Pebbles and Brendan Isaacs connected in 2011 when he was in grade seven, his final year at Bottelary Primary School. His father is a seasonal worker on one of the Stellenbosch wine farms and his mother had abandoned him.
When we met he was living with his aunt and was struggling with academic subjects at school. We intervened and applied for him to go to Elsen, Westcliff, a skills development school in Bellville. For three years Brendon walked five kilometers to catch a train and a further two kilometres on foot to attend school. Such was his commitment. Circumstances were tough though. Some days there was no money for his train fare.
Brendan demonstrated an incredible talent for welding. In his end of year exam in 2013, he created an exquisitely crafted angel. The school principal was so impressed with Brendan’s work that he contacted us to say he had never seen such an outstanding piece of art in his entire teaching career.
At the beginning of 2014, a place opened at the school hostel. Thanks to generous donations from some of our supporters we were able to ensure that he settled in with all the toiletries and linen he needed.
Brendan Isaacs is a courageous, talented, ambitious young man and we are extremely proud of him. He is in his final year of school and next year he will enter the Pebbles School Leavers Programme. This will give him a fighting chance, an opportunity to develop his talent and further his career.
In 2007 Maryna accepted a job at Pebbles that changed her life. Prior to that, she was a struggling single parent and a mother to four children. She’s a popular, friendly face at the ECD centre in the morning and the ASC in the afternoon. Having a rewarding job means she has moved into her own home and is able to provide for her family. Her children have also benefited from the learning support offered both at the ECD and ASC at Niel Joubert Wine Estate.
In 2009 a social worker started working with the Tities family after reported weekend alcohol misuse. In August 2010, John and Annelize hit “rock bottom” and were forced to do some introspection to address all the factors contributing to their dire situation. Together they decided that both of them would need to stop misusing alcohol if they wanted freedom from addiction and a real chance of a healthy future.
Recovering from addiction is more than saying “no” so they entered the Toevlug Rehabilitation Centre’s five-week programme and stopped drinking. This has helped to restore the relational dynamics in their home. In fact, they have become an inspirational example in their community.
Annelize is now a teacher at the After School Club. She loves her work and it shows. She takes her responsibility seriously to ensure that the children in her care receive special needs learning help and benefit from all the support Pebbles offers.