Liesl Ah Shene
LORRAINE-based organisation Family Mission has been working for years to help the underprivileged community.
Originally from Italy, Romano Satanassi came to South Africa in 1995. As a Christian, he felt compelled by God to make a difference in the community, and so started missionary work.
Satanassi found the greatest need that needed to be met in South Africa was in schools. The education system was not able to fully supply schools with what children required to succeed.
Family mission also offers after school lessons to a few schools such as Kuyga Primary School in Greenbushes.
“We were finding children in Grade 5 who did not even know how to read,” Satanassi said.
“With the help of the teachers and the principal, we have been able to identify children who are not good with maths, English and Afrikaans.
“So we have volunteers who come in and provide lessons for them.
“We want the children to be able to do basic things like read and count.”
The mission has been helping schools for just over a year, and has already seen improvement.
Satanassi said the schools were also battling with textbooks. So they have an agreement with the Linton Grange Library that whatever books they need, the library will assist with.
The ultimate goal of the programme is to help raise the standard of the school, Satanassi says.
Samuele Quaranta of Family Mission said the vision for the libraries at the schools was to devise a way to generate independence.
“We wanted to provide the schools and the children with something that was long lasting and something that the kids could eventually take care of themselves,” he said.
Although locals are now getting involved in projects, Satanassi said the success of these projects came from donations, whether it be time, services, books or funds.
“It is important that we take the time with these children. There is potential here. One of these children could make a difference in this community or country,” Satanassi said.
Another project, See Clear, also provided help.
“Children couldn’t perform because they couldn’t see properly and so were unable to read what was on the blackboard,” Satanassi said.
To volunteer or donate, contact Satanassi on email@example.com