Kwethu Children's Village (KwaZuluNatal, RSA)

by K2011127140 trading as PSI Projects
Kwethu Children's Village (KwaZuluNatal, RSA)

What isn't challenging about life for vulnerable young people needing home, stability, and a future, especially as we all dig out from under a grueling, stressful COVID-year?

Our funding goal for the past 3 months has been to complete the Boys Dorm at Teen Independent Living home.  The large, red roofed home all the teens of KCV have been calling home for several years now, is just too small for both boys and girls and the nuclear Mbongwa family in which to live.  Though 6 or 7 of these orphan youth are usually away at tertiary ( not duirng COVID year however!), they come 'home ' during holiday.  

So in October we decided to steer as much funding as possible towards completing the Boys dorm.  It had bene 4 years since we first dreamed of this house and like many buildings in Africa, where capital is hard to come by, we started little by little.  Now a handsome 3 bedroom, lounge, bathroom and study room sits proudly on the sandy , weedy ground.  

No, the boys can't move in yet.   Next week the cement floor is laid, and doors purchased...but the boys are aready dreaming of the beds they'll sleep in the spot to call theirs for the few years they have left with us. 

Oh yes, we have a cut off point for living here, marked by having a job, completing a qualification, finding alternate living place. we're proud of the 11 young adults with meaningful work and  independent lives, the 7 who are still in school acquiring skills and the 3 who are still coming up. 

We find that rural orphaned and vulnerable young people need a longer time towards independence. They are combining Zulu traditional identities with confident social, language and broad world view to which they've been exposed by living with us. 

We heartily thank all our donors for what it has taken to complete this dorm. We are adding on line motivation chunks for our distant kids, to keep us all going in the right direction.  We are planning to extend this project on GlobalGiving. Please meet us at the Donation Button!  

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Picking up litter on trails
Picking up litter on trails

Kwethu Children’s Village

Report for GlobalGiving Donors

November 6, 2020

We’ve coped with COVID-19 , worn our masks, kept distance in public and stayed well, all of us.  Relationships have grown, between volunteers and the group of young adults living at Teen Independent Living. With some tertiary schools opening, three of our teens were able to resume trade school, in electrical engineering and hospitality. We’ve coped with the disappointment of having school interrupted, fought  boredom, went out looking for new opportunities.  Lifting of the national lockdown started opening doors for new ways of seeing things, new opportunities. 

Community service is always a great option. Our Central Drakensberg Mountains beckon bicyclers, walkers, runners to the maze of trails that lace the foothills. COVID approved exercise in open air.  But the trails attract lots of litter from casual walkers.  Here the Teen Independent Living guys show  you the seven bags of litter they picked up on a hot sunny day, off the trails before ice cream treats. 

We find, here in rural, traditional tribal areas, where TIL is located, that litter creates a disturbing disorder in public places and that we’re way behind in effective impact. The Kwethu main campus is right on the gateway road tourists travel to reach the resorts and guest houses.  Verges along our busy Gourton intersection are consistently heavily littered, as foot traffic and taxi passengers swell in number. 

These young TIL kids are being encouraged by our volunteer mentors, to consider doing this unpopular ‘dirty work’ on behalf of the community. Doing it together, being a group of heroes. We have big plans for KCV in the near future, in recycling and cleaning up our neighbourhood. Hopefully in ways that encourage participation from the public.

 

The TIL program and services to support teen orphans and vulnerable children is poised to develop and expand in 2021. We want to add staff, complete the boys dorm , include a study room and computers for school success, and eventually build a girls dorm.  Your love and support help to make possible acquiring driver’s licenses, trips off campus like the litter pick up exercise, internet access for job searches and on line coursework.

 

           Giving Tuesday in on Dec 1,2020 .

  Looking you straight in the eye, with a big smile, we ask you to consider an extra donation that day. It will be matched by GlobalGiving. And here’s  how it will be spent.  The beautiful charm of these faces , gathered for Christmas celebration last year, will be matched again THIS year as every one of our ‘family’ that has grown up with us, comes together for a Homecoming.

The phenomenal loyalty these grown up orphans have for our staff is Love at its very best. Together, you and us, we can make this happen again this year.

 

God bless each of you, with the joy of receiving our thanks for your giving.

Holiday homecoming 2018
Holiday homecoming 2018

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Teen Independent Living family, with masks
Teen Independent Living family, with masks

                     

And how has Kwethu Children’s Village fared during the COVID-19 pandemic? Well, like everywhere, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown in South Africa certainly changed eager expectations for our university and high school young people who have grown up at Kwethu Children’s Village. With grace, courage and good humour, Mr and Mrs Mbongwa, house parents, welcomed 11+ ‘sons and daughters’ into the proposed and developing KCV Teen Independent Living house, squeezing into 4 bedrooms, as work places, universities, schools closed down. Costs increased significantly due to the need for more groceries, internet for on line school, and water purchase for the household of 15. “This virus is not sent to kill us, but to teach us the power of Love and Wisdom, patience and the strength of our faith in God” the students were reminded.  The TIL House provided food, activities, emotional support and inclusion for the 11 member Nkampie-Mayaba siblings and children, all of whom grew up at KCV, now living on their grandmother’s small holding.

For the main KCV campus, security had to be hired, as teachers and artisans vacated the premises, and subsequent theft of vegetables and fencing sadly made this necessary. Loss of a portion of rental money hurt our pocket, although volunteers came in to cut grass and replace fencing. We have had to carry the costs of extensive sanitizing common areas, now that teachers are able to return to work and out or area nurse renting from KCV, to the Injesuthi Clinic

 

From their individual homes, the Kosipho Sewing business (usually located on campus), made masks and distributed these from our central office. KCV volunteers and staff distributed food parcels donated by government and private entities throughout the area, working with other NGO’s to do so. The surrounding community has been hard hit by loss of employment and poverty,  but we’ve been able to creatively innovate and happily survive, thanks to your generous, kind support. During this time, we’ve strengthened financial and governance operations, improved program reporting, replanted the vegetable gardens, and fixed water systems. Even more excitingly, your support has provided the ‘steam’ to attract not one, but two, young couples with skills they are willing to invest in bringing our vision for orphans and vulnerable children and education to fruition.

We are humbled by the power of collaboration and the influence of Kwethu’s enviable track record in raising children to productive adulthood. And who can overlook the unmistakable benevolent aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic, as people, including yourself as a donor, invest resources into what each of us knows really matters in life: relationships that guide and protect children on their way to independence? Thank you so very much for your treasured support.  

Caring 'mom' visiting KCV kids on lockdown
Caring 'mom' visiting KCV kids on lockdown
serving hungry families
serving hungry families
hikes during Lockdown
hikes during Lockdown

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Organization Information

K2011127140 trading as PSI Projects

Location: Paarl, Western Cape - South Africa
Website:
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Project Leader:
Bridget Johnsen
Paarl, Western Cape South Africa
$16,098 raised of $30,000 goal
 
122 donations
$13,902 to go
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