With South Africa having inherited a legacy of violence, extreme inequality and social dislocation from the former apartheid regime, many families in South Africa are struggling to care for their children resulting in child abandonment and a need for orphanages nationwide.
A dark and violent heritage
The country’s violent heritage has translated into high levels of domestic violence, substance abuse, sexual abuse and neglect with the South African Police Services reporting that 50 000 children are victims of crime every year, with sexual offences constituting about 40 per cent of these cases. While the statistics paint a bleak and desolate picture, volunteer organisations such as Dreams To Reality has created volunteer programs specifically designed to help with the upliftment, care and education of orphaned and abandoned children in Cape Town.
Caring for the disadvantaged
Dreams To Reality’s owners and staff operate on the ground-level, identifying areas where they can make a difference to those in need, and providing others with the opportunity to also make a difference in the lives of South African children. Each program has been specifically created to assist with the needs of a particular community and places emphasis on the support, nurturing and education of children during the developmental period. Dreams To Reality also promotes learning through extracurricular activities such as sport, surf and computer training to provide the children with a balanced skillset for their future.
National Adoption Coalition South Africa (NACSA)
A research study by the National Adoption Coalition South Africa (NACSA) has shared their statistics on Child Abandonment Research, further illuminating the impact that volunteer organisations and programs can have on South African children and their education and growth.
Statistics on children in South Africa from the Adoption Coalition South Africa:
- There are 18.5 million children in South Africa.
- Of these children, 4.5 million live with neither of their parents.
- Orphans have increased by 30% over the decade to approximately 5.2 million children.
- Over this same period, foster care grants have increased by over 70% whilst adoption has decreased by more than 50%.
- An estimated 150 000 children live in child headed households, over 13 000 live in residential care facilities and an estimated 10 000 live on the streets of South Africa.
- In 2013, over 11 million children were registered for child support grants and over half a million children for foster care grants.