Kerus has worked with local NGO’s to set up a best practices model in the township of Soshanguve, a township of two million people just outside of Pretoria, This model includes the teaching of It Takes Courage! and the use of orphan care centers to assist children who have lost both parents to AIDS. The program consists of training teachers and pastors to use the It Takes Courage! Youth Curriculum and to offer assistance to families caring for orphans in after school and family assistance programs.
It’s a collaborative program involving local NGO’s, churches and public schools. Kerus works with these entities to implement the It Takes Courage! program in their spheres of influence. ITC! is now used in over 60 schools in Soshanguve, impacting thousands of children, educators, and families. Since 2008, in cooperation with the Tshwane School Districts, 300 teachers, youth leaders, and educators have been trained to lead ITC! with groups of youth.
In addition to the implementation of the ITC! program, Kerus has helped to establish after school orphan care centers. Three centers are now serving over 250 orphans and their families.
Orphan Care Program Overview
The orphan care program is now being led by the newly formed NGO, Go Amogela, and is led by key professionals from the township. The primary goal of the orphan care strategy is to inspire and equip the local church and schools to be a beacon for compassionate care for those in great need and a trumpet for courageous actions that will stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Soshanguve area. The orphan care programs seek to provide the following:
Spiritual development through Bible study and prayer
At least one hot, nutritious meal each day
A safe place for children to play after school
Assistance with homework
Identify medical and psychological issues needing care
Training in character and life skills development
Service learning projects like a garden to cultivate vegetables for the Orphan Care Center
Skills development to become economically independent through: computer training, handicrafts, bead-work, artefacts, needlework, embroidery, and similar skills.