Ten Thousands Homes recently re-did their website. It is awesome all the information that is available on there. I believe these are some of the activities I will be partaking in:
Ebonsweni is a community located outside of White River in the province of Mpumalanga, South Africa. Situated on a grassy hilltop with an awe-inspiring view of the valley below, Ebonsweni is located on prime real estate by anyone’s standards.
Unfortunately, for all its surrounding beauty, the people of Ebonsweni are in desperate need. The community health situation is dire, with many people dying of AIDS, Tuberculosis, and malnutrition. The amount of orphaned children in Ebonsweni is staggering and these children are shockingly vulnerable.
Ten years ago, Victoria was on her way home from town and saw a group of children desperately searching for food in the local dump. Concerned, she spoke with the children and found that most of them were orphans and some were searching for food because their parents were ill and there wasn’t any food at home. Victoria then began to invite the children to her home and started to feed them. As the task grew, she invited the community members to help her.
Partnering with Victoria & her volunteers, we are currently feeding 40-80 children every Saturday and run a children’s program with them. Plans are currently underway to finish construction on a multi-purpose care center that will provide an organized Kids Club and a venue for providing income generating activities, English training, and computer skills. This center will also be a place that provides food, tutoring, and childcare for young mothers & other young people to continue their schooling. Most importantly it will be a home away from home. Providing safety, security, and a nurturing environment. Bringing HOPE & a sense of HOME.
Driving through Kabokweni, the experienced foreign missionary may look around in doubt. It’s not your typical needy, African village. On the surface, the community is relatively clean and looks to be somewhat prosperous. There is a large, local hospital as well as a shopping center and several major factories. While Kabokweni may not look like the typical poverty-stricken community, unfortunately, it’s struggles are far too common.
Kabokweni has one of the highest rates of AIDS/HIV infections in the surrounding area, leading to an extremely high rate of orphans and vulnerable children. Unemployment is also a problem and even if there is a job available the wages are so poor that supporting your family is next to impossible. For all it’s facilities there is no local school. Those children whose parents can afford to buy them a uniform (a requirement for school) have to walk close to five miles everyday to reach school.
As our heart is for the children of the community, we have connected with a local woman who shares our concerns and visions to reach the kids. Her name is Elizabeth, a lady with a big heart and the determination to see things through. We’ve started small by serving food to 90 orphans & vulnerable children out of her house three times a week, but plans are in motion to build a care center that will offer more comprehensive care and a place of safety and rest for those kids who have none.
I am so excited, and beginning to get nervous. I leave in twelve days. Start taking my malaria pills in ten.