Waiting patiently to leave Mpumalanga
At Topsy, we believe that all children deserve the opportunity to thrive, regardless of where they come from. We work to break the cycle of poverty and empower rural communities in Mpumalanga, South Africa, through education, food security, health services and emotional support to children. It’s our mission to provide disadvantaged rural communities with the support and tools needed to raise happy, healthy and capable children.
Our Holiday and Life Skills Programme is one of the activities that we hope will lead towards our beneficiaries becoming well-rounded, successful individuals. The programme happens twice a year during school holidays. We take kids from the rural communities that we partner with, out of their usual environment and expose them to new and exciting experiences. Our aim is to impact the lives of the children by teaching life skills.
When the schools broke up for the Easter holidays, we took 55 learners to a dry sky slope, Avalanche, in Johannesburg. According to the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Programme Manager, Elizabeth, some of the children were so excited they arrived at Topsy’s Health and Stimulation Centre at 6.30am, almost two hours early! Our staff prepared a packed lunch and performed a role call before the he kids boarded the bus for an hour and a half journey from Mpumalanga to Johannesburg. The kids weren’t sure what to expect, as they had only been told to wear sensible clothing and that they would be doing something physical. The children were given a safety briefing in English, Zulu and Sesotho - an you could see their excitement and anticipation build - but the remained calm and patient. Finally they were given the go ahead and ran to the start, where they began 2 hours of bum boarding - skidding down the carpeted slope in a rubber tube. The children shrieked with joy as they sped down the slope, giggling as they collided into each other at the bottom. This went on and on as they climbed to the top of the slope and hurtled themselves down, over and over again. We thought they would never get tired! The kids were so well behaved and polite to the Avalanche staff and other children who were at the venue – they made us incredibly proud.
The day ended with a picnic in Lonehill Park and Easter Eggs were handed out as a final treat. Thanks to Avalanche for sponsoring this memorable and enriching experience for these special children. We are looking forward to planning the excursion for October 2017. If you would like to contribute to this programme and improving the lives of children from less privileged backgrounds, please give to our Orphaned and Vulnerbale Children Programme.
Taking the bus to the big city
Smiles at the bottom of the slope
Topsy Staff also enjoying the fun