Friends of Amasango

The Friends of Amasango is the UK charity that supports the work of the Amasango Career School in Grahamstown, South Africa. This special needs school enables street children to obtain a primary education and build self-esteem.

Friends’ grants mainly provide:

  • two meals a day and food parcels at weekends – without these, children at the school would not eat
  • school uniforms, shoes, coats and other clothing once a year – without these, the children could not attend school
  • uniforms, schoolbooks and rent (if needed) for ex-pupils who go on to high school
  • teaching equipment, tools and vocational equipment that are not provided by the education authority.

Children often have no financial support or much family backing, so the food, clothing and transport supplied make attendance at school possible.

How the school works

Children from the very poorest backgrounds and from the street are referred to the school by social workers.They enter the school at the grade appropriate to their level of education, not necessarily the one appropriate for their age, which can be anything from 5 to18.

They are helped to complete their primary education as quickly as possible. The majority are able to learn a skill that they will be able to use to find work, while some children will go on to a mainstream high school.

Learners who are not coping with the normal curriculum in the main stream schools are referred by the Department of Education, in order to follow the skills programme at Amasango.

Friends and volunteers

The UK charity Friends of Amasango is run by nine trustees. It is small but financially efficient, with expenses amounting to less than 3 per cent of income. All money sent to South Africa is budgeted and controlled.

Street children need a lot of individual attention, so volunteers are welcome at the school. They travel to Grahamstown at their own expense, fund their living expenses and work on their own initiative once there. While the charity offers advice and ensures that a CRB check has been carried out, it doesn’t provide a formal volunteer programme.

If there was no school like this in Grahamstown, some of these children would be dead by now from sniffing glue and petrol and robbing people, but this school has helped to remove children from the street and to give them a basic education.
Linda Ngamlana, Principal

Tea and Pamper

The third Ladies’ Tea and Pamper event in aid of Amasango School was held on Saturday 18 March 2017 at St Peter’s Church rooms and was an astounding success.
This year we had a new menu of treatments as well as a fashion show. The whole event was a sell-out hitting just under our target which was £1500. All the money raised went directly to the children at the school. Thank you to everyone who attended as well as all the donations which came from ladies who couldn’t make the day.
We would also like to thank all the ladies who volunteered their time to ensure the smooth running up to and on the day in the kitchen, reception, hall and those who made the cakes for us all to enjoy.
Thank you to Gary Swetman and John Swetman who helped set up and lay the tables in record time as we literally only had 20 minutes to set up in the main hall before everyone arrived.
Thank you to our therapists Gemma Concannon, Sarah Lemon, Karen O’Connor, Lisa Clark, Helen Chidgey and also to Cathy Skinner for providing us with the fashion show.