I am sitting at my desk, it is the 23rd February 2011 and I am reminiscing over the last 4 years at how privileged I am to be doing the work I am doing and seeing the differences we are making in the lives of the children we serve. Through Gods grace the program continues to grow, it is scary because we cannot see an end to this work, the children keep coming, the Dream is continually lifted up and we keep expanding. I It is amazingt to consider where we have come from…….. literally a dream, to the reality we have now where we see 2,456 children on a weekly basis.
The quality of the program continues to improve as we continue to expand. New adult scout leaders are coming into the program with real passion and commitment to see the children succeed. We have been training parents of scouts to understand what we are doing and why, so they will form Parent Committees tos upport their children in the pack (7-11yrs) or troop (12-18yrs) as a whole. Our senior children have formed two Rover Crews (18-25yr olds) who during University breaks are assisting us to implement the activities throughout Greater Tzaneen. We also have two new staff who have joined us in this financial year and add capacity to the current Field Officers. The quality of the scout program has been improved through the Field Officers tireless visits to the many groups and this year, for the first time, we have reached Gold Star Evaluation Awards from South African National Scouts Association, with the receipt of 3 Gold ,5 Silver and 14 Bronze awards. These awards are very difficult to achieve and a testimony to the hard work and perseverance by the adults and children. In 2010 we had 25 out of 25 matriculate when the current pass rate for Limpopo was 58%. Parents and children alike acknowledge the role scouts has played in their success with the national exams. Many of our children have gained bursaries and those that didn't have returned to school to improve their marks this year and apply for bursaries for 2012.
One highlight forus regards Ronny Sekwela, a young man who started scouts with us at the tender age of 14yrs, who became a Field Officer, was awarded a bursary to study computerp rogramming and last year won Community Builder of the Year in South Africa and was sent to India in November 2010 to meet with other like minded youth from around the world. His work in the subdistrict regarding training and raising awareness on HIV & AIDS has been the basis of the recognition.
This success doesn't just happen, its because of alot of tireless workd one behind the scenes by the Scouters, staff of Keep The Dream 196, our friends, donors and supporters. Thank you particularly to The Kings Court Christian School, Fred Hoffman, Andrew & Sheila Tanner, Milly Siebrits of Scouts and particularly to the staff and Board of KTD 196. None of this would be possible without your dedication and commitment. It is a privilege to lead this team and I praise God for his guiding and leading.
I pray as you read this report which is a snap shot of what we do you will be inspired and encouraged.
Louise Batty, Managing Director