French books from Canada proving surprisingly useful in South Africa

French books from Canada proving surprisingly useful in South Africa

Featured News, Rotary, South Africa0 comments

South Africa is the financial hub of Africa, and as such, there are millions of African refugees who have moved here in search of a better life. People, lacking opportunity in their poorer countries, cross the borders, legally and otherwise, often with their children, working against the odds to move forward.

However, there are next to no social services for these refugees. Since the xenophobic attacks of 2008, African refugees continue to live in fear of violence. The state overlooks the needs of the migrant communities to appease a national voter base suffering from staggering unemployment; a common scapegoat is to blame the ‘foreigners’.

Children of refugee parents from French speaking countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Rwanda, and Chad are hit twice as hard given the lack of educational services offered in their mother tongue. Thanks to the culturally sensitive works of those like The Shine Centre, there is some light in sight for those who’ve traveled to Cape Town from afar.

Shine’s website states “The Shine Centre is a nonprofit organisation based in the Western Cape that provides support in literacy and language enrichment to second language children in Grade 2 and 3.” They do, much more, however, as they also provide after school and extracuricular programming for the children of refugee from French speaking African countries. This type of service is truly scarce, and much needed. Beyond sharing office furniture with the organization in order to enhance their efforts, Peace and Love International was most excited to be able to share with Shine a few box fulls of French children’s books; something their kind Communications Manager told us they were greatly lacking.

Merci beacoup, Shine, for the good work you do, and to our friends in Canada who, through the Rotary World Help Network, provided us with these wonderful books!

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