UPLIFTING RURAL DISTRICTS WITH THE HEADSTART TRUST
The HeadStart Trust has been working in poor and marginalised communities of the Cape for over 10 years. In the last 5 years, activities centred around Napier in the Overberg, where the Jack family farm is located. Working at Protea Primary in Napier, we started with an organic vegetable garden development, warm beanies for the young learners in winter, donations of extra furniture and annual stationery and art equipment. We also arranged outreach programmes from privileged schools in Cape Town to do community service in Napier.
The late Elspeth Jack first moved from Cape Town to the Napier district twenty years ago. Elspeth’s keen interest in the local community and her desire to stimulate social upliftment left an indelible mark on her son Bruce, who continues her work through the HeadStart Music Trust – established in her memory to provide music education opportunities and outreach programs for poor and needy children in impoverished, rural areas of South Africa.
In 2018 The HeadStart Trust introduced a Music Education Programme. The results reflected international experience and research, and were astounding. Music pupils showed an average annual attendance rate increase from around 75% to 98%. Their general behaviour and academic results in other subjects also improved markedly. In 2020 we hired more staff and acquired more instruments and were able to increase those receiving music tuition from 36 to 130 pupils.
Watch a short video on the Headstart Trust here.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives, most notably those in poor and marginalised communities. Within a few weeks of the lockdown in South Africa, it was obvious that most piecemeal workers in poor rural areas had no food. A proportion of these are foreign nationals, who, along with many South Africans were without access to the UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) or other social grants, and started going hungry before our eyes.
With the consent of the trustees of the HeadStart Trust we repurposed ourselves to become the bridge between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. We tapped into our networks and raised money, utilised our drivers and delivery vans to collect soup ingredients and plugged these supplies into the existing structures that were already establishing networks of food relief.
A HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS