If I told you a little boy named Tyron is growing up on a farm, what kinds of images come to mind? Rolling fields, gentle animals and a snug, tidy farmhouse? Surely Tyron's reality is very far from the bucolic vision you might expect.
Tyron is one of the children that Love to Langa is sponsoring to attend the Philippi Children's Centre, thanks to the generosity of donors like you. His tuition is $30 a month and since he is not within walking distance, he requires transportation to school, which is $10 a month. His mother works on the farm where they live, but she cannot afford tuition for Tyron, who will be three years old in September. You can see that he is very small for his age, more the size of a one year old, and as PCC Principal Helen Diedericks says, "I would rather have him be fed and in a safe environment. The food he will receive at the Centre as well as general care and education will make a radical difference to his chances in life."
I had the opportunity to visit Tyron and his family when we were in South Africa in April to help build our new classroom. He was very shy but sweet. We are grateful to be able to provide this potentially life-saving opportunity for him and hope to continue for years to come.
We have lots of exciting new developments to share over the coming months. Thanks again for your support and please take note of the Bonus Day on Wednesday, June 12, where 50% of donations to Love to Langa up to $1,000 will be matched on GlobalGiving!
Come along with us virtually as we travel to South Africa next week to do construction work at the Philippi Children's Centre. Thanks to you, our generous GlobalGiving donors, Love to Langa is able to cover the costs for one classroom. Love to Langa founders Amy and Jon Ostroff will be there, getting dirty and dusty, with a team from Holland and we'd love you to follow along on our adventure! We are also looking forward to telling you more about the children we are sponsoring to attend school. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for updates and photos of our experience. I have been promised a pink hard hat :) See you from South Africa!
All of the children who attend the Philippi Children's Centre are from disadvantaged backgrounds, however some have circumstances that are more dire than others. Thanks to your donations, we are able to cover the tuition and transportation fees for several children who would otherwise not be able to to to school.
Please meet three of the children you are helping.
Ashley is three years old. He lives in an informal settlement named "Jim se bos" which does not have basic services such as water and electricity. His mother was out of work for a while and has just started working again at one of the farms nearby. There is no father in the picture and he has three other siblings, one of whom attends school.
Charylene turned two years old on January 31. Both of her parents are farm workers, however her mother was laid off last year, so only the father is currently working. She has one other sibling who is also enrolled at the Philippi Children's Centre. The parents were going to have to choose between food and school fees, so thankfully your support is enabling both of their children to stay in school.
Junicka was born on June 6, 2011. Her mother is a farm worker and is the only bread winner in the family. There is one child at the high school and two other children at the Philippi Children's Centre.
Minimum wage for farm workers in South Africa is about $250 USD a month, so it is understandable that even at the very modest fees charged by Philippi Children's Centre and other early childhood centres, making sure your children have the proper start in life can often be an impossible dream. We are so grateful to our donors for helping us to make this dream a reality.