Loving Classroom South Africa

Charity

Loving Classroom South Africa is a Positive Relationship Education program, training teachers to cultivate Loving Classrooms throughout South Africa, in order to build a loving South Africa.

The way we work is to build a loving environment in the classroom and throughout the school (with a positive spill-over effect into families and communities) which automatically addresses serious challenges faced by teachers and students', such as (but not limited to):

  • Bullying
  • Violence/fighting 
  • Drug/alcohol abuse
  • Tribalism
  • Racism
  • Late coming
  • Disruptive and other anti-social behaviours. 

The program is built on cultivating a foundation of 8 virtues:

  • Respect 
  • Compassion 
  • Listening 
  • Kindness
  • Gratitude 
  • Love 
  • Friendship
  • Care

Our 4H Methodology

HUMANITY - Just like a human being consists of different parts working together in harmony, so too, the Humanity Being is the different parts of humanity working together in harmony. Good pulls the Humanity Being together in health and wellbeing. That’s the Loving Classroom goal.

HEAD - Communicating well with all parts of the Humanity Being.

HEART - Feeling good about the goodness in all and craving their wellbeing.

HAND - Putting the thoughts and feelings of head and heart into action.  

Loving Classroom South Africa trains teachers in the above-mentioned methodology and virtues. Those teachers then implement the program during the Life Orientation class once a month (in a 2- hour session) over a period of 8 months. Each ensuing month the school adopts that month’s Loving Classroom virtue, and everything teachers and students do during that month should reflect what they have learned in the Loving Classroom session.                

Look at what happened statistically to the pain and anger in South Africa when Loving Classroom- trained teachers implemented the program in 10 schools in Gauteng in 2019. These results are from a review conducted by an independent evaluator (for the full report click here.):

These impressive results were obtained in just the first year of a 3-year pilot authorized by the Gauteng Department of Education according to which, if Loving Classroom South Africa proves the efficacy of the program over the course of a three-year period (we're half way through that process) then Loving Classroom’s program will be incorporated into the education curriculum for the entire Gauteng district. This is an enormous opportunity to integrate Positive Relationship Education as part of the process of building a Loving South Africa. It would be tragic to lose it.

In 2020, the program started being implemented in 58 schools with 21,000 students. With the onset of Covid, Loving Classroom South Africa had to redirect its services to assist with Covid relief. 

In 2021, the team picked up the program and started teaching again

During the pandemic, the Loving Classroom team has:

  • Delivered 19,000 food parcels feeding over 56,000 family members
  • Prepared and served 30,000 warm chef quality meals to 10 schools
  • Delivered 20,000 litres of sanitizers
  • Delivered 120,000 refuse bags to 58 schools
  • Given warm soup and bread to 4,000 children
  • Delivered 2,000 nutritious breakfast cereals
  • Given study guides to 1,500 grade-12 learners
  • Delivered 10,000 toilet rolls to 20 schools
  • Given 20,000 surgical masks to 40 schools
  • Donated 800 blankets

The Loving Classroom program is designed so that both teachers and students have a safe space to engage and open up about challenges they face. Out of these interactions psychosocial support is arranged for those who need it. 

  • Counselling 480 beneficiaries: Professional counselling sessions by a psychologist were provided to learners and teachers as and when needed.
  • Legal Documentation 578 beneficiaries: Assistance obtaining required legal documentation (for example, identity documents, birth certificates, clinic cards) was implemented by Loving Classroom, in accordance with the official guidelines and by working closely with the South African Department of Home Affairs.
  • Social Services 3,323 beneficiaries: Learners who come from disadvantaged families and from child-headed households were helped to access social services, including social grants, food parcels and school uniforms.
  • HIV Counselling and Testing 2651 beneficiaries: Learners who wanted to be tested were referred to partner organisations for pre- and post-test counselling, testing and treatment, where necessary.
  • Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation 700 beneficiaries: Learners with drug and alcohol problems were referred to the relevant services for rehabilitation and support.
  • Sanitary Towels 2,895 beneficiaries: Thousands of female learners miss school for a week every month when they are menstruating as they do not have the money to spend on sanitary products. Loving Classroom South Africa obtained sanitary towels from donors and distributed to schools whatever they collected.

Loving Classroom South Africa’s program has produced outstanding results in its pilot senior schools, resulting in substantial behavioral change. The reduction in violence, bullying, hatred and poor mental health serve as a beacon for all of South Africa’s schools to follow suit and are proof that this early intervention is the antidote to harmful, anti-social behaviors. Loving Classroom students recognize the relevance and long-term value of Positive Relationship Education, its effect on themselves, their personal and family lives, their environment and how it can help build a Loving World.

In 2021, the Loving Classroom program has been presented to 25,000 Gauteng students and the 3-year pilot promises to extend it to many more schools. Nevertheless, the program is now facing imminent closure because of a serious financial shortfall.  Due to the Covid pandemic, Loving Classroom South Africa’s funding sources have redirected their monetary support to emergency food and medical supplies.  Loving Classroom South Africa has shown more than ever that it is a necessity - essential to students’ and teachers’ mental and emotional health in these trying times.

The program is now running on reserve and is on the verge of collapse if funds are not raised forthwith. This will sabotage the wonderful progress and impact that the program has on students and teachers as demonstrated in the independent evaluation referred to above.

By extension, the ramifications of a potential closure are far more reaching than just the interruption of Loving Classroom's exemplary work in schools to date: if the pilot program with the Gauteng Department of Education closes down before being completed, the opportunity of Loving Classroom/Positive Relationship Education being incorporated into the wider South African educational system will be lost. This would be a gigantic blow for social behavioral change in South Africa, and the early intervention required to accomplish this, which has been strongly advocated by government agencies, leaders and the public. Please enable us to get the job done and keep Loving Classroom South Africa running!

 

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