Many of the children who attend ER’s Fish Hoek Dream Center have stories that can break — and warm — your heart. Sikani* is one of those kids. In his case, one math test helped turn his life around.

Sikani lives in Masiphumelele, a large settlement near Cape Town, South Africa. He attends a government school in a local township where each teacher has 45-50 students per class. Sikani and his family fled to South Africa from Malawi. His mom is a domestic worker and is also raising a grandson. His father and sister both died from unconfirmed illnesses.

Dealing with language, culture and family issues at such a young age can wreck a child. In Sakini’s case, it almost did.

In 2019, Sikani found himself in a third-grade classroom that was very stressful and he struggled greatly. Despite encouragement at the Dream Center, Sikani basically “gave up” mid way through the year. He was discouraged and said his teacher wouldn’t help him understand what was being taught. He didn’t pass the class.

Sikani is usually quick to smile and give a hug, but his smile wasn’t as quick anymore. At the start of 2020, he knew he would be repeating grade 3, but the realization was very difficult. He was teased and bullied by his classmates. One afternoon after school, he was bullied and hit by a high school boy.

Math Test Provides Breakthrough

Math TestSikani soaks in the love he gets each day from Dream Center staff and volunteers. The one-on-one help he receives at our “Littles” (younger kids) campus helped him overcome a big hurdle – multiplication tables. In the first quarter of 2020, he aced his multiplication test by correctly answering 50 out of 50 questions! His hard work paid off. He was very proud of his accomplishment.

Passing the multiplication quiz has boosted his confidence and brought his smile back. We’re proud of his perseverance under such difficult circumstances. He’s a great example of why we never give up on a vulnerable child.

Would you consider providing a scholarship for a kid like Sikani? By investing just $35/month, you will make a huge difference in the life of a Dream Center child. For details on ER Scholarships, contact Rachel Icenogle, ER’s Coordinator of Scholarship Programs, or click here.

*Name changed for privacy

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