Anna with the children
The Anna Foundation
The Anna Foundation has been running for years, literally. Anna Brom, its founder, is a keen runner and the story goes that back in 2007, when she was teaching in a Mpumalanga school, she would go running every evening and the children would follow her. She ordained that if you wanted to run with her, you had to read a book. And so it began...
I spoke with Carolyn Clark to get the low-down on what the Anna Foundation does for children and young people, how it benefits the community and how we can continue supporting their work.
"We run on the principle of the 3 R's", says Carolyn, "Reading, Running and Right-ing". Carolyn has been working at Anna for 3 1/2 years and is a bundle of enthusiasm and passion for what she does; "It's important the children receive rounded help and as a means to aid the children in all aspects of their learning, we incorporate sports which makes up for the Running segment and our Righting part is about right living - developing positive life skills."
The program is specially designed with the mantra ‘healthy living, healthy mind’. On an average day, part of the program in the afternoon would be literacy and numeracy and we encourage children to bring their homework to the after-school club because a lot of the time they don’t have anyone at home who can help them, or even discipline them. For those who don’t have homework, there are grade-specific worksheets to be done which is in sync with the National Department of Education’s syllabus as well as what they are currently learning at school.
The majority of the children love the sports section and we make it very varied to develop motor skills and team work and to increase fitness and nurture the healthy lifestyle.
Right-ing, "can be the simple things of pleases and thank you's- learning social traits and inevitably building up the child’s self-esteem." says Carolyn. They implement this mostly through drama and drama games – "we look at the issues the children are facing to develop communication skills and to look at ways to deal with problems etc. We want to equip the learners for life, to over-coming hurdles.”
They are working now on farms in Robertson and Ashton and Tulbagh but are not specific to wine farms as they are finding that they are working more and more with rural schools (Lutzville, Vredendal and Robertson) as well as in children’s homes (currently in Tulbagh and Moorreesburg).
In addition to working with children, another important community aspect of what the Anna Foundation does, is to train facilitators, "to equip them with skills so that they can successfully implement the 3 R’s program....These “Go-Getters” set wonderful examples in their communities and ultimately, serve as positive role models which are so vital for our children"
One such example of someone who has benefited from the Anna Foundation training program is Leana Claasen who has been an employee of Dornier Wines since 2002 where she started as a general worker.
She was promoted to Vineyard Supervisor and is now working as a cleaner and Office Assistant at the farm. When the Anna Foundation project started at Dornier in 2010 Leana was chosen to fill the role of 3 R’s facilitator and run the after school in the afternoons. In the 3 years she has been with us we have seen Leana grow from strength to strength, taking charge of her classroom and implementing the academic lessons, sports and life skills programmes with absolute confidence. You can read more about her amazing story here
There are many volunteers who can choose to take part in the education side, the sports side or joining in as a support runner for the little children at monthly fun runs. Often people can help to raise money for the Anna Foundation by getting sponsorship for running or other sporting events. of fun runs which help to raise money for the Anna Foundation. What's important, is that there are a lot of ways in which people can get involved from donations of stationary for the children to taking part in the fun runs. For more ways in which you can get involved, click here.
The Anna Foundation recognizes each child as special and unique - and that is exactly how we should see the Anna Foundation itself.
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