We constantly strive to balance our efforts between the immediate needs of children suffering today, and the broader organizational needs of the homes and centers that must care for these children into the future. In all of our projects, we work directly with the community to tap into their insights about how to solve the problems around them.
The Langbos Creche and Care Centre
Langbos, Eastern Cape, South Africa
This project represents our first expansion outside of the Western Cape. The Eastern Cape is very rural, and communities living in rural areas are the most neglected in respect to the allocation of resources to prevent and treat HIV / AIDS. Nearly 50% of South Africans live in rural regions.
Langbos represents the poorest of the poor among rural communities in the Eastern Cape and greater South Africa. The informal settlement has been neglected by the government and does not have access to basic amenities such as electricity, running water, or paved roads. The community also suffers from high levels of HIV and TB.
The Langbos Creche & Care Centre currently serves as a pre-school for up to 50 children, as well as a soup kitchen, HIV support group, and community center for the greater Langbos community. We are working together with the Langbos community and the Langbos Creche & Care Centre to help improve the lives of the children and families of Langbos.
- Empowering the Community: We began community meetings in April 2015 to assess needs in community and opportunity for projects, working to empower the community to always have an input into our projects to ensure they are meeting the greatest needs and executed in a culturally sensitive manner.
- Monthly Grant for ePap: We are currently supplying monthly grant to Langbos Community Centre to sponsor ePap, a nutrient rich porridge specifically designed for individuals suffering from HIV or malnourishment.
- Improved First Aid: We have provided upgraded first aid kits to both Creche and Community Centre.
- Improved Fundraising and Sponsor Relations: We are working with the Langbos Creche & Care Centre to help them create new fundraising materials to help attract a large and diverse pool of local and international sponsors. This includes our jointly produced “Little Humans” video that received over 70,000 views online and was featured on SABC 1’s Shift to over 11 million viewers.
- Solar Light Distribution: We distributed over 150 solar powered lanterns to every single home in Langbos. These solar powered lights are an alternative to the candles and paraffin lanterns commonly used in many Langbos homes that can be very dangerous and also expensive.
- Census to Assess Needs and Opportunities: We visited every single home in Langbos to collect census data on topics including health, education, employment, and safety. This data will be incredibly valuable to help assess the greatest needs and opportunities in Langbos.
- Construction of Home for Orphans and Vulnerable Children: We are currently planning and fundraising for the construction of a new building that will serve as a safe home for orphans and vulnerable children in the Langbos community.
For more information, please visit http://www.langbos.co.za/
Siluncedo Community Projects
Khayelitsha, Western Cape, South Africa
Our goal with Siluncedo is to provide immediate and individualized care directly to orphans and vulnerable children. Siluncedo is an after-school program that provides academic tutoring as well as individualized attention and mentoring to orphans and vulnerable children. It launched at the start of 2015 at the Home of Safety, and has already expanded to a second children's home in Khayelitsha. The initiative is led by established local leaders, Simphiwe and Zukie Mabuya, who have been working with orphans and vulnerable children for over 20 years. We were able to help Siluncedo by providing the initial seed capital to launch, and by helping them establish connections to children's homes and schools in Khayelitsha. The program is designed to meet a few specific unmet needs, including:
- Local Volunteers from Khayelitsha: As opposed to many other after-school programs that rely on international volunteers and are often very volunteer-centric, this program recruits local Xhosa volunteers who are better suited to communicate and connect with the children, while also serving as role models. These tutors grew up in the same or similar environments to the children, so they have an unparalleled level of empathy and understanding of the challenges these children face.
- Pragmatic & Results-Oriented Academic Tutoring: While other after-school programs often focused on broad or irrelevant subject matter, Siluncedo works directly with schools in Khayelitsha to ensure that we are making a positive impact on the children’s academic performance. Tutors and teachers work together to track each student’s progress and opportunities for improvement.
- Wholesome Approach to Personal Development: Aside from academic tutoring, Siluncedo also dedicates time to meeting the children’s psychological needs, as well as providing extracurricular activities in sports and creative arts.
- Ability to Grow and Reach More Children: Siluncedo has already expanded to a second children's home in 2015, and with more funding, Siluncedo will continue to grow and reach more children.
For more information, please visit http://siluncedo.org/
The Home of Safety
Khayelitsha, Western Cape, South Africa
The Home of Safety was our first introduction to South Africa’s orphan crisis. When Nick first arrived at the Home of Safety at the start of 2013, the organization was in despair and the kids were suffering. The Home lacked basic funding for things like food and electricity, and it lacked the organizational strength and structure to attract funding from South African sponsors. Since 2013, we have been able to greatly improve the quality of care at the Home of Safety in many ways, including:
- Funding: We provided funding for basic operating costs from March 2013 - May 2015 through a monthly package that sponsored food, electricity, transportation, school supplies, medical supplies, and baby supplies like diapers and formula. This funding helped the Home meet its basic needs during our process of organizational development.
- Organizational Development: We created a board of directors, instituted a system of accounting, and helped seek and apply for grants. We properly registered the children with the South African Department of Social Development and established funding channels from the South African Department of Social Development, South African Social Security Agency, and local and international nonprofit organizations.
- Transportation: We donated a car, trailer, and van to help transport children, volunteers, and donations.
- Volunteers: We recruited and transported 50+ local and international volunteers over two-year period to the Home to provide individualized attention to children and assistance to caregivers.
- Individualized Attention for Children: Nick personally tended to the children's needs, including attending parent/teacher conferences, scheduling and transporting children to medical check-ups, and holding birthday celebrations for every child’s birthday. Initially, Nick, Chris, and a team of volunteers provided academic tutoring to the children after school. Now, through our newly launched after-school program, Siluncedo Community Projects, we are able to provide academic tutoring and personal mentorship from local Xhosa volunteers.
As of May 2015, we have completed our process of organizational development at the Home of Safety, and we are now focusing primarily on the delivery of aid directly to the children through Siluncedo Community Projects.