Please help me raise funds for the most amazing community outreach program. This is their story:
Bridges of Hope Community Farm has developed over a period of 20 years.We began by teaching skills.Then came the HIV Aids pandemic before the roll out of ARVs. Skills training took a backseat while we fed, cared for, and held people in our arms as they died.With the huge death toll came the flood of orphans and my home filled up.Over the years I have had more than 70 children through my home.The roll out of ARVs slowed the number of orphans needing care and we began to concentrate on the education and feeding of children.
We are based in Camperdown in KZN, South Africa.Our rented small farm is situated next to the township of Sankontshe which borders Mophela and Georgedale. The combined population is estimated to be around 80000.In Sankontshe there are no preschools for the thousands of preschool children.The Primary School is overcrowded.There is no high school.We opened a Preschool on our property in June 2019 for 40 children from 2 years to 6 years of age.Our waiting list continues to grow but without owning the property and being able to extend our buildings we are limited with numbers.Our heart is to be able to purchase the farm which consists of 11 hectares, numerous buildings, and excellent water.It has been offered to us at the amazing price of R 600 000.
I have 14 children at home.We live together.They are my children and I am their mother.I am not an orphanage.We are a family.Some of the children are special needs.We have autistic, cerebral palsied, blind, mute, mentally challenged, and an amputee.All are treated equally and are important members of our family. We all have chores and work together as a team.We home-school online and the children get to spend plenty of time outdoors playing and riding their bikes.Our vision for the future is to provide lifelong accommodation and care for the special needs children when they become adults. My dream is to be able to build houses where 6-8 adults can live together with house parents in family settings.They will be able to ‘go to work’ every day in the vegetable gardens, various workshops, and see to the animals.This will give them a sense of purpose and build self-esteem.
As the Covid-19 pandemic struck and lock down was implemented, most people in our community that were employed were not able to go out to work and lost their incomes.For most homes they were the only ones employed.As a result, hunger has set in.We have continued teaching our Grade R children by putting out Whatsapp audio lessons every weekday morning and delivering worksheets at the beginning of the week.We have now started adding in more Grade R children and Grade 1’s.We used to provide our school children with 3 meals at school.For some of the children that was the only food they received.Providing those children with food at home means we now feed the adults and other children in their homes as well.The desperate calls for help with food are growing as the lock down continues.We are currently providing food parcels for around 480 children and 160 adults on a weekly basis. We are a registered NPC and I have my official Essential Services Permit for Social Relief.I am well known in our community with Government Officials and Community Workers and have good relationships with them.
This amazing women has dedicated her life to these children and this community. Please assist with whatever you can. Every little bit helps. Together we can change the lives of these beautiful children by making sure they have a safe place to learn and grow as well as food in their bellies. We can assist Sharon in uplifting this community and reminding them that they are worthy.