Children do not want to stop working just like that
Not every child labourer wants to stop working in the gold mines just like that. Child labourers are used to freedom and independence, no matter how little they earn. Going back to the classroom and the education regime is not very attractive to many. Moreover, many children in the mines face an additional stumbling block: they have never been to school and are therefore illiterate.
Together with my mother and my brother, I have been working in the gold mines for four years. I have never been to school.
Juma from Tanzania, 12 years
Learning literacy and numeracy
Terre des Hommes’ partner Rafiki SDO is daarom begonnen met zaterdagklasjes in de mijnen. De kinderarbeiders leren daar de eerste beginselen van lezen, schrijven en rekenen. Zo maken ze meteen kennis met schoolse routines. Uiteindelijk krijgen ze plezier in het leren, waardoor ze alsnog uit de mijnen willen worden gehaald. Via een (basisschool- of vak-) opleiding kunnen ze dan betere kansen voor hun toekomst creëren.
Terre des Hommes Netherlands' partner Rafiki SDO has therefore started Saturday classes in the mines. The child labourers learn the basics of reading, writing and numeracy. Concurrently they will be introduced to school routines. Eventually they will discover the pleasure of learning, resulting in the child labourers wanting to be withdrawn from the mines. Primary education or vocational training will then help them to create better opportunities for their future.