CHRIS HANI COMMUNITY SCHOOL  
c/o Maureen Jacobs PO Box 165, Nyanga Cape Town, South Africa.

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HISTORY AND ORIGIN In 1991 the concerned parents and residents of the ALTA hostels joined forces with Mrs. Maureen Jacobs and a cadre of teachers and founded the Nombaliso school (the precursor of the current Chris Hani Community School). Mrs. Jacobs was an experienced teacher and founder who had started up another similar transitional school in the KTC area nearby in the Western Cape in the late 1980s.

the Chris Hani School Principal, Mrs. Jacobs, and her staff are accountable to a rotating board of directors. The founders identified the need for our kind of transitional (feeder) school to facilitate the mainlining of immigrant children into the formal, public school system. The original (Nombaliso) School and our current Chris Hani Community School were created to provide the following:

the school has continually sought to become self-sustaining through assessment and collection of nominal student access fees (R5:00/per month), lunch fees (20c/per day) to be supplemented by fundraising efforts and sporadic, voluntary donations from patrons and visitors. For a short time during Financial Year 1992, the school received a grant from the Kagiso trust. It was temporary "bridge-funding" only; and since 1993, our school has been operating on an unstable financial basis. We are subsisting on school and lunch fees (when available) and we sometimes receive voluntary contributions from visitors and a few foreign contributors. In fact, our dedicated principal and teachers have been working without regular compensation or salaries since 1991.

School enrollments: initially, targeted at 100+ students have climbed with a growing demand and have peaked, currently at 200+.

In 1994, our school was renamed as the Chris Hani Community school, in memory of Tembisile "Chris" Hani, the now famous South African liberation struggle leader, foot soldier and martyr. Chris Hani, like many of our children and their parents had his roots in the Transkei; and Chris rose from those humble beginnings to achieve international recognition and respect. Mr. Hani was assassinated in 1993. Chris Hani is an inspiration and an excellent role model for our children.

MISSION STATEMENT The Chris Hani Community School housed in the ALTA hostels in Langa township, Western Province (South Africa) is dedicated to the concept of the transformation of South Africa through the education and the empowerment of all of its people. Our Community-based school has specifically targeted children of the ALTA hostel dwellers (underemployed and unemployed immigrants from rural areas). Our program seeks to take in functionally illiterate, culturally deprived children (aged 6 to 16) with limited language and social skills. We are committed to teach and transform them into school-ready learners who can be mainstreamed into the state-supported (public) education system. PRINCIPAL'S STATEMENT

I have always loved to help people and have taken special pride in teaching children. I get excited again each day about the many new opportunities we will have to awaken in the "sleeping minds" of the children of the Chris Hani community school. Each child has his/her unique abilities and so much untapped potential, which it is our job to encourage and develop! We are always motivated by these simple facts: If we teach them they will learn! If they do not learn, it will be because we did not teach them well enough!

As our country approaches the year 200 and beyond we must learn to appreciate each child; to educate and prepare all of our children for the challenges and complexities of life in the 21st century. Here, at the Chris Hani Community School, our special challenge is to help our children to develop the language and learning skills necessary to make certain that not even one child (and especially not another generation of children) is helplessly trapped in a life of illiteracy and poverty: without EDUCATION; without MARKETABLE WORK and LIFE SKILLS and without HOPE!

Each night, I pray: for our teachers' continued commitment; for our collective wisdom; for the necessary resources; and for the health and stamina to continue to make a difference in the lives and minds of our children!

I work and pray with the knowledge that: IF WE DO NOT GET THE JOB DONE (HERE AND NOW), FOR OUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN, IT WILL NOT GET DONE!

Maureen Jacobs.
 

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This page was created by John Malathronas after agreement with Legend Tours and the Chris Hani school.