Over the weekend, the NCCF’s committed volunteers took part in our largest grocery shop ever.
Our journey began with a visit to Epworth Children’s Village which is one of five multi-racial charities that we assist. It was wonderful to note the continued maintenance of this very large property, the care and love shown to the children and, of course the hugs of delight when we handed each child a lollipop and small packet of chips.
The gratitude for the simplest of things at each of the homes that we visit is always overwhelming.
We then went on to Fountain of Love in Katlehong, a long-time beneficiary of the NCCF, where Rosy and her houseful of children welcomed us with songs, and later screams of delight when Danny and Kabelo walked in. We fully renovated this home two years ago, but with so many children filling every space possible, it could do with a coat of paint and a few minor repairs.
Maphindi’s Day Care Centre and Pre-School in Thokoza was next on our route. This is a new organisation adopted by the NCCF. The centre was opened in February 2007 and now cares for 51 children aged between 6 months to 6 years.
They open their doors as early as 05h30 and often say goodbye to the last children well into the evening. Maphindi’s also runs an after-care facility for school goers, with many of these children depending on the centre for their only meal of the day. Betty also assists other indigent children in the community with distribution of bread and vegetables on a daily basis. With 3 educators to assist her, Betty runs this day care from the grounds of her own little home, but to call it a centre is a misnomer as the shacks are ready to collapse, the roofs are leaking, hazardous electrical wires hang freely, and there is little protection for the children from the elements.
Yet despite these harsh conditions, the “classrooms” are very orderly, bright and welcoming, and filled with educational equipment. The NCCF is definitely going to be sending their builder to the property to assess how it can make the day care safe and habitable for the children.
From there, we were welcomed by the children of Lambano Sanctuary in Malvern East, most of whom are HIV positive orphans. The Sanctuary runs a 12 bed children’s hospice, staffed by a fulltime nurse and care-givers in one of their 3 adjoining properties. They receive regular supplies of groceries and toiletries from The Foundation, but are desperately in need of small appliances, cutlery and crockery, as well as bunk beds. The NCCF will be taking care of those needs as soon as possible.
The 45 children cared for at Nomondes Orphanage were waiting to welcome us and knew we would not come empty handed. They enjoyed their lollipops and chips while we chatted to Nomonde and Bianca, who run this wonderful home.
They receive continued support from NCCF and have only one small request. All of their children – boys and girls alike – spend their spare time playing soccer in the large back yard. Nomonde has created an inter soccer tournament with a local Alexander children’s club and their first, of what they hope to make an annual event, takes place appropriately on Youth Day 16th June. The Foundation will be presenting them with The Nomonde Cup, a floating soccer trophy for the winning team, which the NCCF will be assisting with.
Tintswalo Day Care was our next port of call where more than 30 children welcomed us with song. We have completed much needed additions and renovations to the centre, and were greeted by a very emotional Margaret who runs the centre. She could not express her gratitude to us other than through tears, for the transformation of her centre into a safe, warm, bright and fully equipped environment for the children in day care, as well as those children who arrive at the centre after school for a meal and homework assistance.
However, we are going to have to send our builder back to Tintswalo, as the local builder started on the addition of 2 toilets, has since left disastrous results, and we are going to take on the project as a matter of urgency.
At Emuseni wEnkosini, we were met by a few children in this tiny, one room facility, with an even smaller kitchen and no ablution facilities.
The centre is so isolated that, unless you know where in 16th Avenue Alexander to leave the road, climb through rubble behind a few dilapidated houses, and walk through a shack-filled lane, you would not find this tiny structure. Thandi is looking for bigger premises in the area, as she has had to reduce her care to just 27 children as no more can squeeze into this welcoming little home. NCCF has assisted with educational equipment and will continue to supply groceries to the day care.
We were then welcomed by joyous singing and warmed by a log fire that the children had lit in the dusty yard of Abangani Enkosini, where more than 250 children have been receiving daily support from NCCF for almost four years. These children, many from child-headed households, indigent families, or in the care of guardians visit this cluster of shacks early in the mornings on their way to school to enjoy a quick bowl of soft porridge. On their way home they stop off again for their only other meal of the day, generally a welcoming stew filled with meat and vegetables as well as pap or rice provided by the NCCF.
We also try to invite groups of the children in Portia’s care on various outings as these treats are important for them to know that there are people who care about them and want to help, not just through the feeding and educational essentials that we provide.
With 43 organizations now assisted by The Nashua Children’s Charity Foundation, we continue to make a difference and it is not without your caring support!
A big thank you to everyone who contributed with their time and their effort:
To Mandy in your absence for sending the rest of your family along to help, Annemarie for sending your hubby along to do your job, Joyce at Mobile for sending 2 new shoppers – Zanele & Tembi to join us and to David not only bringing for bringing your pre-programmed Garmin to guide us along our travels, but for deputising 2 of your staffers to fill your spot, and last but not least to Danny K & Kabelo who teamed up with us at Makro and brought so much joy to the charities that we visited.
And thanks to Budget Car Rentals for the vehicle!
Unfortunately, this visit also marks the fact that we need to say a sad farewell to Amy, Craig and Jessica who are all off to the USA to further their careers. We thank you for your dedication to the NCCF, wish you good luck and will welcome you back with open arms when you return to our shores.