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Escape 4 Africa and Clients Donate to Community Development

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community-project

Ever since Escape 4 Africa started we have been driven to give thanks for all the amazing support we have received from clients.  We have been privately giving funding to uplift local charities near and dear to us.

Last year one of them had been a children’s home in Hout Bay, Cape Town. Every month a percentage of our bookings went to them to help with feeding and educating. We also funded a lovely Malawian man (Alfred) to get him home during the horrible Xenophobic attacks that occurred.

This year we have been looking for more projects to support and we have found just the project. It is a community project based in Stellenbosch, Cape Town called Legacy. It works on a variety of different projects (see below for details).

Thank you to all our clients/ friends for all your travels. Each Africa holiday booked through us has allowed for us to donate towards these worthy projects and charities.

Legacy Community Development Corporation

Legacy is represented by its directors: Mpelo Ntsanga, Brendan Venter, Dirk Ehlers and Louise Fourie. Legacy’s projects are managed by permanent staff members, but are also linked to the passion, skills and gifts of volunteers.

Kayamandi Background

During the last few years the population in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch doubled from 12 000 to more than 30 000. The majority of these people live under squatter conditions, with limited access to clean water and sanitation. The illiteracy levels and the unemployment rate (nearly 30%) are high.

Conditions of this nature are ideal for the proliferation of health-related problems, including HIV/AIDS. While the HIV prevalence of the municipal area of Stellenbosch is just more than 12%, Kayamandi’s is almost 20%. HIV/Aids is still highly stigmatized, many people do not want to know their status and once they know, it is hard to disclose it. Most of the children in Kayamandi (especially those that live in the informal settlements) are subject to poverty, poor education opportunities, illiterate parents, an absent father figure, hunger/malnutrition and the results of HIV/Aids and tuberculoses.

This is where Legacy Community Development Corporation joins hands with other institutions to make a difference.

The Legacy Centre

The base from where we do ministry in Kayamandi is the Legacy Centre – this multi-functional community centre (consisting of a large and a smaller hall, three other rooms, a kitchen and toilets) was built in 2002 in partnership with the Municipality of Stellenbosch. During the day the larger hall area is used as a day care centre and during the evenings and over weekends it is used by the community for events like funerals, weddings, church meetings and concerts. A smaller hall was added at the end of 2006 – this opened up new possibilities and is currently utilised in the mornings as a ‘safe place’ for the HIV support group (Vusithemba) and in the afternoons for the Khulani Kayamandi children’s project.

Projects

Legacy’s dream is to be involved in projects that focuses on the weak, vulnerable and voiceless on the one hand and on those that want to grow on the other. Currently Legacy addresses the following burning issues:

The Legacy Community Development Corporation is a non-profit organisation (incorporated under Section 21 of the Companies Act of 1973 with Section 18A exemption) and operates from the Legacy Centre in Long Street, Kayamandi.

• Lack of proper education and life skills

• A lack of skills

• Food security

• HIV/Aids

Projects at the Legacy Centre:

Education and Life Skills development

Khulani Kayamandi children’s project

The Khulani Kayamandi children’s project focuses on and works towards transformation of primary school learners in Kayamandi. The dream of Khulani Kayamandi is to provide children with identity, a new value system, a peer group, contact with positive role models and a purpose to live for. It is lso an attempt to promote Aids awareness.

Approximately 60 primary school kids currently take part in the daily programme that focuses on literacy,numeracy, arts, culture and a value-based life skills programme. This project is run by a project leader and youth workers from Kayamandi and is supported by volunteers from the Stellenbosch area.Volunteers from Stellenbosch also opened a container shop at the Legacy Centre that sells second-hand clothes. This helps towards the transport cost of the Khulani kids.

Food security:

Igadi ye themba – Garden of hope

Until February 2005 the land surrounding the centre had hardly been developed, but this picture has changed completely. The centre is now surrounded by a garden, with a vegetable garden as the main focus. The aim is to provide vegetables for HIV positive clients and to empower the people of Kayamandi with the skill of making a garden – to earn a living, but also to produce their own vegetables, beautify their surroundings and to acquire hope.

Skills Development:

Siyazakha needlework project

The needlework project that is run by the volunteers from different congregations in Stellenbosch was originally created to help unemployed women.

1 Khulani = to grow and prosper

For a few hours each week these women are taken from their everyday surroundings. It is done for a lot of different reasons: to help build their spirits, to teach them some life skills and to make them self-supporting. The programme is called Siyazakha, which means ‘we help ourselves.

HIV/Aids:

A little bit of history…

Legacy’s involvement in HIV/Aids projects started when an American missionary, Charlie Johnson, joined us in 2003. Through this relationship with Charlie, we have become involved at grassroots level with the HIV-positive people of Kayamandi. Through him we saw the impact of the illness on women, children and families. HIV/Aids suddenly had faces and names.

One of our directors, Dr Brendan Venter, had a passion to work with HIV/Aids patients and during 2004 he started to work at the Kayamandi clinic on Thursday afternoons. He is involved in the important screening process before Anti-Retrovirals are being administered. He also plays a pivotal role in the educating of patients. There are other volunteer doctors who support him when help is needed.

Current situation

Support group

A successful HIV support group (+- 50 members) with the appropriate name, Vusithemba (‘to raise the hope’) currently meets on a regular basis at the Legacy Centre. They provide each other with emotional support and volunteers from the congregation run workshops on a daily basis (skills training, literacy, life skills and  entrepreneurship). A meal is part of the support group’s meeting and groceries are provided where it is needed. A special service to help patients get to the clinic or hospital is provided.

Ikhaya Lempilo

Ikhaya Lempilo (‘House of Health’) – an eight bed halfway house/respite centre next to the Legacy Centre – provides a place for clients who have either just initiated ART with low CD4 counts to receive nutritional and care support in a healthy environment, or who have been discharged from the hospital after treatment for an opportunistic infection and need further care support. The outcome of this intervention will be to improve morbidity and mortality among clients most at risk for complications of AIDS. Providing healthy care support during the recovery phase with counselling greatly enhances the clients’ ability to be prepared for initiating ART with good adherence. This facility focuses on clients that stay in shacks (without toilet facilities, running water, isolation against the heat and the cold and privacy) and is managed by a trained nurse, occupational therapist and care workers under the supervision of a general practitioner.

If you would like to donate any resources to the Legacy Community Development, please contact us and we will be happy to facilitate.

Let us all help together.

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