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Apr 4, 2017

Little by Little Matching fund

The Little by Little Matching Campaign is going on now! This campaign is designed to show how small donations add up to BIG change! From now until Friday, April 7th at 11:59p, EDT, GlobalGiving will match donations up to $50 at 50% while the the $50,000 in matching funds remain. There are also $3,000 in bonus prizes and a special 200% match on ALL new recurring donations set up this week. Read about the prizes here...

Only 3 days left to make a donation to Starfish Greathearts Foundation and Little by Little will match your contribution.We urge all our friends to give as generously as they can.

Apr 4, 2017

Starfish and Swa Vana reaches far and wide to help children in Mpumalanga

Children have a safe place to play
Children have a safe place to play

Swa Vana Children's Project is Starfish funded community-based organization meeting the needs of 500 orphaned and vulnerable children in the Huntington region of Mpumalanga province, close to the Kruger Park. The region is large, under-resourced in terms of infrastructure and the people live in simple dwellings alongside dusty sand roads. Hidden beneath the rustic, peaceful atmosphere of the place one finds evidence of real poverty and desperation, particularly when one enters a home where there are no adults. These child-headed households are the legacy of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that swept through the region for twenty years. 

AIDS systematically destroyed thousands of families, taking away one or both parents and leaving the children to fend for themselves

Pontso Natoi is Swa Vana's project leader. “Our aim is to provide for the basic needs of the orphaned and vulnerable children of our region. Our care-workers deal with them in their homes, providing emotional and spiritual support, counselling and practical help with their everyday lives. At our drop-in centres, we give the children a meal after school, assistance with homework, computer literacy lessons and general life-skills training,” she explains. 

In addition, the organization helps to get the official identity documents required for them to secure child grants from the government. Given the red tape involved in getting the children ID's, this is often a long and frustrating process, but the Swa Vana workers stick to it 

Given the size of the area, Swa Vana has established two satellite centres that cater for children living far away from Huntington. “We have to go to where the children are. They cannot come to us. One of our strengths is the location and sophistication of these satellite drop-in centres,” says Pontso. 

These are at Lilydale and Justicia. At the Justicia Centre, Swa Vana has partnered with a local church, which provides the basic infrastructure and facilities. Penny and Margaret are the regional co-ordinators and they are supported by three cooks and two after-school care-workers. A gardener on site looks after a substantial vegetable garden and the centre also boasts four laptops for computer instruction 

125 children are fed a meal here every day, an enormous task that keeps the cooks busy and the kitchen humming. 

Lilydale is another few kilometres deeper into the area. Like Justicia, it is a fully-independent care centre with its own staff and kitchen facilities and provides the same meals, homework assistance and computer training as Huntington and Justicia. 

Pontso is pleased that the organization has such a broad reach. “After small beginnings in 2004, we are now far bigger, thanks to our wonderful donor and the great support from the Starfish Foundation. I would not be satisfied with just one centre in such a large area. The children need us everywhere, so we have to go to them. Very often, the meal we provide is the only proper food they will get all day. For our kitchen workers, it's tough, but it's a labour of love and they do it gladly.” 

Bringing smiles to the faces of needy children
Bringing smiles to the faces of needy children

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Nov 28, 2016

You can help us double our impact in South Africa

Happy healthy children
Happy healthy children

This #GivingTuesday we have a great opportunity to help get children living in South Africa who have been orphaned by HIV, access to good healthcare and education. #GivingTuesday is a national day for everyone to come together to pool their fundraising dollars for larger impact, and Global Giving will be offering a 50% match on donations made on #GivingTuesday, November 29th up to the first $1 million raised on GlobalGiving.org. And we need your support to get that match!

With your help last year we were able to get 12,799 children hot meals, wellness check ups and critical vaccines; and had 6,924 children attend our after-school and early-learning programs. This year we know we can beat that, and bring even more children the support they need to thrive.

When you donate to Starfish Greathearts Foundation, you become part of a larger movement of people working to end the devastating effects of HIV, by bringing hope and a bright future to orphaned children in South Africa.

The ever charming Lungelo strikes a pose
The ever charming Lungelo strikes a pose
 
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