"It always seems impossible until it's done."
South Africa is a country of extreme contrasts. While being Africa's wealthiest country and a popular tourist destination, the country is fighting poverty, violence and corruption on a daily basis. In this very second, while you are sipping away on your morning coffee or complaining about the weather, two out of three South African children live in poverty. That is more than 13 million children who's childhood is severely compromised and life chances stunted. Due to the country's history of institutional racial segregation and discrimination, as well as the failings of a corrupt government, the burden of poverty is almost entirely carried by black and coloured citizens in the South African townships.
I am currently working directly with these issues as an intern at the Swedish/South African nonprofit organisation Project Playground in Cape Town. Since 2010, the organisation has worked towards improving the possibilities in life for children and youth in the townships Langa, Gugulethu and Philippi. The term “township” refers to the, often underdeveloped, areas that from the mid 1920’s were reserved for the non-white people as part of the Apartheid strategy – separating people based on race. Project Playground works exclusively with children and youth who have to grow up in the legacy of Apartheid. These children come from broken families, abusive families, homes without electricity, homes without enough food, homes without adequate shelter.
Through organised after-school activities, support from caring adults and daily nutritious meals Project Playground provides a safe zone where children are allowed to be children and grow as individuals on their own terms. The ultimate goal is to create contributing citizens who participate in the democratic, financial and peaceful development of South Africa.
If not now, When?
Being here, I have seen first hand the difference that Project Playground makes and have therefore started my own fundraiser for the organisation. The money raised from this fundraiser will specifically go to the end of the year party that we have for all our participants. Many of the children at Project Playground live in extreme poverty and for them Christmas gifts and festivities is nothing but a dream. We want to give them a Project Playground Christmas with music, food and a small gift to make them feel seen, heard and appreciated. Because all children should be allowed to be children.
Project Playground has a proven social impact record and their operations are audited monthly to ensure transparency and efficiency. Trust me, each donation matter and is accounted for!
Follow @helpmesupportprojplayground on Instagram for historical insights from South Africa and snapshots from my everyday life as an intern at Project Playground.
Please do not hesitate to contact me on [email protected] if you have any questions regarding the fundraiser, Project Playground or want to know more about what you can do to contribute.