2021 Term 1 summary report

This term we have 28 partner schools, and we look forward to onboarding our 29th partner school in Term 2.  The total number of learners across our 28 schools is 25 230 and we set this as our target for impact.

The nature of our work with learners is two-fold:


We host resilience building workgroups where we table challenging topics (such as self-harm, self-image, self-care, anger, anxiety, boundaries, bullying and gender-based violence) and we encourage open debate, role modelling positive communication.

This term we hosted 708 workgroups with 14 818 learners. (see breakdown in the table below)  Covid, lockdown, social distancing and learner rotation plays havoc with timetables.  Schools are also under pressure to focus on academics so at Community Keepers we remain agile, responsive and flexible – always placing the care and needs of the child in the center of what we do.  Part of this flexibility plays out in the various length of time allocated to group sessions and, of course, we take the age and concentration span of children into account.

With the current spotlight on anti-bullying & GBV we focussed on these themes in 339 workgroups (7 180 learners) in a programme sponsored by the National Development Agency and The Solidarity Fund. (In 2020 we hosted 459 GBV workgroups with 7 223 learners)

We have an holistic approach and host workgroups for learners, educators (832 attendees at 34 meetings) and parents/guardians (5 774 parents in 42 sessions).  Due to social distancing regulations, parent meetings may be either in-person or a digital engagement via video, and we distribute these videos by whatsapp, YOUTUBE links or cut them to DVD.

We set up representative committees who inform the themes of these discussions, tailoring them to the needs of the school.  Eager to engage as widely as possible, we particate in, or host, SBST* meetings (490 attendees at 88 meetings) and meetups with our collaboration partners (231 attendees at 50 meetings).

*For those not familiar with the terminology, the School-based Support Team (SBST) is responsible for determining the support needs of learners. 

We distributed 172 themed posters to reinforce key messages and 3 899 therapeutic actvity books which learners can complete on the days that they are at home due to school rotation.

At Ysterplaat Primary the Grade 6 and 7 learners saw the anti-bullying and GBV poster display and took the initiative to create their own posters to add to the display.


We offer on-site therapeutic intervention (usually a series of 6 weekly sessions) for learners, one on one or in small support groups.

1 671 learners accessed our In-Person Counselling service (757 males, 913 females, 1 non-binary),  722 of these clients began their therapy cycle in 2020.

Our therapists have collectively facilitated 5 216 therapy sessions, an average of 19.61 per school, per week (averaging 3 per learner in the first term).

Of the 698 learners on the waiting list to see a therapist, 150 are under the age of 12 and require parental permission and that paperwork is ‘in progress’.  Waiting lists are scrutinised frequently and added resources are allocated where needed.  Triage and checkups are done frequently to ensure that no learner who needs urgent help gets lost in a capacity bottleneck.

Through our Telephonic Support programme we have reached 1 524 clients, through 2 463 calls totalling 17 840 minutes (an average of 7 minutes per call).

Working with children experiencing trauma is demanding work, the heightened anxiety of parents, teachers and learners adds to this demand and, for every 4 hours of therapy given, our therapists receive one hour of supervision.  We practice the same self care that we advocate.

One of the on-going challenges remains ‘no-show’ clients for therapy sessions which could be due to absenteeism, shifting timetables or a last minute shift in learner rotation. Our therapists work hard to iron out these issues in order to offer the learners the best opportunity to receive the help they need and to make best use of our time.  Meticulous records are kept and patterns are tracked in order to try and best resolve these lost opportunities.

Statistics tell a story but so do the comments people make, we capture them on evaluation forms and share with permission

Quote from a grade 12 client: ” I feel like I am becoming braver to talk about my feelings, it is hard for me to share about myself, but is getting better”.

“The session was meaningful and I learned a lot about GBV and I got ways to deal with my anger.”

“Dankie dat ek so kan deel, ek was nog nooit so gemaklik om net te praat oor die dinge nie.”

“The session on reporting was informative and it definitely made me see and realise that I have a responsibility as an educator to report abuse (in fact everyone has).”

“Hard stuff to talk about; very good/needed.”

“Well presented and informative”.

“Ek voel ek het net so goed gedoen deur my volle self te wees en juffrou het my gehelp en advice gegee om hoe om myself te wees. Baie dankie juffrou vir als wat juffrou vir my gedoen het. Ek sal dit verewig waardeer.” Former Gr12 learner who passed

“Wat ek gehoor het het ek al gehoor maar die spesifieke sessie het my meer laat dink daaroor en saamstem dat hoe jy teenoor die geslagte dink en hoe jy hulle sien is saam met wat jy sien soos jy grootword en wat in sosiale kringe gebeur en dit laat my voel ek moet meer sensitief wees oor hierdie sake.”

“This session really helped me to know I never have to feel unsure that I’m being loved and it will help someone else who’s unsure that they are lovable.”

”Very meaningful session with learners, and they loved dancing to the baby shark song

“… it was nice listening to other people and getting to know what they think”

“thank you that we can come to you with themes that we are concerned about and then you come and address those themes in groups in a manner which helps learners understand”

// A special word of thanks to our therapists who spend hours compiling this data, our areas managers who scrutinise and verify it and our Operations Manager who ultimately signs it off.  This year we migrated off Excel sheets onto a new database which will prove to be a great help in reducing input and audit time.  We are also continually improving our M&E, adding new indicators and aligning with industry best practice.