Trauma is an everyday occurrence in the lives of many children in South Africa, due to violence, abuse and neglect.  These children observe and experience things that no child should have to face.

Well-being (mental health) is a key issue around the world and the United Nations is calling for mental health to be prioritised.  The World Economic Forum has put it as bluntly as this:  “We can’t make progress without investing in mental health.”

Community Keepers is a team of 45 practitioners (psychologists, social workers and registers counsellors) based on-site in child friendly consulting rooms at 23 schools in under resourced and rural communities. In March we open consulting rooms at 4 schools in the Winelands and, hopefully, by the end of the year we will be in 30 schools.

CEO Gerrit Laning said: “What an absolute privilege to open child-friendly Community Keepers psycho-social consulting rooms at two different schools this week, bringing the tally to 25 schools in under resourced communities. At Makupula Secondary School in Kayamandi we were joined by our partners from Remgro and Willy Maliwa, circuit manager for Western Cape Education Department. Then at Dalubuhle Primary School in Franschhoek, we were joined by our partners from the Rupert Education Foundation. In her address, Priscilla Booysen spoke about the power and importance of team work and emphasised their philosophy of all learning together, in a collective, with the child in the centre.”

Community Keepers founder and Chairman, Andre du Plessis of Capitec, pledged that: “We will work very hard to make you all proud of this association and this service which we offer to children and their caregivers. Here we are, sleeves rolled up and ready to invest. We wish we could be in every school in SA but, where we establish ourselves, we give it our all and we make a difference. I want to pay special tribute to educators who care deeply and work hard, each day, as they greet and teach their learners”

Community Keepers has impacted the lives of 64 576 beneficiaries with counselling, therapy and resilience enhancing life skills sessions. In 2019 alone, beneficiaries received 16 461 individual therapy sessions and 25 249 caregivers benefitted from our positive parenting workshops.