The first POP centre originated on Goedgedacht farm in 2003, which since amalgamated with the centre in Riebeek Kasteel. Currently we have eight Path onto Prosperity (POP) Centres in the Western Cape.
- POP Riebeek Kasteel/Esterhof: Built in 2009 and opened in 2010.
- POP Riebeek West:Opened in 2012.
- POP Paarl: A small farm based centre since 2011.
- POP Prince Albert:Opened in this small desert town in the Karoo in 2015
- POP Koringberg:A starter POP centre made from renovated shipping containers opened in 2015.
- POP Riverlands:Starter POP opened in 2015
- POP Chatsworth:Starter POP opens in 2015
- POP Porterville: Opened in 2018 by Minister of Mineral Resources – Samson Gwede Mantashe
The centres all provide afterschool care services for children where they can do homework, sport, maths classes, art, get computer access, get access to libraries/ reading clubs, get a snack and be part of a life skills programme. Every holiday the centres also present a holiday programme to keep children busy over the long school breaks
We also started a first 1000 days programme and appointed a First Thousand Days practitioner, who goes around to all centres to support pregnant mothers and mothers with children up to two years.
Do you know that the first 1000 days of a child’s life determines his or her ability to thrive in adult life?
These Path onto Prosperity Centres also function as developmental hubs where various community groups could do their activities, e.g. service centres for senior citizens, disability groups, dance groups and community meetings.
The Path onto Properity programme recently started to follow an Asset Based Community Development approach. Through this approach we focus more on supporting the development of community strengths and initiatives instead of focusing on problems. Through this approach we make communities real partners in development instead of being passive recipients. Watch this space! We are in the process of transforming the community development space.
We are also using the Asset Based Community Development approach in communities where we do not yet have a POP centres, working with communities to identify what they have and how to use and grow what they have.
Working in the field of development is not a sprint, but a marathon. Many children who have been in our programme for the past 25 years studied further, became assets to civil society, delayed pregnancy and stayed in school longer. We are now seeing POP graduates in their mid-twenties having starting their families as sober attentive young mothers who are able to care for and nurture their babies beautifully.
In 2018 children in our afterschool programme’s maths results improved in 2018 (comparing first to third quarter) by an average of 17% and in new centres like Porterville up to 60%!!We also measure behaviour and children’s Body Mass Index to pick up any health or social problems to refer to our social work department.
For more information see the POP 2018 M&E report. Monitoring and evaluation report for POP programme 2018
In-progress POP Centres:
(Areas which have expressed interest in POP Centres; and have begun the process of establishing one)
- POP Saron – in process
2. POP Gouda
How are we doing?
There have been some modest successes. Whereas 95% of children dropped out of school by the fifth year of education when we started out in the mid-90s, now children in the POP programme go to high school and stay until they reach their highest potential.
We have also seen a substantial drop in early teenage pregnancies which were very common before we started with POP. We are now seeing POP graduates in their mid-twenties having starting their families as sober attentive young mothers who are able to care for and nurture their babies beautifully.