Feb 15, 2021

You're helping Nokubonga* and others like her!

Unconditional love is provided through our work
Unconditional love is provided through our work

Growing up in Alexandra Township under challenging circumstances is very difficult, and even more so if you are an orphan. Nokubonga*, a 19-year-old young woman, lost her mother during the hard lockdown in 2020, and was left to fend for her four siblings, the youngest being just one year and two months old.

At the age of 19, Nokubonga had becaome a surrogate mother with no parenting skills. She had to care for and protect her siblings, do all the cleaning, cooking, washing, bathing of her siblings and adjust to a lifestyle change, from teenager to parenthood, overnight. She had to drop out of school when her mother fell ill and still yearns to complete her final year of school.

Nokubonga has faced numerous new challenges since then, including no longer receiving her mother’s grant money, nor her own child grant, as she is over 18. The shack that they live in, located next to the Jukskei River, is small and currently accommodates eight people – her aunt also moved in with her two children. The shack floods with water whenever it rains and the river bank threatens to wash away underneath them.

Rays of Hope took Nokubonga and her siblings into the Ithemba Labantwana programme in October 2020 and has been supporting the siblings with home visits to check how they are coping, providing counselling, food parcels and clothes, and taking them to school. The programme is now in the process of building them a proper house away from the river. Like any other child, Nokubonga has big dreams about her life and wishes to achieve them. She has every potential – and the ambition – to do something great with her life, and it is with the support from people like you, that this will be possible.

Thank you for supporting these vulnerable children and restoring hope to this family, through the most difficult time.

*Not her real name

Links:

Oct 19, 2020

Restoration is our focus post-lockdown

One of our new counselling rooms
One of our new counselling rooms

Lockdown was difficult for everyone, but for the poor and vulnerable families living in Alexandra, it was almost unbearable. Food was in short supply, unemployment levels higher than before, children not at school but also not learning, gender-based violence at staggering levels, fear running high and loved ones dying from the virus and other illnesses. 

While Rays of Hope's team did what they could in lockdown to support the families who are part of the programme, many, many adults and children have been left feeling depressed, traumatised, suicidal and damaged.

As soon as we could, when lockdown levels were reduced, we opened our new Counselling Centre. It provides a safe space for people to meet with qualified social workers to talk, receive support and slowly, slowly move towards feeling stronger and better able to cope with life. It is because of the support from people like you, that we can offer this service to the community and partner with them to a place of healing and restoration.

For the children, we have a play therapy room that allows them to receive counselling while playing. We also have our after-school programme, which provides a safe space to receive unconditional love and support, while being encouraged to talk through what they see, hear and feel - most of which children should never have to experience in their young lives.

Thank you for partnering with us to enable us to restore young lives and the lives of their families, and to give them hope for a better future!

Our goal... a restored relationship
Our goal... a restored relationship
Jul 8, 2020

THANK YOU for partnering with Rays of Hope!

The food hamper will feed this family and others
The food hamper will feed this family and others

Rays of Hope would like to extend a big thank you to you on behalf of the Alexandra Township community. It is because of generous donations from people living beyond the borders of South Africa, that our work continues to grow and impact more and more people.

With the arrival of COVID-19, the people of Alex have been severely affected. When South Africa entered lock-down at the end of March 2020, thousands of people were left without an income. Immediately Rays of Hope and its network of partner organisations in Alex got to work and mobilised to be able to distrbute thousands of food and health-related hampers to the most vulnerable families in Alex. 

Because of the generosity of people like you, we have been able to pack and distribute over 8,500 hampers which have provided food to more than 50,000 people living in Alex - and to think we were only aiming to feed 10,000 people! These hampers include non-perishables food items like mealie meal, baked beans, rice and soup, as well as toiletries and health-related products.

Despite this sizeable donation, Alex residents are still facing dire circumstances, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many dependent on whatever support they can get. Although the economy is opening up again, many people in Alex are employed on a casual basis as waiters, cleaners, security, etc., so it will take a while before they are working again. We will therefore continue to support the most vulnerable but are expanding to provide more than just food.

We have entered phase two of our campaign now - the goal of which is to provide more holistic support to fewer people. This includes:

1. screening and referrals for testing,

2. educational support for the children who have not been able to attend school for the last four months,

3. counselling and support to help people to deal with the challenges of living in Alex - poverty, violence, gender-based violence, drug use, etc. 

4. food parcels and masks

5. winter clothing, blankets, beanies, gloves, etc.

We really appreciate your support and hope that it will continue, as the work definitely will - either directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19. But the people of Alex need your support and are grateful for your donations.

There is a new project called "Let 300 children in Alex learn during COVID-19" which speaks to point 2 above, so we would really love your ongoing support to make it possible to provide educational support for the children in Alex who don't have the option of learning online.

Once again, thank you for partnering with Rays of Hope!

Another grateful family - granny & the children
Another grateful family - granny & the children
Each family received a substantial hamper
Each family received a substantial hamper

Links:

 
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