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Mar 6, 2018

Christmas Surgery - A Guardian Angel story

Nomthandazo and Mom
Nomthandazo and Mom

’Joy cometh in the morning’’ these words ring true for Nomthandazo a vulnerable child from one of our Neighborhood Care Points (NCP), who came home from the hospital this month, to rejoin her family of 8, living with her unemployed mother in her uncles two roomed flat.

Nomthandazo, which means prayer in SiSwati has been diagnosed with congenital megacolon on admission at the hospital. This condition has caused a serious bowel obstruction, which has resulted in her stomach and small intestines to drift apart. This condition has left Nomthandazo’s growth stunted to the point that physically she looks four years old, yet she is nine years old in actuality.

The economic status of her family also does not make it any easier for Nomthandazo. In addition to her medical condition, she has also suffered from severe malnutrition. Despite numerous consultations with doctors over the years, who had been trying to address her malnutrition her nutritional state would either remain the same or worsen. It wasn’t until she was referred to a private facility that doctors were able to attribute her malnutrition in part to her bowl obstruction, properly diagnose. Unfortunately, there were no resources to caiter for her medical needs, that could get her back on track. That is until, an All Out Africa volunteer (Cleo) from the UK, who joined our program last December. She was touched by Nomthandazo’s story and generously donated towards her medical bills. As I write this blog I just wiped a tear due to the excitement of the news that brave Nomthandazo has come out of the operating theatre. The operation has been a success and will discharge after spending ten days in hospital for recovery. Nomthandazo will still require some additional consultations with doctors to make sure the operation continues to be successful, however for now she is in good hands and on the path to a healthy, pain-free life.

At All Out Africa, we are so grateful to our volunteers for allowing us to be a connection for cases like Nomthandazo’s.

It’s been a journey worth the wait!

 

 

Nomthandazo ready for her x-ray
Nomthandazo ready for her x-ray
The little princess after 10 days from hospital
The little princess after 10 days from hospital
Dec 5, 2017

YEAR - End Report

children showing off traditional dance skills
children showing off traditional dance skills

 

2017 has passed on so quickly with plenty of positive stories to share. With Christmas very close it is time to reflect on the year and to let our generous donors via GlobalGiving know what an amazing year we had due to their amazing support. The school year has drawn to an end and thanks to your contributions we were able to hold successful graduations for more than 100 children, who move on to primary school in the New Year (2018). With your support we were able to rent gowns for each child, some of whom suffer great hardship, evidenced by visible malnutrition and their threadbare clothes. This allowed all the children feel special and closed the divide between them.

This event was well supported by parents and grandparents as well as the community at large. Parents were all smiles as they clapped and whistled for their babies when they received their certificates with pride. We were also able to buy food to treat everyone who attended to a decent meal, which for some was their first and last meal for the day.  The children also received a few practical items for the next stage of their lives, a toothbrush, bowl, mug and a little treat (lollipop) which they were very excited to get as they don’t often get treats.

We have also taken steps to help most children in need where funds allow. A recent case is of a 9 year old child with a debilitating and potentially life threating bowel complication who needed an operation to be able to eat normally, Funds for this operation have been made available and we look forward to seeing her back to a naturally healthy state for a little girl.

As I write this post we acknowledge World Aids Day (1st Dec), remembering the poignant work of caring for many of the children at the NCP orphaned by AIDS. This is a time to reflect but also to continue our important work on the ground, THANKS to GlobalGiving donors for their continued support, it really does make a difference.

Beyond our work with children we have extended our outreach to Small Medium Enterprise groups, making polish, soft dolls and other crafts. In order to make our project a success especially the dolly project, fabrics and materials were purchased to enable that these unique dolls be shipped to Norway. Your support also went as far as setting up a vegetable garden, building a chicken pan and buying a water tank for a family of 5 children who have a father that has multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) with this he lost his hearing and was bedridden for long and has just started to learn to walk again.

We are extremely grateful to all for this support and we would like to wish everyone a prosperous Christmas and blessed New Year.

THANK YOU!!      

Children receiving gifts from community elder
Children receiving gifts from community elder
Parents & guests came in numbers to witness event
Parents & guests came in numbers to witness event
Hard at work making dolls
Hard at work making dolls
Vegetable garden at one of the homesteads
Vegetable garden at one of the homesteads
Sep 25, 2017

Updates on our Neighbourhood Care Points

Ekuzukekeni NCP before-kids using big furniture
Ekuzukekeni NCP before-kids using big furniture

Finally term two is over and it’s back to school again and the children at the Neighbourhood care points are more than happy to be back. On the first day of term three, the children at Ekuzukekeni were met with a surprise at their Care point. It was all shove and push, it became survival of the fittest as they all tried to grab a chair on these tiny colourful tables and chairs bought for them. This brought a little tear to my eyes because all along they used a bench and a giant table which were too big for them. In order to reach these giant tables they had to kneel on them thus making it uncomfortable and there was not much space to move around. This has brought so much joy to the children and they don’t miss a day of school to sit on their colourful child friendly chairs.

Food was also delivered to the NCPs just before reopening day to make sure kids get their daily meals at the NCPs to help them develop.

This term was started on a high note whereby the importance of reading was instilled. It is well established that being able to read and write well leads to academic success and improved self-expression as well as self-confidence. Research shows that it becomes increasingly difficult for a child to catch up after grade three so children simply fall further and further behind.

As an organisation we found it to be very important to get our volunteers to read educational story books, this was very useful as the children got to interact with the volunteers and in turn this also boosts their English language skills, which is much needed when they go to “big school”.

We would like to thank everyone for your continued support for these children! We are able to make a difference in their lives every day. We wouldn’t be able to do this without your assistance. Siyabonga Kakhulu!!

Kids now using age approriate preschool furniture!
Kids now using age approriate preschool furniture!
Smile for the camera!
Smile for the camera!
Time to learn!
Time to learn!

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