Baratang Initiative's Mission
Supporting the changing face of education
The "South African education system produce some of the lowest educational outcomes in the world despite allocating larger portions of the country's annual budget to education - larger compared to the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Germany." Why is this the case and how can we support the education system to produce higher educational outcomes?
Teacher’s competency, learners’ focus and intelligence, family and social systems, influences of our technocratic age, all provide interesting answers to this question. We however, believe there is something else that needs our attention.
After working in education as therapists and teachers in various educational facilities for many years it is our opinion that we struggle to adequately teach learners because they are not ready to learn, or rather too traumatised to learn. Our complex socio political historical context and the fast paced, brutal image-laden post-modern lifestyle has unfortunately led to a severely traumatised society and as a result traumatised children.
South Africa has some of the highest violence, rape and trauma statistics in the world. It is a scientifically proven fact that children that are traumatized cannot function, learn (hear, remember, concentrate and focus) or reach their full potential (impaired brain development) and our failing educational results prove this.
In South Africa we have to acknowledge systemic trauma inflicted by Apartheid such as poverty, violence and racial discrimination, which led to cycles of abuse and addiction, broken family systems and wounded communities. It is way past time for us to redress the difficulties of our inherited trauma after Apartheid, high levels of often criminal interpersonal violence continued, fuelled by rapid urbanization and ongoing socio-economic disparities.
A new study found that 73.8% of people are prevalent to be exposed to Potential Traumatic Events (PTE), while the average person can expect to be exposed to at least 4.3 Potential Traumatic Events (PTE) occurring in his/her lifetime. These realities have led to school classrooms filled with traumatised children and educators. In this environment, teachers find it extremely difficult to cope, let alone teach. A longitudinal study by WITS found that 99% of youngsters in Soweto have been exposed to violence in their communities, homes and schools.
Our vision is to grow healthy school communities by supporting learners, teachers and parents.
The organisation’s main objective is to change the face of education. The objective here is to support learners, teachers and parents to become ambassadors for uBuntu by creating a Safe School Initiative.
- Providing trauma informed, healing centred drama therapy for learners presenting with behavioural difficulties
- Creating of at least one stable, caring, and supportive relationship between a child and an adult therapist which can lead to:
- Developing resilience and healthy coping mechanisms.
- A sense of mastery over life circumstances.
- Strong executive function.
- Self-regulation skills.
- The supportive context of affirming faith or cultural traditions.
- Developing supportive peer groups facilitated by the therapist in order to provide long term stable support after the intervention.
Capacitating teachers to adequately support traumatised learners through:
- Trauma Informed teacher training intervention
- Trauma Education : Mental First Aid for Teachers
Capacitating parents to adequately support their children through:
- Trauma informed parent lectures and workshops
Create safe school spaces by addressing trauma and building resilience through:
- School community intervention and advocacy
- School governing body
Advocate for ‘psycho-educational, trauma informed, healing centred’ school system with:
- Trained educators that are able to support learners equally and create safe environments
- Informed parental support
- Therapeutic support for learners
The organisation’s secondary objectives are to:
- Create networking systems in communities to adequately support children affected by traumatic incidents
- Provide job opportunities for young professionals in school communities
- Create a body of resources for working with children in the field of trauma
The focus of this project is to invest in our human resources by building healthy relationships and providing therapeutic intervention for traumatised learners and trauma-informed training for teachers and parents.