The School of Hope is a place of learning where we value HOPE FAMILY TRANSFORMATION RESPONSIBILITY AND GIVING. We are education-junkies, sold out to breaking the cycle of crime, poverty and unemployment by giving every person the chance to complete their education. There is nothing more important that we can do for South Africa today!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February News

Matric mom, 19, gets an A for perseverance!
This article appeared in two local papers in January 2013, following the announcement of the matric results.
Words by Tanya Petersen.

Fatimah Santon, 19, is proof that even when odds are stacked against you, anything is possible - even passing matric while taking care of your young child.

At 15, Fatimah, from Portland in Mitchell's Plain, fell pregnant during her Grade 10 year at Spine Road High School. At the time she felt it best to leave school.
Feeling despondent and with a baby on the way, Fatimah decided she had to go back to school. However, getting back into a mainstream school while being a mother was a bit tricky, she said. But she plucked up the courage and contacted the School of Hope in Bridgetown, which cares for children who struggle to continue their schooling at mainstream schools due to various circumstances.

In 2010, on January 18th, Fatimah started Grade 10 at the School of Hope. ‘A'ishah, my baby, was only two weeks old when I went back to school,’ she said. However, in spite of having the responsibility of being a mother and having to do well at school, Fatimah stepped up to both challenges. Now, two years later, Fatimah is a matriculant boasting excellent results, including three A's. During the two years that Fatimah attended School of Hope, she has been the top achiever every year. Her results have been so impressive that she managed to secure a full bursary to study a BA in Humanities at Stellenbosch University. A very excited Fatimah told the Athlone News that she had never expected to achieve so much in spite of the odds being against her. She attributes her success to her parents, her daughter and the staff at the School of Hope. ‘The school places special attention on each pupil,’ she said, adding that the ‘special attention’ has a positive impact on all the pupils and it boosts confidence - which makes them feel as if they can achieve anything they set out to achieve. ‘Before I came to the School of Hope I was very insecure. I was also not open with my parents. Here you are someone. The teachers care here and it helps with confidence. At the School of Hope you are not just a number. When you are sad, they ask what is wrong.’

Fatimah's secret to success is balance. ‘When I am at home, I am a mother. I don't bring school work home with me.’ She explained that she tried to complete all her school work at school and when she was able to she would stay after school to study. But the extra classes that the school offered on the weekends also helped her tremendously, she said. But, she added, she would not have been able to achieve everything without the help of her parents. ‘When I needed to be at school, they looked after my daughter.’ Her parents, Jamill and Camilla Santon, both agree that they are very proud of Fatimah. Fatimah says her daughter has been her motivation. In spite of falling pregnant at 15, she had a choice to make a success of her life or not - she chose to make a way to become successful. ‘There is always a way,’ she says. Her advice to people is to never give up. ‘Things that happen in your life can be overpowering, but you shouldn't stay focused on what you did - you need to see that it happened and move past it.’

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