get thr specific help she needs but we will still miss her and are grateful that we could play a part in her life.

Another child who came to us last year is one of a set of twins. Her brother is severely autistic and her mother impressed me deeply with the level of acceptance of a very difficult situation. She is a single mum who does not work because she has nobody to watch her son, he does not sleep well and disrupts his sister so mum just naps when she can but remains a loving, caring mother despite this. When A arrived at school and although we do attemp to be inclusive, i was concerned that A seemed very slow and did not grasp much of what was taught. However, this year she is happy and centered at school and i am so thrilled by her progress, as ahe continues to develop at her own pace i feel confident that she will be able to enter mainstreem education. Without her chance at pre-school education i feel sure that she would have "fallen through tha cracks" and not been able to reach her potentail.

K is an extremely bright little girl whosr parents are Zimbabwean; she is fluent in Shona, Zulu and English. She brings me Pictures every day which are colorful and detailed and delights in telling me long stories. Her parents both work but really only earn enough to live in a tiny flat with other families. It would be a tragedy if a child such as K missed out on pre-school education as she has such potential and is so full of live

Udobo remains a place where childre who would be denied a Grade R education because of financial constrains are welcomed and nurtured. As with all children they are a mixed ability, we have children who are very capable academically as well as those who stuggle but each child has something special to give and at Udobo School we celebrate them all.