Kaylah was born in Durban, South Africa and moved to Bonteheuwel in Cape Town because her family couldn’t afford to send her to school, and the neighbourhood they lived in was becoming more and more dangerous.

“You can’t go too far because they will take you in the car and kill you and drop you just there.”

Her neighbourhood, like many across South Africa, was dominated by gang violence. Kaylah remembers the fear of playing outside, of wandering a few streets too far, of playing a little too rough with a new classmate.

“I met another friend and he said, ‘No, I can’t play with you because my daddy is a gangster and if you do something to me then he will come to kill your father.’”

There is no escaping the violence. The children that grow up in these communities are taught to take every precaution, but it is inevitable that they will be in a situation where their life is in danger, and it will stay with them forever. Kaylah revisits a moment that replays when she closes her eyes.

Despite living in tough circumstances, Kaylah wants to help the people that have even less than her.

She has always done whatever she can to help people without homes or food.

“I would like to help the homeless people, give them a home and food so they don’t have to sit by the streets and ask for food…I’ll ask my mommy to buy one or two pies and I’ll go out and give one of the pies to them.”

She wants to change her community, one person at a time. 

It’s easy to step back and admire Kaylah for her perseverance and empathy in fighting against the negativity in her life. But she shouldn’t have to. She is still a kid.

Kaylah joined the Amy Foundation because she wanted to keep learning, and it would keep her busy until her parents came home from work. She chose to join the numeracy and literacy programme because she wanted to get better at math and because she likes English.

But what she and many other learners love the most are the outings organized by the foundation to take the learners to different places around the city of Cape Town.

She can rely on the facilitators of the programmes to do whatever they can to empower her and improve her life, from giving advice to staying late to help her with schoolwork. The impact the Amy Foundation has had on Kaylah will carry through to the next generation of learners, because she dreams of being a teacher and living up to her role models at the foundation.

Relate supports the Amy Foundation and lots of little girls like Kaylah through the sale of Relate Amy Foundation bracelets. Your support of this cause helps develop a culture and love for reading by:

  • Supplementing the South African National English curriculum in a fun and interactive ways to strengthen the English writing, reading, and speaking skills.

  • Running weekly reading clubs at the after-school centres.

  • The Invitation of guest readers to read to Amy Foundation learners and to engage them in conversations surrounding the monthly theme.
  • Arranging educational outings.
  • Running a morning literacy programme that supports English teachers in the classroom.
  • The training Amy Foundation facilitators to utilize word games, writing exercises, role play, and paired and shared reading to encourage practical use of the English language.

By supporting the Amy Foundation you are changing lives of children like Kaylah.

Amy Foundation bracelets are available from our online store. Please wear and share.