The Virginia Theological Seminary Missionary Society
The Virginia Theological Seminary Missionary Society announced that a $2000 grant was won to help feed the orphans of Dukathole,South Africa.
The Rev. Mother Marlene Rodda expressed her appreciation on behalf of the children who will receive food due to the grant donation. She stated the funds will feed 16 orphans for an entire year.
The website http://www.diocesehighveld.org.za/hiv.html is a site that you can read more about the HIV/AIDS pandemic inSouth Africa. The site reads- "South Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV of any country in the world. Around 5.54 million people inSouth Africa are currently living with HIV infection. It is estimated that in some of the rural communities within the Diocese, the percentage of those living with HIV/AIDS is as high as 56%. The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2010, life expectancy inSouth Africa will be 43 years, 17 years less than it would have been before the epidemic. 2.2 million South Africans have died of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses. Approximately 900 people are dying every day. It is estimated that 1.2 million children have been orphaned. Approximately 719,000 children live in child-headed households."
Below is an excerpt from the grant summary. Mother Marlene Rodda is the Diocesan Social Responsibility Coordinator and the Assistant Priest of St. BonifaceChurchin Germiston SouthAfrica.
St. Luke’s began in 2007 helping the children of Dukathole with a $2000 donation for a building to store the food. The storage building was at that time their greatest need and their major obstacle to feeding the orphans and the villagers. In addition to the funds for the building, St. Luke’s began sending donations to buy the children’s food and continues sending money from our parishioners to this day. Dukathole is situated in the industrial heart of Germiston. It is a severely impoverished area, with an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people living in a 1.5 kilometre area. Surrounded by factories, whose effluents impact negatively on the environment, the majorities of people live in shacks without proper water, electricity and sanitation facilities and yet are situated in close proximity to the city centre.
This informal settlement is one of 112 found within the boundaries of the Diocese of the Highveld, but in terms of poverty and lack of services, is one of the worst. The majority of the population is made up of women and children living in abject poverty, many brought from the rural areas to live close to their breadwinners working on the goldmines and in the industrial heartland, of which Germiston is central. The unemployment rate is estimated to be above 80% and physical abuse, prostitution, selling of liquor and crime is high.
For this Mission Society grant application, Revd. Mother Marlene Rodda reports below on the project’s needs and goals of the “Support a Child Project” for the Ekurhuleni Schooland the Good Hope Day Care Center and Home Based Care. The timeline of this project is an ongoing one. There is no end in sight for feeding the 312 school age children or the 70 babies and toddlers of the day care center. As funds are secured the children will continue to receive food and care.
This project was initiated in 2004 by the Anglican Parish of Germiston, when it became apparent that the number of orphaned and vulnerable children in the Dukathole area was increasing at a rapid rate and the ‘support a child’ project has grown from strength to strength from that date.
Together with the teachers from the Ekurhuleni (Dukathole) Primary School, the School Based Support Team and the Child Advocates, we have identified orphans and vulnerable children who needed assistance with food since 2004, and from feeding 34 orphans in the first year, over 360 orphans and vulnerable children were identified in 2010, and sponsorship for 312 children has been secured for this year of 2011. The number of orphans is ever increasing. Within the new intake of grade 1’s into the school, 50% of the children are already orphaned and cared for by grandparents or siblings. One entire class in grade 4 are orphans, all being cared for by their siblings or grannies.
We work with a company, Pro Africa Foods, which specializes in producing the most cost effective food, rich in all the nutrients required to feed those facing starvation. For as little as R95.00 ($11.88) per month a hungry child is supported. This R95.00 will provide two meals and a nutritional protein milkshake every day. The Head mistress and teachers have reported that the children supported are noticeably improved in their school work and general behavior. The school is a Government school and has 1100 junior school pupils. The weekly food parcels are sent home with these children being cared for by other family members and care givers. The distribution of the food parcels takes place at the school and is being controlled by members of the Parish’s team and Child Advocates, with assistance from the teachers.
All the children from this school live in the informal settlement and its extensions. So they go home to the shacks at night and to their mothers, grannies, siblings or care givers. All children we feed or help are assisted at ‘home’ by regular visits from the team who keep an eye on them and are on hand to help with problems or abuse and can access any social help that is needed.
An integral part of the team is the 4 parish Child Advocates. The Child Advocates are trained through the Diocese and assist the teachers in identifying children who have been orphaned and abused, so that special needs can be met. Home visits are done both to identify and trace children who are not at school for a period of time. This has built up a trust between the school, the advocates and the community. Problems with children are brought back to the school and reported if necessary to Child Welfare. Knowing the status of the children in the community has enabled the correct distribution of monthly food parcels to those in need.
Smaller non school going orphaned children & grandparents/guardians are assisted with small weekly food parcels from our school office when food is available. Clothing & shoes are made available if in hand. Together with trying to find enough sponsors to feed the school children with weekly parcels, our greatest need – is sponsorship to feed families who have no government assistance & are desperate for food. All families are carefully screened before being helped. So too the Home Based Care reports to the school the children who have lost parents, so that they can be helped. The school and Child Welfare has on occasions asked the Child Advocates to visit ill parents to assess the home circumstances the children are living in and to trace children not at school.
However, we do not have sufficient funds to feed the children with food on a day to day basis, and are at the present moment supplying two good protein meal a week, fruit & vegetables, bread& beans for a further 2 days a week. So the vision is to find sponsors to assist in the food supply to the children. Many of the children attending this crèche are siblings of the children who attend the Ekurhuleni primary School and are part of the eeding scheme ‘support a child’ at the school.
Thanks Be to God for Father George Hinchliffe's bringing this grant to the attention of the Daughters of the King. His assistance was invaluable! If you would like to know more about how you can help feed God's children on a regular basis in the coming year, please contact Lydia Bush or one of the DOK members for more information. Or simply make your donation by stating Dukathole on the check! Please pray for the children of South Africaa nd for those who are caring for them.
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