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We are a group of South Africans who are determined to change
our future by investing in the children and youth of our country.

In 2008, a group of Christian professionals from the social and corporate sectors came together with a collective concern for the well-being of our South African communities, especially children and the youth. Schools were identified as centres from where children and the youth could be served and research was conducted to determine the relevant needs, problems and resources within local schools. Data from this research laid the foundation for the development of our unique model for school-based services, piloted in 2009 at one Stellenbosch school and since rolled out to more schools and communities.

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As an organisation, we aim to improve the social and emotional well-being of learners and create supportive school communities where learning and development can prosper.

By caring for the social and emotional well-being of learners, we also contribute towards their educational development and their overall performance.

With this in mind, we are confident that we're contributing towards the overall aim of the South African National Development Plan, to address poverty and reduce inequality in our country by the year 2030.

Partnership

Collaborating with others
towards a common goal.

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Integrity

Exercising moral courage
by accepting responsibility
for all our actions.

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Professionalism

Utilising our skills to deliver
a high quality service.

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Trust

Earning trust by being
reliable in everything we do.

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The Community Keepers programme and service is different from most community initiatives in the sense that the services are delivered by qualified professionals, including counsellors, psychologists and social workers. Being school-based, all our services are implemented in partnership with learners, educators and parents or guardians. We thereby ensure that our activities are relevant to the specific communities and that community members are equipped to participate and maintain activities in the long term.

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Assessments, counseling and therapy:

Assessment and Diagnosis | Individual Counselling | Psychotherapy | Trauma Debriefing |
Crisis Intervention | Support Groups (Behavioral Problems; Family Concerns; Substance Abuse; etc)

Admission to these services is gained through self-reporting or referrals by educators, parents or guardians, or other community members and organisations. Sessions, aimed at addressing the following psychological, emotional and social concerns, as well as the various effects thereof, take place at the Community Keepers school offices:

family concerns:

Abuse and/or Neglect (Physical, Emotional and Sexual); Relationship Problems between Parents
or Guardians or Siblings; Divorce; Financial Strain.

emotional or psychological concerns:

Trauma; Stress; Grief; Depression; Anxiety;
Suicidal Thoughts; Eating Disorders; Withdrawal;
Low Self-Esteem.

behaviour:

Misconduct; Bullying; Tantrums; Anger.

sexuality:

Rape; Molestation; Sexual Harassment; Abortion; Sexual Orientation.

peer concerns:

Friendship; Bullying (Verbal and/or Physical).

chronic/serious illnesses:

Tuberculosis (TB); HIV/AIDS; Cancer; Epilepsy.

substance abuse:

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS); Alcohol Abuse; Tobacco; Dagga; Methamphetamine (Tik).

scholastic concerns:

Study Methods; School Dropout; Motivation; Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Career Guidance.



The ecological model serves as the foundation for most of the assessments and interventions delivered by the Community Keepers staff members. This model enables therapists to determine the influence of social contexts and stresses the reciprocal effect that one part of a system has on the others. Within this broad, systemic view, parents or guardians and class teachers are typically integrated into the assessment process (especially in the primary school) - in order to get an overall idea of the learner's functioning. Involving all these role players has led to great opportunities to work with parents or guardians of learners, thereby also caring for their careers.


The following direct benefits are experienced by learners making use of the services:

diagnosis

of clinical problems and effective treatment or referral where deemed necessary e.g. in cases of severe Depression and Anxiety etc.

advice

on how to change relationship dynamics (family, partner, spouse, friends, colleagues, people in authority) that have a negative impact on learners' lives.

greater insight

into problems and provision of a professional opinion concerning problems.

modification

of false or negative perceptions by building self-esteem and establishing personal norms as well as values.

skills gained

in the management of problems, stress, peer pressure, relationship boundaries, emotions, behaviour and decision-making.

improved relationships

with self, peers and family.

greater motivation

and stimulation towards purposeful living.

academic performance

is encouraged and improved.

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Support Keepers

Assessments,
counseling
and therapy.

life keepers

Personal and social development through classes, programmes, events, outings and seminars:

Grade Days and Orientation Sessions | Life Skills Programmes and Campaigns | Leadership Development Programmes with School Leaders | Career Guidance and Career Expo | Guest Speakers

All programmes are developed and presented in collaboration with educators and learners and has a strong focus on mentorship and training. These programmes are implemented as a preventative intervention delivered to large groups of learners, aiming to equip them with skills and knowledge in the following areas:

personal development:

Identity; Sexuality and Relationships; Emotions, e.g. Stress, Trauma and Depression; Prevention of high risk behaviour including substance abuse, sexual promiscuity and teenage pregnancy.

health promotion:

Personal Hygiene and Community Health; Sexual Education, e.g. STI’s and HIV / AIDS.

social development:

Relationship with peers, family and community.

future vision and dreams:

Goal Setting; Career Opportunities; Subject Choices; Study Methods and Techniques.



Through these activities, we aim to initiate action, and prepare and motivate learners in their journey of developing into responsible adults - making a positive contribution to the well-being of their community.


Developing learners’ social and personal skills have the following benefits:

equip learners

to effectively deal with everyday challenges.

challenge

negative cultural norms and standards.

enable learners

to make positive life choices.

equip learners

with skills to deal with emotions, e.g.
Stress and Trauma.

promote

and cultivate decision making as well as problem solving skills.

motivate

and initiate critical thinking.

provide

opportunities and platforms for learners to further discuss and explore topics in Life Orientation, e.g. Tertiary Education, Self Image and Drug Abuse.

expose

and introduce learners to leaders in various fields as well as potential positive role models.

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Life Keepers

Personal and social
development through
classes or programmes.

parent keepers

Parenting initiatives with parents or guardians of learners which include the following:

Parent Support Network | Parenting Committee | Parenting Courses | Assessments and Referrals | Individual Guidance

Parenting committees are established by involving parents or guardians to become part of the parenting network. Committees consist of 4-6 members consisting of parents or guardians, at least one educator of the specific school and a Community Keepers staff member. This collaborative effort between the school and the community ensures that specific parenting concerns are addressed, including the following:

holistic development of learners:

Nutrition; Early Childhood Development and Stimulation; Character Development.

parent-child relationships:

Communication; Time; Involvement.

specific parenting topics:

Establishing Boundaries; Discipline; Academic Support to child, e.g. assisting with homework, preparing for test and exams.

personal development:

of Parents or Guardians.

 

Benefits from these activities include the following:

better involvement

of parents or guardians in lives of learners.

parents or guardians

more involved in school activities.

improved parent and Child

relationships and strengthened family structures.

greater insights

into specific parenting topics.

skills gained

in disciplining children, maintaining boundaries, supporting children with homework and creating a caring home environment.

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Parent Keepers

Parenting initiatives
with parents or
guardians of learners.

teacher keepers

Professional support and development of educators:

Professional Development and Training Sessions | Community Keepers Management Committee

All our services are implemented in partnership with educators. This partnership is strategically formed with the principal and a management committee consisting of three educators who, in partnership with the Community Keepers office manager, are responsible for the planning and execution of all our services at a school. Through our services to educators, we aim to address concerns in the following areas:

learner and class concerns:

Discipline; Communication; Uninvolved Parents
or Guardians; Learners with Special Needs;
Barriers to Teaching.

personal concerns:

Emotional Health; Establishing Boundaries;
Marital Relationships; Time Management.

collegial concerns:

Relationships with Colleagues; Teamwork;
Support; Communication.



Benefits from these activities include the following:

greater insight

into specific teaching areas or topics.

opportunity

to discuss difficult and challenging scenarios.

better equipped

to address class and learner concerns.

improved

relationships with colleagues, learners and parents.

better

structure and discipline in classes.

improved

functioning of school.

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Teacher Keepers

Professional support
and development
of educators.

We aim to open Community Keepers school offices at as many schools in South Africa as possible and thereby affect change on all levels of functioning for learners schools, families and communities. Our medium and long term goals are to have 20 school offices by 2018 and 100 Community Keepers school offices by 2025 whereby we will be able to deliver professional support services to about 20,000 learners per year.