Susan Rammekwa's work got noticed when she won the "Most Dynamisante Woman Award 2006", a South African award sponsored by Clarin. Dynamisante is French for "instigating." Indeed Ms. Rammekwa is someone who "brings about and initiates" change. The award came with a chunk of money that she used to expand the Tshepang program. T
Ms. Rammekwa has seen changes in the children since the program began:
"They used to fight a lot and were usually so dirty. Now they are so much more confident and play nicely together and are so good with their chores. I think all kids are like that, they just need someone to bring out their skills and build up their self-esteem."
Tshepang hit a snag in 2008.
The land Susan Rammekwa was using for the program got sold to a developer. The SEEtrust stepped in and helped Susan get new property. With more than 110 children in the program, the move provided an opportunity to expand.
"Moving into our new property would help us have support groups for such families on a continuous basis. We would also be available whenever they need some material assistance even on weekends. Also we would help the children, by washing their clothes as support for the mother and older sibling. They would also be bathed at least twice a week at our house. Sometimes children go for many days without a bath."
Susan wants to find a way to empower the children to become self sufficient. She says that is the only way any of them have hopes of breaking out of poverty. When I spoke with her a few months ago, she envisioned a business that the children could help with. Something that would teach them a skill and provide an income to the program. Her website mentions a bakery. When I spoke with her, she had just received a donation of sewing machines. Her Mom had agreed to teach sewing to the children. his is Susan Rammekwa, her Mother, and Tshepang staff.
What is the Tshepang Program Like for Children? Find out by reading about Bungani, Aretha, and the Molokwane family.