Outreach scholarships

The end of the school holidays means the preparation for the beginning of the second term at school. The school scholarships for the Outreach Program are given out on the last Saturday before school resumes. The children must bring in their school grades, their receipts for uniforms, school bags, school and bus fare costs. Each child receives his money for the term ahead depending on what grade they are studying in. It is great to see the children’s grades improve each term or for some continue to maintain a high standard. For some of the teenagers, there is discussion about further studies or what they would like to do in the future. Some have never thought about this. One orphan girl, who is living with HIV, lives with her grandmother and has had top marks all though her school years and is now in Grade 9. She wants to go to university to study when she finishes school. Receiving a scholarship and support from Sarnelli House means that she can be followed up and guided through the complicated business of finding a good senior high school that will fulfil the quota for the local universities. Without the help of the scholarship, her dream of going to study at university would be only that.

The children are proud to come in and show their results, they are treated with a snack and a carton of milk and are followed up by a visit to their home during the term from the Outreach team. Some children are from single parent households where their mother or grandmother is the sole worker.  About 20% of the students are affected by HIV - their mother or father died from AIDS and they have one parent living. Currently there are three siblings who have just lost their father to AIDS, and their mother died from AIDS three years ago. They are now living with their grandmother and two of the three children themselves have HIV. For children like this, transport is provided for their 3 month hospital appointments, and regular visits to their home are made to monitor their adherence to their medicine as well as to support their grandmother.  This term, there were 60 children from Kindergarten to Grade 12 receiving scholarships. All their stories are different but the common theme is that they would not be able to attend regular school if not for the financial help available to them through the Outreach Scholarships. Thank you to all those who support Sarnelli House and help to provide this service. 

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