The Lutheran Ladies of Lomanyaneng who assisted in our relief efforts in Rooigrond earlier in the year. They have helped live up to our motto, “Together, we can overcome…”

Imagine waking up to the sounds of heavy rain falling against your home and accompanied by terrible lightning, thunder and wind. Whilst listening to it, your roof flies. All you can do is grab your children and lay low, lest the flying corrugated iron sheets that are flying around hurt anyone. You watch helplessly as everything you own is swept away. As the water rises, you realise the need to flee your home. Sounds like something from a nightmare, right…? Well, it was a reality experienced by 40 families in the Rooigrond Informal Settlement.

Earlier in the year, at 23h00 we heard a knock at the door. It came as a suprise since there was very heavy rainfall outside and we opened to find a woman and her 3 soaking wet kids. As they entered we heard the chilling tale of how their shack was swept away by the rain. As we got the children dry and into fresh clothes, more knocks came from the door. We all moved to the Early Learning Centre, as that was the only place that could accommodate everyone.

In that single night, 40 families had lost everything. We sent out SOS messages immediately. The following day, the community came together and assisted to rebuild the shacks which were destroyed. Poles & corrugated iron sheets which had been swept away by the water were found and reused.

The Lutheran Ladies of Lomanyaneng, who had also received a SOS alert were quick to respond and on the 06th January 2011, we successfully co-ordinated an outreach for them in which they gathered in Rooigrond bringing along with them much needed clothes and food for the affected families.

Once more, the kindness of others helped us pull through tough times…

“Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life? There is no deficit in human resources. The deficit is in human will. “~ Martin Luther King, Jr

Our will power combined with the kindness of others has ensured that our Daily Feeding Program continues successfully. We believe that, no child should ever have to go hungry, when there is enough food in the world for us all.

2011 saw our beneficiaries increasing from 483 kiddies to 556 kiddies. Though not an easy task, with challenges being met often, the Daily Feeding Program has become central to our operations. The knowledge that this is the only meal that most of these children have each day, is not always easy, but has becoming quite a driving force for us.

Playing a part in ending hunger in Rooigrond, not only brings great joy to us, but can make the difference between life and death for these children. Hunger can drive humans into doing things that no person, more so a child, should ever have to do- something that we can all play a part in eradicating.

Rising Above Circumstances

Posted: March 22, 2011 in General
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The Rooigrond Informal Settlement in which our operations run is 17kms away from the nearest town, Mafikeng. It has no clinic, police station and even a need as basic as water is a problem. The entire settlement has only two Engine run water pumps, meaning that some are forced to go long distances for water.

However, despite all the difficulties and hardships faced by the community, they are active participants in the move for positive change. Volunteers gladly assist with the collection of the water required to cook for our Daily Feeding Program and often assist our team with the cleaning of the centre. The hope they have within, despite the circumstances they face on a daily basis, is enough inspiration to overcome challenges we meet daily. This community, with their hopes, dreams and willingness to be empowered embody everything we stand for- overcoming.

They truly live up to our motto, “Together, we can overcome…”

With the fine young men making up the Golden Stars F.C team honoured, their journey in inspiring and creating a legacy for the youth of the Rooigrond Informal Settlement continued.

Challenges continued to be bravely faced, till light showed itself in the form of an act of kindness from Bonds Sports and Leisure, in the form of sponsorship for a new kit and ball. Through this act of kindness, our boys were once more ready to face the world and continue their journey of creating a legacy for the youth of the Rooigrond Informal Settlement Area.

The hope that a single act of kindness and generosity can bring, is very remarkable, hence the ability of kindness to change the world.

We Care!

Posted: March 12, 2011 in General, Uncategorized

Very often, the real victims of the HIV/AIDS pandemic are forgotten, immediately after their parents are buried. But often what is left, are innocent children left to fend for themselves or are added into households, which have no room for more.

It’s made even worse by the fact that, many of these children had to care for their sick parent/s on their own, watching them die and the torn emotions that come with that death. The sorrow of losing a parent is never an easy thing to endure, more so for children; this coupled with fear about the future and guilt that comes with the relief the death brings for those who’ve had to care for their parents for extended periods, is enough to haunt any child.

So the opportunity to bring joy to these dear ones, was and still is very treasured. Watching them receive their parcels with such eagerness and seeing their joy at being thought of, is a memory engraved on our hearts forever…

As Cicero said, “It is our special duty, that if anyone needs our help, we should give him such help to the utmost of our power.” When doing this, let us especially help children, who are our greatest resource.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic has left behind many orphans and vulnerable children in the Rooigrond Informal Settlement Area. Kids are left to care for their younger siblings and some more fortunate are taken in by relatives who cannot afford to maintain them.

In light of this situation, we once more joined hands with Project: LAYLA, who kindly extended the number of their 2nd Anniversary beneficiaries, to include 16 of the worst off Orphans and vulnerable children in the village.

There were lots of tears, as some of these children had never in their life worn their own clothes or as some recalled how they had never received clothes since their parents death. One little girl even changed right there and then.

HIV/AIDS is something that affects us all, as it tears lives apart. In our aim to create a better world, let us not forget these children, the worst victims of this pandemic.

Golden Stars F.C. turned a year old on the 29th November 2010. What finer way to honour these fine young men, than to publicly acknowledge the positive impact they had made in the community, as well as their dedication and loyalty to the team, despite difficult circumstances.

An Award Ceremony and 1st Year Anniversary Celebration was hosted on the 27th November 2010. This served to encourage the team and to let them know that their great efforts were not unnoticed.

Through the kindness and generosity of On Point Graphics, ABI (Rustenburg), Mafikeng Spar, Carrot King, members of the Rooigrond community and Nadia Petersen, as well as Waseema Petersen and Samantha Smith, who once more gave up their time to celebrate with us and make the day even more special.

This event went a long way in ensuring that the team’s great efforts are recognised and the sense of achievement, that came along with it, left the team ready to continue their journey of creating a legacy for the youth of the Rooigrond Informal Settlement area.

The ‘Rooigrond Early Learning Centre’ class of 2010, on the 24th November 2010 in the Rooigrond Informal Settlement Area.

“How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it”~ George Elliston

The 24th of November 2010, was a day that not only clothed 30 children, but ensured that also proved that kindness does indeed have far reaching consequences, that go beyond what words could ever possibly describe. It was a day of nothing but joy, in the village of Rooigrond.

Project: LAYLA, which aims to get people to donate an item of clothing personalised with a note, has the motto, “…A little kindness goes a long way…”, under the administration of Operation Blanket, a Mafikeng based NGO lived up to it’s motto on this special day.

It was on this day, Project: LAYLA’s 2nd Anniversary that, 30 learners at the Rooigrond Early Learning Centre received ‘kindness parcels’ and had what would turn out to be a very enjoyable day.

The day started off with the kiddies playing party games with Samantha Smith and Waseema Petersen, two youths who kindly gave up their time to make the day extra special for the kiddies. This was followed by lunch, courtesy of MeatSA (Mafikeng) which the kiddies enjoyed tremendously, before cake cutting time, all thanks to the Project: LAYLA Project Co-ordinator- Nadia Petersen.

The highlight of the day, however, was when Tolamoetlile Kgobokoe, handed out ‘kindness parcels’ to all. Each child received a parcel filled with clothes, to ensure that not being clothed was not a hindrance to them receiving an early education. The Rooigrond Early Learning Centre itself, was also a benefactor. With the teacher, Maserame Setlhoko, accepting a goody bag-with things meant to make the kiddies day more pleasant.

The day was blessed indeed, all because of the kindness of others. Project: LAYLA and Operation Blanket ensured that the kindness of others, reached those who need it most, the innocents of this world- children.