On Saturday 1 September volunteers from the NCCF visited 9 charities.
Starting in Slovoville, Thusanang HIV/AIDS relief was an eye opener. Set in vast grounds on local government property this shipping container structure cares for 471 children daily. They have a resident social worker, and trained care-givers who assist with after care. The children can do their homework in the wooden shed library and are given a meal, in most cases, this the only meal they will eat each day. Thusanang’s thriving vegetable garden assists with sustaining the children as well, and excess produce is sold to raise funds for the project. In addition, they run a skills training programme for the high school girls who are taught to sew in a well-equipped container room. When the next grocery shop comes up, 148 spoons will be purchased as well, as the children have to share cutlery.
On to Sandtu HIV/AIDS relief Centre which is run by Angel and her team. We were met by 300 children dancing and singing. This facility, on large grounds offers a safe haven and one meal a day for the 27 orphans and 263 vulnerable and indigent children whom they are trying to assist. They receive no government funding and rely on the local residents who occasionally drop off food, and donations from their church. It was decided that Sandtu will receive groceries in September, plus pots, ladles, plates and spoons. A 2-plate gas stove will also be purchased.
Thiba Tlala is struggling with parents/guardians not paying the small monthly stipend they request to give the children 1 meal a day and to offer after care facilities. One of the children, whose parents are deceased, and who is severely mentally and physically handicapped is totally dependent on Thiba Tlala. They have requested a wheel chair from NCCF. They are also in need of school uniforms and underwear for all the children. Plastic bowls and plates, small tables and chairs will be on their next shopping list.
Thembelenkosini cares for 125 children. This day and aftercare facility is managed by loving care-givers who offer the children one meal a day and this is often their only meal.
The children of Villa of Hope made a huge banner and also sang a song that they had composed. They presented NCCF with a certificate of appreciation.
We then moved on to Orlando Children’s Home in Soweto. Their newest resident is an abandoned 2 month old baby; our first port of call was to the baby and toddler section where 18 little ones were sleeping. Being a Saturday, the large crèche was closed, but during the week this very large facility resounds with the noise and play of many more children.
A painful reminder of the plight of so many children as we entered Ratanang Cerebral Palsy Centre in the grounds of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. The Centre currently cares for 28 children of whom 9 were specially transported to the facility to meet us.
Lorentzville Day Care where the recent renovation of the patio area was completed to give shade and allow the children to play outside when it rains. Edith Gama who runs the Centre with qualified teachers has asked for assistance with the provision of 40 little chairs, colouring books and crayons, story books, play dough with cutters and shapes, as well as a blackboard and chalk. This will be purchased and handed over when they receive their next grocery shop.
Our last stop of the day was at Hugh’s Haven in Yeoville. With more than 105 children in day and aftercare, Chaya Fenwick and her team have to contend with long hours, overcrowded classes and are always struggling with funds. Many of the parents/guardians do not pay the monthly fees, yet their children receive 2 meals daily and are educated by qualified teachers.