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Oct 6, 2017

Starfish and Leseding workers making a difference

Leseding beneficiary
Leseding beneficiary

Starfish has recently received an open letter from the beneficiary at Lesiding Care Givers.

I am 15 years old residing on farms, with both parents and my elder brother.

My parents are farm workers and they never dream of leaving the farms, I once asked them what will happen to me when I finish school, my dad keep saying that I will also be a farm worker, It breaks my heart to know that my life will end in the farms.

Both parents are drunkards; there is a never passing day without them drinking. It annoys me so much to have such family and as for my brother, he is a nobody he smokes nyaope like no body’s business.

I drop out from school for about a year, but because of the love of the outsiders I realize that there is more to life than being a child from the farms. Leseding Care Givers found me in the mist of misery I had given up altogether, my parents do not care about me or the things I want in life, or I want to become.

It is bacuase of the great work by the Starfish Greathearts Foundation and Leseding that now, I am seeing the light! Ever since I have become part of Leseding Care Givers, I have seen life differently, coming from the farm does not mean that you should end up being a farm worker. That’s what I learn from one of the carer from Leseding. I am very proud to say that I am a beneficiary in LESEDING care givers, and I am thankful for all that I received from them, food parcels, school materials, and other material support. “Thank you so much Leseding and Starfish for your support, I have now gained self-confidence and believe that my life won’t end at the farm”

To all the donors, please note that you are making a difference, your contribution to Starfish has made a huge impact on me and the rest of the community. Thank you so much for your continued support to Starfish. One child at a time...

Farm of hope to the community
Farm of hope to the community
Jul 11, 2017

GlobalGiving Rewards Bonus Day!

Family
Family

On this GlobalGiving Rewards Bonus Day you have a great opportunity to help children in South Africa access healthcare and education. On the 12th of July, GlobalGiving will match your donation to Starfish by 50% while funds remain. There will also be a 100% match on new recurring donations and at the end of Bonus Day, the projects with the most funds raised and the most donors secured will each receive a $1,000 bonus prize. We need your support to get that match!

With your help last year, 12 916 children received a holistic package of services (inc health, education & child protection), home visits were carried out to 6 034 children, Nutritional support was provided to 7 129 children, 4 261 children participated in after school care programmes and a total of 3 574 children received primary health care services through the Wellness Wagon, which included top to toe health checks, HIV testing and TB screening.

When you donate to Starfish Greathearts Foundation, you become part of a larger movement of people working together to bring life, hope and opportunity to children orphaned or vulnerable in South Africa.

Below is one of many stories from the children we support. Your generous donations help change the lives of children orphaned or vulnerable. We urge you to continue donating as generously as you can this GG Rewards Day and spread the word to friends, families and colleagues to donate to Starfish on the 12th of July!

 

Starfish and Leseding Care Givers making a difference!

I am 15 years old residing on farms, with both parents and my elder brother.

My parents are farm workers and they never dream of leaving the farms, I once asked them what will happen to me when I finish school, my dad keep saying that I will also be a farm worker, It breaks my heart to know that my life will end in the farms.

Both parents are drunkards; there is a never passing day without them drinking. It annoys me so much to have such family and as for my brother, he is a nobody he smokes nyaope (an addictive drug) like no body’s business.

I drop out from school for about a year, but because of the love of the outsiders I realize that there is more to life than being a child from the farms. Leseding Care Givers found me in the mist of misery I had given up altogether, my parents do not care about me or the things I want in life, or I want to become.

Ever since I have become part of Leseding Care Givers, I have seen life differently, coming from the farm does not mean that you should end up being a farm worker. That’s what I learn from one of the carer from Leseding. I am very proud to say that I am a beneficiary in LESEDING care givers, and I am thankful for all that I received from them, food parcels, school materials, and other material support. “Thank you so much Leseding and Starfish for your support, I have now gained self-confidence and believe that my life won’t end at the farm”

May 3, 2017

Images

Love made visible - children at creche
Love made visible - children at creche

Starfish and Masoyi Home Based CareHelps Children of the Post-AIDS Generation

The Masoyi Home Based care organization began back in 1997 when two women, Dr. Maggie Hardman and Florence Mbokazi, realised that the HIV/AIDS epidemic sweeping the Bushbuckridge region of Mpumalanga was giving rise to unprecedented levels of human suffering, particularly among the children.
“Maggie, who was working at a government clinic in the area, and I realised that the people simply did not know what was happening, what was causing all these deaths. No one understood the concept of sexual transmission of viruses. There was no education, no antiretroviral medication available. The traditional healers were also clueless, prescribing outlandish remedies. Fear gripped the population,” explains Florence, now Masoyi’s executive director.
In the space of a few years, a new social phenomenon arose: thousands of orphans with no parents, many of them living in child-headed households, some with a grandmother, some without. “We had to do something for the children,” says Florence. “We could not build orphanages, so we went out to them where they lived. At the same time we helped the AIDS sufferers in their homes, nursing them, helping them take their meds, feeding them, consoling them in their grief when someone died. That’s how Masoyi Home Based Care started, with just six volunteers.”
In the early days, funding was a big challenge. Local churches donated food parcels, then corporatefunding came in at low levels. In 2003, the Starfish Greathearts Foundation entered the picture. “Starfish made a big difference. Initially, they provided substantial quantities of food, blankets and clothing. Now they fund five of our care-workers. They are brilliant partners,” says Florence.
Seventeen years later, things have changed, some for the better, others not. ARV’s have made the treatment of HIV disease manageable; education about safe sex has reduced transmission levels. Because of this, the South African public largely believes that the HIV epidemic has “passed,” that it is no longer a priority. That is most definitely not the case. “We are left with huge social problems,” explains Florence. “Do not for one moment think that we are over the epidemic. Things have changed, for sure, but we are left with massive social challenges, particularly amongst the children.”
Funding remains a problem. “International donor funding is reducing because there are new challenges out there. Locally, many corporates believe that HIV/AIDS is no longer a priority. This is a terrible mistake,” explains Florence.
Notwithstanding all these financial difficulties, Masoyi HBC, under the leadership of Florence and her partners, is now a substantial organization with three key activities: Home Based Care, Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Early Childhood Development.
The HBC group continues to work with people of all ages in their homes. Very sick people are transferred to clinics; families are helped with food, clothing and basic medical care, much of it palliative.
The OVC group, overseen by Jabulile Themba, employs twenty-two trained care-workers, all of whom receive a small stipend. “Each care-worker looks after at least 32 children, from birth until they reach eighteen” explains Jabulile. “But, in reality, they all take care of more. In total, we have well over seven hundred children in our care.”
They receive school uniforms, a meal after school each day and assisted homework sessions in addition to special care dictated by their individual home situations. “These are the most desperate children in our community, “says Jabulile. “Thousands of children need help but these are the most needy. They do not have adults in their homes, at best a granny here or there. They are at risk from illness and physical and sexual abuse. We have five satellite centres in the region with care-workers spread all around. We also partner with youth skills development centres providing training in skills such as sewing and woodwork, plus computer training and even music.”
More recently, Masoyi HBC realised that there are numerous creches, run mostly by untrained grannies, that care for hundreds of young children on a daily basis. “We help improve the care that these crèche owners give the children by training them on aspects of early childhood development, crucial to the long-term intellectual and physical development of the children. That means we are spreading our net far beyond just the kids in our OVC programme,” says Florence.
What is the real challenge now facing these communities that are allegedly “over” the HIV/AIDS epidemic? “It is the issue of child-headed households, for sure. This is the devastating legacy of the epidemic. Thousands of children without parent role-models, without money, shouldering responsibilities no child should have, caring for siblings, worrying about security and at the same time trying to go to school. I believe we have a new human tragedy in South Africa. There are organizations like ours trying to stem the tide, but funding remains a barrier to progress,” concludes Florence.
little boy at home
little boy at home
family at home
family at home
family outside home
family outside home
 
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