Sep 10, 2010

Topsy Foundation project update- 1329 Children assisted!

Collage of beneficiaries receiving blankets
Collage of beneficiaries receiving blankets

When we first posted a notice about this project, 800 children were benefiting from it.

We are pleased to report that with the support of our individual donors and Corporate supporters, we reached a record total of 1329 children in July 2010!!!!!!!

As soon as the latest statistics are available, I will post those too.

The Orphaned and Vulnerable Children we assist receive a number of services from us, food parcels are just one of the many forms of assistance.

Other forms of support that these children receive are as follows;

Vegetable Gardens, Home Based Care, Free Antiretroviral Treatment and comprehensive HIV and AIDS care at our Clinic, assistance with access to child grants, assistance with school uniforms, career guidance days where we help the children to find a goal to work towards, public speaking competitions, clothing, blankets and food parcels.

We also offer support groups to the caregivers of these children and a safe, supportive space where they can get together and share their experiences.

Orphaned and Vulnerable Children are a really sad result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic which has had devastating consequences in South Africa.

In Africa, we often say; 'It takes a village to raise a child'. This is happening more and more in South Africa as caregivers step in to look after these children, doing so despite their own level of poverty.

By supporting us, you have joined our village, your support has strengthened us, and for that, we are truly thankful.

May 17, 2010

VCT Campaign for School Children

Sr Liemiso from the Topsy Foundation and Judges
Sr Liemiso from the Topsy Foundation and Judges

The first prelimiary event of the VCT (Voluntary Counselling and Testing) Public Speaking Competition was held at Retshedisitswe High School on the 17th March 2010. The overall aims of this competition are to ascertain the knowledge held by the youth on the subject of HIV and AIDS; enlighten and empower the youth who are adversely affected and infected by the scourge of HIV and AIDS, on how to prevent it spread and deal with the challenges; encourage voluntary counselling and testing amoungst the youth; create a platform for the identification, grooming and development of the future leaders through enhancing their language and public speaking skills, and to strengthen working relationships with the schools in the communities served by the Topsy Foundation. The learners were expected to choose a topic from a provided list and conduct extensive research into the topic. They were then expected to write a five-minute speech, and to present this on the day of the competition. The evaluation focused on the accuracy and depth of the information provided, plus the ability of the learner to articulately present the information. A one-minute improptu question was given to the learners after their presentations, and their ability to think quickly and articulate their improptu response added to their overall presentation marks. The event was attended by all 1029 learners of the school, and there were a total of 23 participants in the competition. Considerable information on the effects of HIV and AIDS was shared during the participants presentations. After the presentations, a motivation on voluntary counselling and testing was done. This motivation highlighted the effects of HIV and AIDS and the immune system, the importance of knowing on'es status early, seeking medical assistance, and preventing primary and secondary infections. Information on post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and the possible means of infection were also shared. A challenge was presented to the learners, teachers and invited guests to 'let the choices they make today be the choices they can live with tomorrow'. These included the choices to take heed of the knowledge shared on HIV and AIDS, get tested for HIV to know one's status, and to live a responsible life. The results of the competition and the winners were then announced, and the winners were presented with their prizes. The enthusiasm and work of the participants showed a readiness amongst the youth of South Africa to be part of the driving force in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Further education will take place in the form of posters and flyers which will be handed out in the schools.

This was the first of many of these events that will be presented by the Topsy Foundation, in an effort to involve the youth in the fight against HIV and AIDS, and to encourage them to get tested, and to live responsibly.

Some of the winners
Some of the winners
The timekeepers
The timekeepers

Links:

Jan 13, 2010

Topsy Foundation Annual Children's Christmas Party

On Friday 27th November we held our Annual Children’s Christmas Party for some of the beneficiaries of our Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Project. With 97 eager and excited children arriving at the Topsy Sanctuary in Grootvlei, the day could only be a success!

Party tables were set out, and the area was beautifully decorated.

Each child received a party pack in the form of a bucket filled with delicious goodies, amongst which were beautiful Christmas candy canes.

In the spirit of teaching the children about the true Christmas story, some children and members of the Grootvlei Community told the story, and acted out the Nativity play. A local pastor, guitar in hand, then took to the stage and got the children singing and doing actions to the songs.

The big moment is always when Father Christmas arrives, which he did, with presents for each child. While the children were waiting for their name to be called, they restored their energy with hotdogs, cupcakes and their party packs!

Unfortunately for us the festivities outside had to be cut short as a massive hailstorm took over, but at least the children were able to go inside and hit their piñata to get to the much longed for sweets!

The Christmas party is very important to us at Topsy as it gives us the opportunity to bring a little bit of excitement into the lives of these children; lives which more often than not, are filled with hardship, difficulty and sadness.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our donors and supporters who are assisting us in helping these vulnerable children.

We wish you all a very healthy and prosperous 2010, as we look forward to bringing a lot of sunshine into the lives of the Orphaned and Vulnerable children with whom we work.

 
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