Since the founding of Lucky Beans e.V. in 2015 in Germany, we have been supporting the Lidgetton Community Project in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
Our motivation is to provide a safe, nourishing place for the children of the Lidgetton community to go where they can receive a nourishing meal, play and learn from Nokuthula, our Soup Kitchen “Mother". Children cannot learn or feel optimistic when they are hungry - we start from this premise.
2018 started off with our new Recycled Container Soup Kitchen operating very well for Nokuthula, who has settled into her new home, as well as organising her new soup kitchen on her property.
Nokuthula's new house is in a very central location, where there are a lot of passers by - many folk pass up and down that road all day. They all seem to know her and greet her. Quite a few visit with babies and even other young teenagers come to read books in her lounge. Nok is like a counsellor for these folk and she is respected by the majority of the people who live there. She has bible study in the container in the evenings and also Sunday school for the small children and teenagers so she is kept quite busy. We are proud of her efforts and achievements in wanting to make her community a better place, especially for the children.
Juergen, Anton and I travelled to South Africa for new year, and were fortunate to be there on the soup/food delivery day, which is the first Wednesday of every month. We collected the soup from Amber Valley, which is a large retirement-type community in a town called Howick. A large group of Amber Valley members have generously been supporting LCP for some years now.
We are very grateful to the generous donators from Amber Valley for their continuous support in providing food, and often many other things that are needed, for the children.
Inside our container
The children seem to be very pleased with the new space, and what is on offer for them.
Nokuthula now has proper shelving inside the container for toys, games, drawing materials and books - the children have access to these each time they come for a meal. They eat and then they play.
A kitchen was installed inside the container with a gas stove where Nokuthula can prepare the meals, as well as wash up afterwards, at an open air sink just outside the kitchen door.
At the back door we also had 2x 1000L water tanks installed, which catch rain water. These tanks serve as the main water providers for the Soup kitchen, and are already fill!
Next to the container we had a dry sanitation repit Sanitech toilet installed, which requires no water. This, we hope, will serve as a very efficient long-term toilet solution, which is serviced by the company Sanitech twice a year, who come and pump out the waste from the expandable bladder.
If you are curious how this toilet works:
Nokuthula has had some assistance from Sandra and Pat Merrick to set-up her vegetable garden. Sandra and Pat arranged a grader to come in and level the ground, to prepare for planting. She has started growing her own vegetables now.
Nokuthula has, for some years now, been selling second-hand clothes to locals from the local trading store, to supplement the small income she receives from us. The store room, which was being rented by LCP, will now become Nokuthula’s shop base. Catherine helped her to sort out and arrange her products on shelves, which were kindly donated by Cynthia from the Funtasy Toy Store in Nottingham Road - thank you Cyn!
Nok is happy to now have a real “shop” from where she can sell her products, and maybe over time expand on her range.
Easter visit from the Teddy Bear Club
A few ladies from the Teddy bear club came to Lidgetton and gave the children a lovely easter egg party with cake and pudding and sweets, plus the teddy bears and jerseys. They played games with the children, which they enjoyed a lot. Thank you to the ladies of the Teddy Bear Club who so generously sew and donate lovely things for the children.
Also a but thank you to all our supporters from Germany. Our contribution to this community is a small drop in a large ocean, but that is where the effect lies.
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.