Thursday, May 10, 2012

A visit to the African Children's Feeding scheme

After the Shwe Shwe poppies (see my last blog post) we went to the Creche were the children are during the day, the ones who drew the poppies are bigger now and not at the centre anymore. But many other children are there and we were looking forward seeing them.

Outside the centre we saw that many women were tending small plots of gardens, so there is more to this centre than meets the eye at first.

There are in total 13 centres like this in SA and in total they feed 31 000 children from poverty-stricken homes are fed daily by ACFS. Many are orphans affected or infected with HIV/Aids – and this could well be their only meal of the day.
Food is prepared at each of the 13 community centres. Children who go to school within walking distance of one of the centres come at break time or after school for their daily meal.
Records are kept for each child – and failure to collect their meal acts as a warning that something may be amiss at home; one of our sisters will then call to check on the family at home.

Communal vegetable gardens at each of the 13 centres encourage and teach women (and some men!) how to grow their own food.
Each woman is given her own vegetable bed and is responsible for planting, weeding, watering and reaping – with help on hand if she needs it.
Even though the beds are small, by planting three or four different types of vegetables in rotation, enough food can be grown all year round to feed an entire family.
Once the women gain the necessary skills and confidence, they are encouraged to start their own vegetable patch at home. Surplus cabbages, potatoes and carrots can be sold to neighbours to earn a little extra income.

We had a peek into the kitchen of the centre and today on the menu was Pap and Fish, from the cans you see on the table there. Simple but at least these children are lucky to have a warm meal a day!

These children are left alone after the death of their parents: penniless, frightened and the centre takes care of these children. To see these precious faces it just broke my heart!

They showed us some songs and dances they had learned at the centre and this is the song of the national Anthem, all with their hands on their hearts and in the air, so so cute!!

Outside during recess they all wanted to high five me or do the African buddy thingy... touching your tumb with their tumb. All craving the attention of us....

Such a wonderful organisation, they do such good work! See their website of all the other things they do and maybe you like to help in one way or the other. Which is possible even if you live overseas!

Now I want to even buy more Shwe Shwe poppies, so we can help these children! Next time I will visit them I also will bring them some lollipops, I so wished I had them with me when I saw all these precious faces, but we had no clue when we started this trip that morning we would come here.

Next time I will be better prepared!!

But the day was not over yet... now we were heading for a lunch of a life time!!
Next blog post more about that...

Ciao, Mireille


plantagenet said...

these kids are gorgeous, they definitely need a future. Thanks for posting this!

Desert Safari Dubai said...

nice article

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