About Us

Community Keepers is a Stellenbosch based NPO concerned with the mental health and well-being of vulnerable children in poor communities and in rural schools. We are in the business of hope and we actively seek out partners to share their wisdom, insight and resources and to partnering with us in building a well-being movement to address the social ills that plague us.

 

Trauma is an everyday occurrence in the lives of many children in South Africa.  They observe and experience things that no child should have to face.

 

Thanks to our funders, we now have 45 practitioners (psychologists, social workers and registers counsellors) based on-site in our consulting rooms at 23 schools in impoverished and rural communities.  These consulting rooms are a safe space.  Our practitioners use sandboxes where young children can share their story.  There is a comfortable seating area and a swing or a boxing bag for the older children.  We offer the same level of service as a privileged child would receive from a practitioner in private practice.

 

We have impacted the lives of 64 576 beneficiaries through counselling, therapy and resilience enhancing life skills sessions. In 2019, beneficiaries received 16 461 individual therapy sessions and 25 249 parents and caregivers benefitted from our positive parenting workshops.

 

Mental health and well-being are a pressing issue.  World leaders are calling for mental health to be prioritised as it underpins all of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. 

 

The World Economic Forum has put it as bluntly as this:  "We can't make progress without investing in mental health."

 

We take the 2030 Agenda very seriously and we have dedicated our lives to "leave no one behind and to start with the furthest first".  There is much to be done and we need all the support we can muster.

 

At Community Keepers we have a 10-year head start and we continue to grow and innovate, to reach more vulnerable children and to include more services so that we can help these vulnerable communities to cope and then to thrive and to build resilience for the future.

Partners

Community Keepers has on-site consulting rooms at the following schools:

Rural

  • Simondium Primary
  • Klapmuts Primary
  • SPARK Lynedoch Primary

 

Semi-rural

  • Trevor Manuel Primary
  •  Weber Gedenk Primary
  •  Kylemore High
  • Stellenzicht High
  • PC Petersen Primary

Urban

  • Stellenbosch
    • Luckhoff High School
    • Ida's Valley Primary School
    • Rietenbosch Primary
    • Cloetesville High
  • Eerste River
    • Collaboration Schools**
      • Forest Village Leadership Academy
      • Apex High
  • Ysterplaat/Brooklyn
    • Buren High
    • Tygerhof Primary
    • Ysterplaat Primary
  • Durbanville
    • Alpha Primary
  • Maitland/Kenmere/Kensington
    • Maitland High
    • Kenmere Primary
    • Kensington High
  • Zonnebloem
    • Zonnebloem Boys and Girls Primary

Funding

 

Our work is primarily funded through grants, sponsorships and private individuals.  We believe in the power of collaboration and innovation and continue to seek out new avenues of opportunity.

We host two flagship events “The Most Expensive Burger in Town” and “The Most Meaningful Tea in Town” and are a proud beneficiary of the Cape Wine Auction.

Service

SUPPORT KEEPERS (Individuals)

Assessments, counselling and therapy:

Assessment and Diagnosis, Individual Counselling, Psychotherapy, Trauma Debriefing, Crisis Intervention, Support Groups

Admission to these services is gained through self-reporting or referrals by educators, parents or guardians, or other community members and organisations

The ecological model serves as the foundation for most of the assessments and interventions delivered by the Community Keepers staff members. This model enables therapists to determine the influence of social contexts and stresses the reciprocal effect that one part of a system has on the others. Within this broad, systemic view, parents or guardians and class teachers are typically integrated into the assessment process (especially in the primary school) - in order to get an overall idea of the learner's functioning. Involving all these role players has led to great opportunities to work with parents or guardians of learners, thereby also caring for their careers.

LIFE KEEPERS

Personal and social development through classes, programmes, events, outings and seminars:

Grade Days and Orientation Sessions, Life Skills Programmes and Campaigns, Leadership Development Programmes with School Leaders, Career Guidance and Career Expo, Guest Speakers

All programmes are developed and presented in collaboration with educators and learners and has a strong focus on mentorship and training.

Through these activities, we aim to initiate action, and prepare and motivate learners in their journey of developing into responsible adults - making a positive contribution to the well-being of their community.

PARENT KEEPERS

Parenting initiatives with parents or guardians of learners which include the following:

Parent Support Network, Parenting Committee, Parenting Courses, Assessments and Referrals, Individual Guidance

Parenting committees are established by involving parents or guardians to become part of the parenting network. Committees consist of 4-6 members consisting of parents or guardians, at least one educator of the specific school and a Community Keepers staff member. 

TEACHER KEEPERS

Professional support and development of educators:

Professional Development and Training Sessions, Community Keepers Management Committee

All our services are implemented in partnership with educators. This partnership is strategically formed with the principal and a management committee consisting of three educators who, in partnership with the Community Keepers office manager, are responsible for the planning and execution of all our services at a school.

Statement of Need

The Optimus Study on Child Abuse, Violence and Neglect in South Africa tells us that:

  • 42% of South Africa’s children have experienced some form of maltreatment
  • 82% have either experienced or witnessed some form of victimisation
  • 1 in 3 children have experienced physical or sexual abuse 
  • 1 in 4 emotional abuse
  • 1 in 5 neglect
  • 50% split between boys and girls presenting signs of abuse, violence and neglect.

 

  • 23.1% of young people reported exposure to family violence (violence perpetrated by an adult caregiver against a sibling or against another adult in the household)
  • 44.5% of respondents had experienced theft
  • 26.2% of respondents had been robbed
  • 19.7% of young people reported persistent bullying
  • 21.4% of respondents reported having been threatened with violence
  • 19.2% of young people had been attacked without a weapon
  • 15.9% had been attacked with a weapon.

Cape Town consistently has the highest murder rate in the country, and one of the highest in the world.  Four children murdered per week in the Western Cape over the last five years

Vision

Our vision is to improve the social and emotional well-being of learners, to promote supportive school communities where learning and development can prosper and to collaborate to build a culture of well-being.