- 13 Feb
A journey with Angels
On the 31st of January I set off to South Africa with Angels www.angels-charity.org. As a Trustee, I have been a supporter of Angels and the amazing work that the charity and the volunteers do for a number of years. What I haven’t done before is to visit one of the projects as I have always found the plight of the children so emotional. After my sponsored walk of the Inca Trail last November, I decided that I needed to get over myself and put thoughts of my own emotions to the side and visit one of the projects to see the good that is being done.
I have to say, while it was heart wrenching, it was the best thing I have ever done and the memories and the children will stay with me for the rest of my life.
The children in the Huhundi settlement have so very little. You look in to their eyes and can see the difficulties and pain that they have experienced in their relatively short lives. Yet they can always find a smile for you.
Some of the children live with their mother and grandmother, crammed into a tiny space that has to serve their needs for cooking, living and sleeping. Some children are left with their grandmothers. Others have no one at all. A lot of the men are long gone.
They may live in shacks, and have so little, but they are very proud people. Their donated bright coloured clothes, are carefully washed. Any money that they do have is used for food. The system in South Africa requires a child to have a uniform and shoes before they can go to the state school. They can barely eat so thoughts of a uniform and shoes cannot be entertained. So that leaves many children that are left to wander the streets. Illiterate because they cannot go to school and left exposed to abuse and rape. Just a couple of days before we arrived a 7 year old boy was raped and left traumatised. Their plight is a very real one.
Partnering with Tiger Kloof school, Angels has created a feeding kitchen and ‘pop up school’ to allow these vulnerable children access to food and the opportunity to re-engage with learning. Their desire to learn is amazing and they are nurtured in a safe environment that they so deserve. In a place of safety they can learn through play, music, stories and books. As they have no mirrors, they love to have their photograph taken and to see it. The simplest of things, that many of us take for granted, bring out the smiles of these beautiful vulnerable children. Partnering with Tiger Kloof school, the soup kitchen and pop up school at ‘The Hem’ that Angels supports, allows these vulnerable children to have food and an opportunity to learn. Their desire to learn is amazing and they are nurtured in a safe environment that they so deserve. In a place of safety they can learn through play, music, stories and books. As they have no mirrors, they love to have their photograph taken and to see it. The simplest of things, that many of us take for granted, bring out the smiles of these beautiful vulnerable children.
The teachers and children of Tiger Kloof school volunteer to go to The Hem to feed and teach the children. Older children from that school, many of whom have been rehabilitated in to the education system, now act as role models and provide hope that there is the potential of a different future for the children at The Hem.
To keep this project running and to raise money for these children and others just like them, Angels has a new campaign; the Welly Beat Schools Challenge in partnership with Children’s TV presenter Andy Day and his music producer friends Rob and Dan from Bunkersonix. Andy, Rob and Dan travelled to South Africa with us to film the teacher’s pack and music video integral to the campaign – for more information click here www.angels-charity.org/campaigns/welly-beat-challenge. The guys together with Darren the videotographer, and Hope from Angels as Artistic Director, worked tirelessly on the campaign to support and help these children.
So many people give their time for free. Everyone on the trip was amazing and I remain humbled by the energy and time that everyone puts in.
It was a life changing experience for me. One that I can’t really find words to fully express. The plight of these vulnerable children remains etched in my heart and soul, as does their smiling faces when they experience the help and love that is shown to them.
So they will always find a smile and Angels will always find a way to help them.
If you are reading this and can help please get in touch with Angels or donate so we can continue to feed, educate and nurture the children.
Thank you so much