Reach on Location
There are various ongoing projects running in South Africa and the Middle East, with requests from many other countries as well. Here are just some of the encouraging stories from the work of Footnotes Reach, and they demonstrate the power of Footnotes at work in under-served communities.
Footnotes has been at work in South Africa since 2003, where we have discovered an overwhelming need for bespoke strategies that immediately meet the needs of a community where hopes and aspirations are sometimes all but lost. Within these communities there are often deeply ingrained issues such as drug abuse, alcoholism (connected to the high levels of recorded Foetal Alcohol syndrome), as well as the rise of HIV/AIDs and TB. These issues contribute to high levels of violence, which have an effect on all areas of the community and threaten structures of family life.
High levels of illiteracy often hamper established methods of education, communication and therefore ultimately self- awareness. This has a profound effect on the aspirations of individuals and their community. Commonly used systems of support, which usually have a primary focus on raising literacy and maths skills, exacerbate the sense of failure within an often-unforgiving system of assessment. Footnotes ultimately helps the individual to identify their inherent giftings and proceed with newfound insight and self-awareness previously undiscovered.
Footnotes enables individuals and communities alike to recognise and face all of the aforementioned challenges. These strategies empower and often generate solutions and reconciliation where needed. This process of self-discovery and empowerment in turn allows the facilitation of specialised and personalised systems for learning, which can be corporately embraced and conducted right across communities in South Africa. Footnotes also provides educational tools that help meet learning needs in a way that utilises these crucial insights to engage the learner. It is agreed that many of the problems faced by this society need to be dealt with from within, and Footnotes is proving to Reach to the heart of the matter, through quick and effective intervention.
The Middle East
Partnering with Swiss NGO Global Hope Network International (GHNI), Footnotes Reach has begun building bridges into various locations in the Middle East, to bring the Footnotes Programme to some of the most disaster stricken communities in the world. An initial pilot project has already taken place, with further programmes in the pipeline.
A key emphasis for this region is to work with those affected by the spreading humanitarian crisis in countries surrounding Syria, coming alongside both refugees and those on the ground who are supporting them. The training that Footnotes provides has been requested in response to overwhelming needs at many levels, not least a sense of displacement and the erosion of hope. With so many challenges across displaced families and communities, releasing Footnotes strategies into the various situations faced in this area will empower individuals no matter their age or present status. This will be done by equipping people with tools for relief assessment, reconciliation, entrepreneurship, learning strategies, memory management, community planning, communication, and aspiration realising and raising.
As well as offering support to the immediate needs that result from the effects of war, Footnotes Reach is taking the strategies into deeper rooted struggles that exist in many under-resourced rural settings. In regions where the understanding and support for those with complex learning differences is near non-existent; to share how Footnotes can connect at a deep level with those who have not before been known to communicate.
As in other parts of the world, the Footnotes Programme has been readily received as a portfolio of strategies that are unobtrusive, yet very relevant, to the social and cultural setting. With conflict leaving many unsure of their next steps, equipping for the future is crucial to many. Large scale refugee camps are expected to be with us for a long time and, with so many families in a static situation, this is where the Footnotes Reach Project is particularly important. And the need is very great now.