The Tyler Project - Group school applications for late registration of birth.
- By: Renee Hoffman
- Short URL: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/the-tyler-project-identity-matters
THE MOST SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION FOR CHILDREN IN CRISIS IS TO DOCUMENT THEM.
Countless children in South Africa, although born in South Africa, do not exist because they have no birth certificates. They have no identity or nationality. The reason is that because the mothers is not documeted (No Identity document), a child is is not documented at birth. (Gets no birth certificate).
If you find these children in farm schools that accept them, they are not on the Department of Education records. Their mothers are not permitted to apply for government assistance, grants, housing assistance, SASSA food parcels, jobs or clothing support.
Many of these children are born to mothers that have no Identity number.
The first thing that comes to mind is : "They must be illegal Immigrants then right? ...maybe some of them and we can't help those. But the majority of the mothers have simply been unsuccessful in applying for ID documents for a variety of reasons.
- The grandmother was undocumented. Her death records are not at funeral homes and the paper trail is difficult to find.
- Mother born in a different city requires original proof of birth form from the hospital. She is unable to access it.
- Many children do not grow up with their undocumented, biological mother and the caregiver does not know how to document the child.
- If the mother is still alive, she is required to be the informant. This becomes near impossible if she has abandoned the child.
- Mother not born in a hospital has no hospital records. She needs more evidence.
- The mother doesn't know her actual birth date or which hospital she was born in.
- Mother has lost her Identity Document or it was destroyed and she needs to replace it at an expense of R160 which she can't afford...before she can apply for her childrens birth certificates. What she doesn know is that if she reprinted her own birth certificate for R20, she can do the application with that. She is uninformed.
For these women to apply for first time birth certificates for themselves and their children is free at Home Affairs. They are required to pay R60 for ID photographs which are put on fingerprint forms. But the cost comes in the transport to get to all the places they need to go in order to accumulate the evidence they need to do a successful application. They are also required to take their informant with them. Trips to funeral homes, hospitals, social development, police station, informants home and the many trips to home affairs becomes costly. The fact that most of them can't read or write does not help.
Three years ago, I started a feeding scheme in an informal settlement and met a woman that was undocumented. Someone brought her to me and asked me to assist her 8yr old daughter to get into school. She needed school clothes.
This mother grew up in the orphinage system in South Africa from 5 years of age. The orphinage did not have a copy of the mothers ID and never assisted the child with late registration of birth. When she was old enough to leave, she was sent to the streets to fend for herself without being documented.
I met her 15 years later. Her little shack had fallen down, she was dressed in rags, pregnant with an 8 year old that had never been to school.
It had not been for the lack of trying that she had no ID. It took us 6 months to piece all the evidence together before we could do her application. When her baby turned 2 years old, they received their birth certificates. The 2 yr old was named Tyler. This is where the name of our flagship project originates and why we registered our NPO.
After taking her daughter to school, where 25 out of 112 more undocumented children were not registered with the Department of Education, I realised that these were the hungry children we were feeding and buying school clothes for. I also began to see the terrible impact that it was having on these schools which affected all the children and not just the undocumented children.
Farm School children do not pay school fees. The Department of Education allocates funding to the school per child. They supply all their resources. But they exclude the undocumented children.
The teacher allocation to the school is based on the numbers excluding undocumented children. So in a school with 90 undocumented children, the school is short of 3 teachers. The food, stationary and books allocation excludes undocumented children as well. Stretching resources for all the children.
The greatest risk is when a farm school has less then 135 documented children, they will be closed. Even if they actually have 150 children attending the school from the local community.
The Tyler Project aims to do group school applications of late registration of birth. The most sustainable solution for children in crisis is to assist their families to become documented. To help them get birth certificates, high school education and Identity Documents.
The families live in the poorest areas. These chldren go to school on the days after exams where they are told they can stay home in order to eat their daily meal.
Our NPO has processed 44 applications in the 2018-2019 financial year and we have 200 applicants in three schools to process now. This is just the tip of the crisis and excludes mothers and siblings.
We support the children with school resources and family food parcels though public support and bring public exposure to the needs of the schools we work with.
We can no longer fund this project through selling the odd non-essentail donation to cover our soaring costs and we require more then on person to work with the families we are assisting. We also require an administrator and full time social worker with a vehicle, and a premises in order for intern social workers to work with us.
By supporting the Tyler Project, you are literally changing lives for generations to come. The more people we can employ, the faster we can process all the undocumented children. It is a time consuming process and takes between 1-3 years to process a family from time of intake to receiving grants.
Maybe we won't see the change in this generation. But these children, who are denied access to high school education, will be allowed to go to high school if we process their birth certificates before then, and they will have a chance at a better future through education.
Our R120 000 budget is for operational and administration costs for 1 x financial year. R20 000 is just for fuel. We are currently unfunded and rely on public support and the sales of non- essential donated items.
Thank you for considering to suport our flagship project. The Tyler Project. Follow us on Facebook. @CharityProjectsPE or email [email protected] should you like to get involved.
- Mar 05, 2020 - USD $ 189.90
- "Keep up the good work" - Nolan Newman
- Jul 14, 2019 - R 100.00
- "Filled with admiration for what you do" - Belinda Dawson
- Jul 14, 2019 - USD $ 21.04
- "Great and very important work you are doing Rene" - VanessaProwse
Charity Projects Port Elizabeth
Charity Projects PE's Flagship project is to assist the families of undocumented children in farm schools with Late Registration of Birth. We provide food parcels and resources to the families for the duration of the registration process and support feeding schemes. All beneficiaries are South Africans that have been unable to register successfully.
We assist the farm schools we work with, with public exposure to their needs and act as the link between the farm school and public.
Friends of our organisation sponsor children in crisis as the need arises. These children receive no government support and will not be able to go to high school unless they are documented. According to the Department of Education, the children are also not registered as students at the farm schools. This puts strain on the resources of the school.
We work in partnership with Home Affairs, Social Development and the school to effectively register all the undocumented children.
We currently have 44 applications in progress and our opperational costs are unfunded.
Our founding member, Renee Hoffman, has been assisting undocumented children for the past three years and registered the NPO after seeing how difficult it is for these families to access the information they require to be successfully registered. In 2018 she received the esteemed Paul Harris Award from Rotary and the Your Voice RSA Community service award for individuals. She is a full time volunteer, who dedicates her days to serve children in crisis.