Our KAS friends in KwaZulu Natal
As I am sure you are all aware, Knit-A-Square distributes to orphaned and vulnerable children all over South Africa and one of the areas that we have sent numerous boxes of your hand knitted items to, is KwaZulu Natal. A very big thank you to my hubby, Peter’s company, Polymer Colour Systems, who very generously arrange and cover the cost of couriering boxes to both Durban and Cape Town for KAS.
We recently received news via Sandra Pillay of Mama Ntombi’s Community Projects (MNCP), an organisation that KAS has supported for some time now, of a devastating shack fire in the Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg which is about an hour’s drive from Durban. We were pleased to be able to help the victims of this fire by sending them five larges boxes filled with much needed items.
The Mama Ntombi’s Community Projects (MNCP) started off as a ministry of The Christian Fellowship during Easter of 2007. Dedicated men and women from the Church sponsored food for the children in the Jika Joe informal settlement and would make sandwiches for them and then minister to the children on Sunday afternoons. They would meet the children under a tree they used for shelter from the rain or sun, and as a result, the gathering was named the Wayside Sunday School. In 2008, MNCP extended the program to the Mattison’s informal settlement as well. MNCP now care for 300 children from the two informal settlements in Pietermaritzburg.
KAS has also supported other organisations in KZN some of which have been featured in previous reports. With the help of Rob and Chantel, family of Wendy’s who live in Durban, KAS blankets have been distributed to children at various homes including Ray of Hope, Malvern Children’s Home and The Domino Foundation.
A little about these three organisations that KAS has donated items to:
The Immanuel Christian Church started the baby home Ray of Hope or Imisebe Yelanga. Imisebe Yelanga means ‘rays of sun’ and the home offers love, care, protection and hope to babies and toddlers in crisis.
House parents provide a loving and nurturing environment for the babies while taking care of the day to day running of the home, wonderfully assisted by a team of day and night caregivers.
Imisebe Yelanga is not intended to be an orphanage but is essentially a transition home, a temporary home to look after abandoned babies while waiting for adoption placement. The home cares for babies and toddlers under the age of three who have been abandoned or removed from their homes. The home is able to care for up to six children at a time, under the care of a permanent house mother and father. The children will stay with Imisebe Yelanga until Durban Children’s Society places them in foster care for a maximum duration of eight months. Church volunteers and donations sustain the running of this organisation.
The Malvern Children’s Home just outside Durban, provides for 120 children between the ages of 3 – 18 years. The children are placed with this home because they have nobody to look after them or as a result of their care giver(s)’ inability to do so due to poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Child neglect and child abuse are still rife in this community and there has been an increase in the number of orphans as a result of the HIV Aids pandemic.
The Domino Foundation is a non-profit organisation that creates essential structures geared to meet the needs of the vulnerable and impoverished in communities. They seek to assist and empower the most needy in communities to pave the way for a brighter future by equipping individuals physically, emotionally, socially, cognitively and spiritually to enable purpose-filled lives. They run The Domino Foundation Babies’ Home; The Domino Foundation Feeding Programme; The Domino Foundation Early Development Programme and The Domino Foundation Life Skills Programme.
(Please note that we have respected the request of the organisations who do not want us to show the faces of some of these children)
Then we have another rather interesting story of how KAS squares and tops were delivered to Durban as part of the “packaging” for a surf board! KAS was contacted by Leanne Wooster in Australia who had a family member coming to South Africa to participate in a surfing competition. Durban is a very popular surfing destination. He offered to pack the squares and tops that Leanne and her mom Alva had made in with his surf board – a great way to protect the fin and a sure way of getting the items to South Africa!!!! After a few back and forward emails, Wendy arranged with Rob and Chantel to meet up with Aron in Durban and collect the items. Imagine their surprise when they were not only given the beautiful squares and eight tops made in Australia, but also a beautiful crocheted blanket from the lady that Aron was staying with in South Africa. It is truly amazing how KAS touches the lives of so many people.
It just so happened that Wendy and her husband Peter were down in Durban last week and they were thrilled to be able to spend time with the family sewing the knitted squares sent from Australia into blankets. Rob and Chantel will be distributing these blankets and the knitted tops in the Durban area.
I am away in Cape Town at the moment and look forward to letting you know what I have been up to here, but that is news for another report!