Soul Of Africa have decided to focus our funding in the Lower Molweni Valley of 1000 Hills in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa as the Valley has a high number of orphans and vulnerable children and the HIV AIDS rate is one of the highest in this Province of South Africa. We have supported this community in the past and continue to do so with the aim of building a strong self-sustainable community and go give the children of Lower Molweni the tools to equip them for a successful future! These are the projects we will be supporting and those that are on our wish list... those that we are so hoping to help.... help us make a difference :)
KHETHOKUHLE (to look after well) CHILD CARE DEVELOPMENT CENTRE:Rotary and Soul Of Africa were approached by the Molweni community of Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2008 to assist them with a problem they were facing in their area. The creche, which looked after children from three months to five years old, was ill-equipped to tend to the children's needs and required assistance. The creche provides a vital service to the community where unemployment is rife and mothers who have jobs need somewhere safe to leave their children when they go to work. Sexual and physical abuse is commonly experienced by children who are left to roam around with no supervision. Apart from scarring the children psychologically, this adds to the already severe AIDS situation. Many of the Khethokuhle children are orphans, dropped off by their older siblings on their way to and from school. Previously, approximately 30 of the children were being cared for in a rusting tin shack in the sweltering South African climate, with no electricity or ventilation. Khethokuhle means 'To Look After Well'. Soul Of Africa stepped in and spent R173,222.00 ($18,428.00, 10,562.00) building a new Child Care Development Centre for the children and Rotary donated R200,000.00 ($25,445.00, 14,412.00) toward the building of toilets and supplying water tanks, fencing, carpeting, furntiure, mattresses as well as educational material. Beauty Memela, 36, a local mother who runs the centre, indicates a boy of three devouring a bowl of porridge with gusto. "He's left here by his sister of 14. They must walk four kilometres from where they stay with relatives, and often there is no food. We give our little ones breakfast and lunch, but it would be wonderful to feed the older siblings too. Beauty, who runs Khethokuhle, and her staff have no experience in managing the centre and consequently the children are only getting two meals a day and very basic care. The opportunity is so much greater for these children to have educational stimulation to make sure they are ready to attend and reach their full potential when they reach school going age, so Soul Of Africa, through a donation from The Burkett Foundation, have teamed up with NELRU (Natal Early Learining Resource Unit). Soul Of Africa have funded Beauty's training with NELRU at R14,000.00 ($1,612.00, 999.00), three of the other caregivers at Khethokuhle went on an orientation course with NELRU at R7500.00 ($863.00, 535.00) each.
THOLULWAZI HIGH SCHOOL: Philangethemba, an outreach project of St Agnes Church, approached Soul Of Africa to assist Tholulwazi High School in building and equipping a science classroom and laboratory. Tholulwazi High School is the feeder school for Bazimile Primary School. Tholulwazi was built in 1996 and currently schools 526 high school pupils between the ages of 13 - 18. Mrs Thembi Dlamini, Head of Department, who is desperately wanting a laboratory for her pupils says, "It is one thing teaching my pupils something in theory and asking them to visualize the practical. Being able to put the theory into practice will make the world of difference to these children that are so hungry for education!" Soul Of Africa will be funding the building, equipping of a laboratory for Tholulwazi High School, as well as training at a cost of approximately R250,000.00 ($28,755.00, 17,819.00). Soul Of Africa will also be funding an independent NGO C.A.S.M.E (Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education) assessment. The centre's focus is on the advancement of mathematics and science teachers' subject competence and teaching skills in South African schools. After the assessment Soul Of Africa will have an expert plan of the schools needs in facilities/ training /equipment and be in a better position to fund. LAMULA PRIMARY SCHOOL: Lamula Primary School is one of two primary schools in the Molweni Valley. Lamula Primary School was built in 1994 and the current enrolment is 235 pupils from grade R to grade 7. Lamula Headmaster, Mr Khumalo has approached Soul Of Africa to help build a grade R classroom as the current one is too small. The current ablution blocks are on the boundry fence of the school property and are pit ablutions i.e. no running water, impossible to clean and are a complete health hazard. This project is on Soul Of Africa's 'Wish List' and we are hoping to be able to build a new classroom, a new ablution block attached to the Grade R classroom for the little ones, as well as revamping the existing ablution block by putting in new toilets, basins and by connecting water.
BAZIMILE PRIMARY SCHOOL: Bazimile Primary School is a government primary school that currently educates 590 primary school learners. 40% of these pupils are orphans and there are two child headed households (these are households where older children take over parenting responsibilities when their parents die). Most children at Bazimile are cared for by their grandparents. Bazimile Primary school is the feeder school for Khethokuhle Child Care Development Centre. Says Sarah Geyde, co-founder of Soul Of Africa, "We found that once our children of Khethokuhle (which is rapidly growing) reached school going age (grade R), Bazimile could not cope with the volume of grade R children." Bazmile started operating in 1958 and the classrooms were community built. The number of classrooms was 15, including the grade R classroom. "The grade R classroom was tiny and packed to the rafters with 63 six-year-olds who absolutely love school! We saw the need for a second grade R classroom", says Sarah, "and upon closer inspection found that we needed to repair the foundations of all the existing buildings too as these were not done properly in 1958, and with the heavy rains that come through the school, the foundations have eroded and the buildings were cracking. While we were building it seemed that the grade 2 classroom was also overflowing with eager learners so we revamped a dilapidated shed that now houses a second grade 2 class," says Sarah. Soul Of Africa spent a total of R351,828.49 ($40,430.00, 25,064.00) on repairs, upgrades, a new grade R classroom, revamp of wooden shed for a temporary grade 2 classroom. The grade R teacher, Nomvuyo Shezi was also sent to NELRU for teacher training at a cost of R14,090.40 ($1,620.00 1,004.00). With the downturn in the economy some funders are unfortunately no longer in a position to fund NELRU. NELRU say they will continue to do the odd visit to all their schools in 2012 and assist where necessary and possible without funding. They've said that they would be most grateful for any straight donation to NELRU. Soul Of Africa will continue to support NELRU where possible. Soul Of Africa is hoping their next project for Bazimile Primary school will be to build a new grade 2 classroom at a cost of approximately R417,000.00 ($47,942.00, 29,722.00) A mobile library has also been suggested by NELRU for 2013 - this would be of great benefit to Nomvuyo as she is situated at the primary school. The cost of the mobile library will be approximately R5000 ($575.00, 357.00).
PHILANGETHEMBA SKILLS DEVELOPMENT, YOUTH AND STITCHING CENTRE: With many adolescents finishing school and facing unemployment, the community of Molweni with St Agnes Church, decided to build a skills development centre behind the Tholulwazi High School, to train and teach pupils and members of the community. Many pupils complete their schooling and are faced with the reality that they cannot afford tertiary edcuation or find employment - many of these children are forced into a life of crime to make ends meet. The tiny building was not big enough and soon it became imperative to expand the centre to accommodate and teach more children. Soul Of Africa paid for an extension onto the already existing building. R120,000.00 ($13,804.00, 8,554.00) was donated toward a media centre which doubles up as a boardroom where children meet with a social worker to discuss social issues that impact on their lives, and as young South Africans, how they are able to change these. In addition to this, the extension also teaches handcraft and beadwork and doubles up as a stitching centre creating employment. The youth of the centre also run holiday workshops for pre and primary school children as well as high school children during the school holidays. This way children are fed and kept off the streets. On Soul Of Africa's 'Wish List' is to build and equip a computer room for the children of Tholulwazi High School to use during school, and for the community to use after hours. The reason for the build at Philangethema is because of security, maintenance of computers and trained personnel from Philangathemba to help teach.
Soul Of Africa creates self-sustainable employment for previously unemployed women in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. These women are trained to hand-stitch products like shoes and clothing, which in turn leads to the transferral of skills, giving them the self empowering ability to look after their families and provide essential healthcare. Soul Of Africa products are sold in South Africa as well as internationally. Although profit is made, it is all donated back toward the care and upkeep of orphans and vulnerable children often affected by AIDS in South Africa. To date Soul Of Africa has raised R16,860,000.00 ($1,921,019.00, 1,203,117.00) which has all been ploughed back into South Africa communities to give children a better chance at life. IT'S AS SIMPLE AS BUYING A SOUL OF AFRICA PRODUCT!
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