The girls’ hostel is so successful that we have also started a boys hostel
We are happy to share our hostel success story with you – we started a hostel for grade 4-7 girls in 2017 to remove them from the distracting environments many of them found themselves in at home and to help them focus on their studies. With the advent of COVID, we decided to also bring our grade 5-7 boys into a hostel to keep them safe during the first few months after the return to school. This was so successful, that we have decided to keep the hostel open for those boys wishing to stay at school during the week.
We now have 31 girls and 18 boys in our hostels.
Welcome to our new Hostel Managers – Debbie and Fanie
The growth and success of the hostels has been so phenomenal that we have been encouraged to employ hostel managers for both the girls’ and boys’ hostels. We were so lucky to find a couple who are exceptionally qualified to fill both positions.
Debbie has been working with children as a founder of a creche, owner of her own, award-winning school, and hostel Mom for many years. Her husband Fanie is an excellent maintenance man with over twenty years’ experience. Together they have a passion for children, education and working with families. They have adopted three children and have since dedicated themselves to education and support of young children.
According to Debbie, “The move to African Angels in January was a prayer answered for us, as circumstances had meant that the children and I had been working and living in a separate town from Fanie for the whole of 2020. This was not our vision for our family and the boys really needed their Father, so when the offer came, as a result of a chance conversation over five years ago, we grabbed it with both hands.”
Here’s how it works
Debbie is assisted in the girls’ hostel by Phumla Phakamile, Grade 6 teacher, and also a hostel Mom. Phumla gets up at 4am most mornings, to make a huge pot of mielie meal porridge for the hostel children to have a hot breakfast at 6.30am. The children are woken up before 6am to wash, dress, have breakfast and tidy their rooms before heading off to school. They return to the hostel after lunch at 2.30pm, when the younger grades shower, each getting 5 minutes at a time, and dress into fresh clothes before heading off to homework between 4 and 5pm.
Covid protocols require that each grade always remains isolated from other grades so showers are taken in grade groups, food is eaten in classrooms and homework is written in classrooms. After homework, supper is served and then it’s back to hostel for the last few showers, to finish off homework and each night a different grade gets to watch a movie. The children who are not watching, play cards, knit, play ball, skip, read or just chat till bedtime at 7.30pm. By 8pm everyone is ready for lights out.
The pandemic has limited the number of activities that can be offered in the after-school hours but on occasion we do get counsellors or art teachers who pop in to spend a couple of hours with a few children at a time. The boys are also involved in an exciting MENtorship programme devised by The Character Company (see the article below).
Debbie Says, “The children at African Angels are truly a lovely bunch of people. They understand the gift of a good education and they strive to do their very best. They give their all in the classroom, understanding that their future is in their own hands.
“Fanie and I feel very, very blessed and grateful to be part of the African Angels team and to be given this opportunity, not only for us but also for our children. The level of education at this school is truly exemplary. We pray and believe that we can have a positive impact on many, many little lives, for many years to come.”
We have been extraordinarily fortunate to have the support of the Carmel Curlewis Trust, for our girls’ hostel, for the past three years. We are proud to be providing safe and nurturing spaces for our girls and supporting Carmel Curlewis’ vision and legacy.