The Pebbles Project Trust aims to change and enrich the lives of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, with an emphasis on special educational needs, in the Western Cape farming community. This well-run NPO reported another year of outstanding success at its AGM, held on 04 August at the Conference Centre on Kleine Zalze wine estate in Stellenbosch. “Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is proud to support this initiative which has provided invaluable support to communities on farms in the Cape winelands,” said Matome Mbatha, WOSA’s market manager for Africa and a member of the trust’s board.
Many of these stellar achievements would not have been possible without the ongoing support of their loyal contributors, donors, sponsors and supporters. Relationships with two of their largest funders, Laurence Graff’s FACET Foundation, which funds the mobile learning centres, and the Stichting Clouds Foundation in Holland, which funds the nutrition programme, are set to expand, which will enable them to reach further into communities most in need of their support. As well as their existing long-term projects in Stellenbosch, where it all began 12 years ago, operations are now also reaching communities in Citrusdal, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Rawsonville and Wellington.
“It is testament to the dedication, loyalty and commitment of our staff, and especially Sophia Warner, the Founder and Managing Director of Pebbles Project, that we are able to expand these wonderful relationships,” said Stephen Digby, chairman of the trust, in his opening address.
This was the year of milestones for Pebbles – during 2015 they reached the 1 000 mark for the number of children that they care for in 40 facilities on 28 farms. They also created jobs for 50 employees. “These numbers do not include the other children who have been through our doors over the last 11 years, nor the staff who have already moved on, and I can safely say – we are changing lives and we are making a difference. Our programmes have been refined and improved, and we can now successfully roll out to new geographical areas, as well as introducing some exciting new programmes to add to our comprehensive package,” explained Sophia.
Here’s a list of some of Pebbles’ notable achievements during the past year:
• 24 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres
• 16 After School Club (ASC) centres
• Three township ECD centres
• 392 ASC children
• 608 ECD children
• 28 ASC staff trained
• 44 ECD staff trained
• Five more jungle gyms at ECD centres
• 24 First Thousand Days (FTD) staff trained
• 585 children fed per month
• 476 clinic visits per month
• 38 schoolchildren and 29 students assisted by The School Leaver Programme
Sophia concluded by giving her heartfelt thanks to their “amazing trustees, fabulous staff, partner farm owners, interns and volunteers, donors and supporters,” 32% of whom have supported Pebbles for more than three years and 16% of whom have stayed with Pebbles for between five to 10 years.
“The total donated since inception is in excess of R46 million – 73% of our donors are from South Africa, 13% from the UK, and the remaining 14% from Europe and the rest of the world. We have key donors and supporters in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Japan, Hong Kong and America, and we celebrate becoming internationally recognised!”ROG
Text – Lindsaye Mc Gregor