Principal’s aim to make hostel feel like a home

Housemother Julia Khanyile and hostel superintendent Gail Dungey want to make their kids feel at home.

Golden Hours Special Needs School is asking if any person or business from the North Durban community would donate two flat screen televisions and two DVD players. The request, made by the school’s principal Rowan Hornby on Facebook, is for their hostel which houses 31 boys and 31 girls. Currently the hostel has old and second-hand TVs and devices on which to play music or films for the children which are faulty and don’t work properly.

The children in the hostel are from the age of 8 to 17 years old, and the request Hornby says, “Is to make it a home away from home for the kids. Make them comfortable and relaxed.”

She went on to say, “Every alternate weekend the hostel stays open so when the weather is bad and we can’t take the children out on an excursion or outdoor activities they like to watch some TV.”

The hostel’s superintendent Gail Dungey said, “Kids enjoy movies and mine in the hostel also like to listen to music. All we’re asking for is someone who will come and set it up for us. Nothing fancy. We just want to make the environment more like a home for the children where they can relax at the end of the day in front of the TV like everyone else does.”

“Our school fees aren’t very high,” said Principal Hornby. “We only get about 40 percent of the school fees. Golden Hours only charges R740 per month for 10 months. So we do appeal for donations to help with our kids.”

 

Golden Hours School educates children with severe mental impediments from the age of 6 to 18 years old. It currently has 178 children enrolled in it with 62 kids staying in the hostel. The school is not structured like other schools according grades and age groups but it is organised into junior, middle and senior phases. The senior phase also includes a pre-vocational ‘School-to-Work’ programme, that prepares students for work outside of school.

There are 45 dedicated and trained staff members at Golden Hours. Ameer Khan (27) recently joined the school as its new Head of Department for the Middle School whilst long-serving teacher Sindisiwe Memela (who’s been at Golden Hours since 1999) was appointed Deputy Principal in 2016.

 

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