John, one of the children we met many years ago is now 16 years old. He lives with his Mum, Dad, 2 brothers and a sister in a corrugated shack with no light and no heating. They have not even been able to move to a township, the reason for this is that to move to a township home, which comprises of a 1 bedroom house with limited electric, requires a one off payment of £350. They have been top of the waiting list for one of these township homes for the last 12 years but have never been able to raise the money for the one-off payment so could never qualify for one! We set up a Just Giving page and between all our friends (one in-particular making a substantial donation) we have managed to cover the cost. When Cynthia told the family they were overjoyed, the kids were jumping up and down and crying - to them it was like winning the lottery, it is a life-changing experience!! Their new home is in the process of being built and hopefully will be ready later this year. (Of course, now all the other kids have put their names down for a new house).
Following our visit last year a major concern was the girls being unable to attend school at certain times because they needed sanitary wear. Cynthia did her best to help but this was a great expense to her. Many friends who have visited our children do take necessities out with them for which they are very grateful. Since this problem came to light, one of our friends, Pauline Vause, has taken it upon herself to help in this area - a problem she feels very passionate about. She has, with the help of other friends, sourced and sent out lots of reusable sanitary items. The parcels have not yet arrived so we are keeping our fingers crossed (post in South Africa is not the best)!!
Over the last couple of years several of our friends have called in to see the children whilst holidaying in South Africa - John and Chris Lees, Steve & Julie Jones, Dave & Jenny Jones, to name but a few. All took badly needed supplies such as toothpaste , deodorant etc. for which the kids are very grateful. When we went out for a visit in 2018 we told the kids we were going to spoil them and asked what they would like us to bring, expecting them to ask for football kits, dollies etc, do you know what the older kids asked for.......deodorant!! Can you imagine that? Well guess what they got - boxes and boxes of deodorant, amongst other things.
If ever you have the fabulous opportunity to visit Swellendam, Cynthia and the children would just love you to visit.
Thanks everyone for your continued support.