Where Rainbows Meet has been registered as a non-profit organization since January 2008. We believe in holistic community development by achieving social, economic and health improvements within the community of Vrygrond and its surrounding settlements. We want to create a future where every individual can live their life in dignity and security. We provide a sewing project, computer classes, a kindergarden, a youth development program, a workshop to empower women, several meals during the day and a garden project. These projects are open and free to everyone living in the community of Vrygrond.
The community of Vrygrond is the most concentrated township/informal settlement in South Africa. More than half (59.2%) of the population has been a victim of crime, such as robbery, hijacking, deliberate damage to property and sexual assault/rape. Children, youths and adults are also confronted with violence at home (15.4%) and are in contact with alcohol (43.9%) or drug use (29.9%).
The three key factors leading to crime and violence within the families include the high unemployment rate (well over 50%), parental substance abuse (19.5%), and financial difficulties (13.8%). These factors mainly arise from the lack of education, information, resources, and support. That is, among others, why the computer training and free access to computers, offered by Where Rainbows Meet, is very important to the people living in Vrygrond.
We provide basic computer lessons five times a week for a period of three months. There are 90 rotational students per term, who learn how to turn on a computer, use the internet, email, and Microsoft programmes such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel. They also learn how to write a CV and give a presentation, which are practical and usefull skills that are essential to get and perform a job.
Currently, the computers in use are about seven years old, do not have any working anti-virus programs and are failing down. Out of 21 computers, already 4 of them cannot be used anymore by students. The courses are becoming less and less effective, because most of the computers are not working properly. The course has to decline applicants, because we lack the right number of computers. In the worst case, the course can not be continued in the future. In addition, Where Rainbows Meet currently has a wireless uncapped internet link, which is very limiting. This multiplied by 30 computers used by students and staff members usually slows down the internet considerably and does not allow the staff members to continue day to day activity while student training is in progress. Also, by investing in our security, we believe we can keep our premises safe, especially with office equipment and computers in our midst. We have experienced break-ins before and would like to be covered in the event this happens again. Proper anti-virus software is needed to guarantee this security, and will also provide Remote Surveillance viewing to our staff whether they are in or out the office.
We believe that well-structured computer courses can serve to re-inspire the people of our communities and show them that crime, using illegal substances and being a part of a gang is not their only option. This facility will empower them with skills development training, helping to raise awareness in the various communities we serve and it will equip them with an education, confidence and a good self-esteem. We will also continue to liaise with local collegues and provide classes for young people so that they become employable and fully functioning members of society. This lab with computers will serve as a hub for all of Where Rainbows Meet’s projects concerning all people and will provide a modern and safe environment for them to take place in.
We would also like to provide the youth, and the new building that will expand the youth project, with computers to do their homework and gain knowledge from using computers. At least once a week, high-school students get homework or assignments to carry out on a computer, but because of the small number of working computers they sometimes have to make use of staff members’ laptops or are not able to do their homework at all. The computer lab is ideally open to everyone living in this community, but because of the decreasing number of computers and old systems, the purpuse of the lab cannot be fulfilled completely.
Furthermore, staff members’ do not have enough laptops to carry out their daily work or to contact other organizations and companies to do fundraising. The shortage of computers prevents them from running the organization efficiently.
Please support Where Rainbows Meet! Hugs and kisses from all of us.