Our new Soup Kitchen has got off to a wonderful start today, with the sun shining in Lidgetton.
My sister, Catherine, made the opening speech.
Nokuthula and Sandra opened the new Soup Kitchen.
All the best to them for a new and exciting future in the container!
A BIG thank you to the Bergmix team for donating the cement - David was the representative from Bergmix.
Another BIG thank you to Dave and his amazing team who have helped us in more than one area....
The roof is nearly on...
The children always find one another...
Many wonderful supporters of our small project.
Here's to a new year ahead filled with happy, healthy children in Lidgetton who can benefit from our container.
Sandra and Pat visited the Dlamini family, bringing them a delivery of wood. They are in the process of renovating their house and roof.
Sibongile, the oldest sister in the green fleece, is basically caring for all the 6 children. When Vusi, her youngest brother was born, the LCP took the family into their care, as Vusi's mother died of Aids just after giving birth to him. He is now 6 years old and in Grade 1 – A sweet happy child. He calls Sibongile “mom”. Thando (end of steps on right) is two now. Her mother, Sibongile's sister, is no longer living with them. Sibonglie's other brother was not there that day, he was playing soccer. The school is just 100 metres above their house which is very convenient. They have electricity and 2 streams next to the house, which are still running. This is not to be underestimated, as there is a terrible drought in South Africa right now. One stream is for washing clothes by the neighbours and filthy dirty but the other one is lovely fresh sweet water which bubbles out of the ground.
Lidgetton Community Project supports them as much as possible, with a kind donation - they receive a monthly sum of about €62 at the local shop where they can buy groceries and get their taxi fare. Sandra takes them to buy clothes twice a year and spends about €195 (for all of them), plus Sibongile gets some child grant money from the state for caring for the children.
Sandra is always saying how impressed she is at how happy they are. "Food" for thought....
Post by Fiona Hayhoe-Weiland
In South Africa they are presently experiencing the cold winter months, which can be very challenging in Lidgetton.
Thanks to the wonderful support mostly received from people living in Amber Valley, the children in the Lidgetton Community Project have received lots of warm soups and stews, as well as a lot of other goods to see them and Nokuthula through the winter months. Thank you to everyone for their very kind support, and generous time. A special thank you to Hillary Vickers for co-orindating the collection and delivery of the goods.
Computer updates: Khulekani Mncube, a Grade 11 pupil at Jabula High School, asked Sandra if she could find him a lap top. Hilary kindly put out a cirulcaiton letter on the Amber Valley notice board and Sandra received 2 replies. Mr Raymond Sclanders donated a laptop to Khulekani. Thank you so much for this generous sponsorship. Khulekani was very happy to receive it! The other computer was given to the Dlamini family.
Teddy Bear Knitting Club: In June, Muriel and Maureen from the Teddy Bear knitting Club, went to Lidgetton to visit Nokuthula and the children (the under fives), and took with them many hand knitted jerseys and beanies (wooden hats) - the children look thrilled with their new winter woolies! Thank you to the amazing knitting efforts of the Teddy Bear Club! Such inspiring work.
Nokuthula's house is nearly finished now (no photos to prove this yet!) - we look forward to some photo updates. This is very encouraging - hopefully she will be able to move in in Spring/Summer, and with her the new Soup Kitchen.
Nokuthula's house continues to take shape in Lidgetton. We hope it will be completed by Christmas or early in the New Year.
Meeting with the Dlamini's - an interesting story of how children can manage and be happy when it is not so simple...
In July, Sandra and Nokuthula went to visit the Dlamini children. This family of 6 children live without any parents. They joined our program some years ago when their mother died of AIDS, and the youngest son was just 3 months old. His sisters brought him up. The oldest sister is like a mother to the children. They are getting on very well, and manage amazingly to support each other and go to school/ work.
They are presently sponsored by a family in the UK. This funding goes towards clothes, food and any extras they may need for their house. Below are a few photos of the family:
At their home with Sandra Merrick.
In case you are worried your kitchen is not adequate enough!
Going shopping with Nokuthula.
Finally construction of Nok's house has begun. The foundations are being laid. As soon as the house is being built, we will hopefully be able to bring in our containers for the Soup Kitchen.
Our Lidgetton Community Project had a successful year in 2015. The children received their regular weekly meals, thanks to Nokthula’s preparation thereof, as well as the food parcels going out once a month. The children connected to the project also received school uniforms, which we were not able to buy 8 months ago.
We received many wonderful donations in different ways from individuals as well as from groups/clubs. We have a long list of people to thank for their generous support in 2015:
In April 2015, some of the ladies from the Teddy Bear club at Amber Valley came to visit the children in Lidgetton. There were handing out beanies, blankets, and mittens.
Follow the link belwo to find some images:
Nokuthula has finally been able to buy a plot of land in Lidgetton, right opposite the informal settlement, where most of the children come from who are receiving food from the Soup Kitchen. This is a perfect spot for her to be located for easy access to the children. She now wants to put up a fence so she can grow vegetables. Then, of course, comes the task of building.
THE LITTLE EATING/LEARNING SHELTER
On Nokuthla’s present property, where she is living, a small wooden shelter has been constructed where the children can eat and learn/play. Recently shelving was put up by Ronald McLelland. Thank you. Now their toys, books, and other learning materials and supplies can be stored properly.
A gate has been fixed by Gavin Hayhoe in front of Nokuthula’s house, to keep the local cattle out, who are often roaming around in the village.
LIDGETTON COMMUNITY PROJECT
The project requires people with energy, vision, time, and a heart for the mental and physical nourishment of young children, to ensure them of adequate early childhood development, and thus a fair chance of growing up into high functioning adolescents and adults.
The project was established 12 years ago, targeting the growing no of AIDS orphans, with the aim of supporting families caring for these children.
Two years ago a soup kitchen was established in response to the high mortality rate amongst U5’s in the community – targeting the U5’s in the informal settlement
Three ‘housewives’ from the farming community, together with a trained community worker residing in the informal settlement, currently run the project.
It is a non-profit organisation, run on a voluntary basis.
A decision was taken not to register the project with the Dept. of Social Welfare because of the cost of running a registered NPO on a small budget. All income is derived from donations, mostly from Europe.
Interested persons, may contact Sandra Merrick.