Save an orphan care center in South Africa

Apr 10, 2014

"Dreams are our only geography-our native land."

In thinking about how to write this report, I was struck by a quote from Yugoslavian-born poet, essayist, philosopher and businessman, Dejan Stojanovic: "Dreams are our only geography—our native land." What struck me about this quote is the truth that it conveys, particularly in the South African context. While apartheid kept its crippling grip on black South Africans, the majority of the country's citizens could only possess dreams of a better future. Despite a renewed democracy and some progress, dreams are still one of the few things the majority of South Africans can possess. 

Nowhere else is this truer than at VVOCF. Although Nomusa has worked tirelessly—through individual and collective means—to gain rightful ownership of the unoccupied land that will ensure VVOCF's stability, the governmental bureacracy has been incapable of granting her a deed. This failure continues to render VVOCF's programs surviving, but stagnant. More importantly, it leaves the children, youth and families VVOCF serves—children, youth and families who receive VVOCF's services because of their vulnerable status—even more vulnerable to the issues that plague the ill and the poor. 

As we continue to enable Nomusa to get up each day and confront the constant injusitces, we ask for your patience. Securing this land has not proven easy, and we believe it will remain just as difficult. Still, we are committed to achieving this goal and seeing this project through. 

Thank you for your support and ecnouragement. We will continue to keep you posted on our progress. 


Dec 23, 2013

Holding onto a dream.

It's been a year since we launched our effort to save an orphan care center in South Africa. With your support, the center is still standing. Yet the move to new, more stable land remains elusive. 

Despite many attempts by Nomusa Buthelezi, Vumundzuku-bya Vana/Our Children’s Future (VVOCF)’s executive director, the government has yet to grant VVOCF permission to legally occupy the new land we identified a year ago. Nevertheless, Nomusa is stronger and more resolute than ever. She and her team of volunteers continue to meet the needs and address the issues of the roughly 50 children/youth who come to the center to receive services on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. These services include providing a meal for each child/youth and helping children/youth with their homework and other school assignments. As a result of their efforts, most of the children/youth served by the center are set to pass their current grade in school. 

Just as hopeful, the government has ceased its attempts to force VVOCF from its existing location, at least for the time being. We will continue to support Nomusa and her team and hold fast onto the dream of relocating the center in a more sustainable location. We thank you, as always, for your support and your patience, and we look forward to keeping you informed of our progress in the new year. 


Aug 22, 2013

Know When to Hold 'Em

Dear Donors,

We've spent the past few months waiting for word from the South African government to move onto our new land. In order to move legaly, they have to issue a formal letter. To date, we have not received that letter, but we remain hopeful that it will come soon. Nomusa is in contact with the government officials and is working with them so that once she gets the word, the move can happen smoothly and swiftly.

In the meantime, she and her team of volunteers continue to serve many children on the center's current grounds. They have been providing much-needed meals to help keep the kids healthy. And they're developing educational programming (e.g., tutoring) to help kids with their homework and other assignments. 

We'll keep you informed of how things progress. Thanks so much for your patience. 

With warm and kind regards,

Paul Brown

May 21, 2013

You're helping create a new place of love.

Up goes a bathroom
Up goes a bathroom


You're support is making a difference—one brick, one window, and one door at a time.

As you can see, we haven't moved in just yet. We're still installing the plumbing and getting the water systems up to code. But we're almost there. And you're the reason why!

We want to thank you again for your support. Not only are you helping us transform an undeveloped patch of land into our partner site's new home. You're also creating a place of love. Or as our partners say, "Indawo Yothando."

And you're investing in our children's future. Each day, children come to VVOCF hungry and malnourished. With your help, they are being fed and growing stronger day by day.

As we go through this transition, your support is nurturing them with pap—a local, corn meal staple fortified with much-needed vitamins and minerals. Once we get settled on the new land, VVOCF will be free from the fear of eviction. And the organization can focus on making sure that all of the children it serves grow up to reach their full potential.

Thanks again for all you do. Your gifts mean so much to all of us!

Food = strength
Food = strength


Feb 28, 2013

We found land in a hopeless place.

New Land - Photo #1
New Land - Photo #1

Since we last shared with you the story of our struggles to keep VVOCF alive, we've made some great headway. While we aren't quite ready to break ground, we're excited to announce that we've found land in Zonkizizwe! And we'll be moving VVOCF to the new site soon.

In the meantime, we've still got a lot of work to do. Take a look at the pictures, and you'll notice that most of the land is covered in "bush." So we'll be working hard to clear and level the land over the next few weeks. Then, when the time is right, we will move VVOCF's facilities to the new location.

We're so excited about this move and we thank you so much for making it happen. Your gifts are helping the relocation take place, and we look forward to keeping you engaged and sharing notes and photos as we clear the land, level it off, and relocate VVOCF to its new home.

Congratulations on raising the funds to make a difference and save an orphan care center in South Africa. You are amazing!

New Land - Photo #2
New Land - Photo #2
New Land - Photo #3
New Land - Photo #3
A New Community Garden - Photo #4
A New Community Garden - Photo #4
A New Community Garden - Photo #5
A New Community Garden - Photo #5

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Global Youth for Education and Change

East Lansing, Michigan, United States

Project Leader

Paul Brown

Executive Director
East Lansing, MI United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Save an orphan care center in South Africa