The long road to learning: protecting migrant children in Musina

Meet Grace, she is 18 years old and lives at the women’s shelter in Musina.

Grace comes from Zimbabwe and like many other migrant children she faced numerous dangers and challenges to come to South Africa with hopes of going to school. When Grace was just 10 her mother died leaving her and her sisters destitute and living on the streets. Told that “life in South Africa is easy” this young girl made the dangerous journey into the unknown. After threats of deportation and continued hardship she eventually made her way to a shelter which was supported by Save the Children.

In 2010 Grace at the age of 12 was enrolled into school for the first time in her life! She was unable to read or write and was older than the other children in her class. With a lot of hard work, sheer determination and support from Save the Children staff, social workers and teachers, Grace is now able to read and write and is in Grade 9. She says: “It has been a long road to learning but I am finally enjoying school”.

Through our Children on the Move project Save the Children has been working hard to realise the rights of migrant children since 1998. we work with social workers, immigration officials, shelter management, caregivers, communities and children to assist migrant children to go to school and to find long-term solutions for every child. One lasting memory that Grace has of her mother was her fine sewing and knitting skills. Through vocational training Grace was taught sewing skills and she is excited to be able to continue to practice her techniques on the machines donated to the shelter by Save the Children.

With help from supporters like you we can continue to reach migrant children who are desperately in need of care and protection services, whose life chances and futures can forever be changed by helping them to go to school and learn valuable vocational skills.

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