South Africa Cape Town

A WEEK OF heartwarming activities 

Although we are faced with trying times in our country, we still hold on to the fact that we can create a little hope in the hearts and lives of those who so desperately need it. How else are we able to do this but through our annual Mandela Day campaign. Nelson Mandela once made the statement “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return”. This we have seen countless times across our communities. Our people are faced with harsh socio-economic circumstances that put limitations on all aspects of their lives.

As part of our annual 2022 activities, the FCC team hosted a week of Mandela Day activities for four beneficiaries.

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The Holy Cross Child and Youth Care Centre was established in 1918. This Centre provides legally assigned protection to 100 children from two to 16 years of age who are neglected, vulnerable, abandoned or orphaned.  The children were delighted to welcome us and we were serenaded with the South African national anthem. The Centre desperately needs funding and it was dealt a double-blow when it experienced a fire in 2021.

They were exceptionally grateful to receive our donations valued at R18 000 which included non-perishable goods, toiletries, and cleaning materials.

The greatest excitement was, however, experienced by the children who loved taking part in the spelling bee competition, playing in the colouring and reading corner, and showing us their best moves in a dancing competition.

“There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return”.

Nelson Mandela

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Matroosfontein Cottages is a rental complex of 32 units for seniors who able-bodied, not in need of frail care and who have no family. These elderly citizens seldom receive visitors so it was a special treat for them to interact with us and to share their wisdom and memories. When asked where they were when Nelson Mandela was released from prison, some said they watched it on television, others were at the Grand Parade while some simply couldn’t remember.

During our visit we donated parcels of non-perishable food items, vegetables and toiletries valued at R17 000. The pensioners were exceedingly grateful for the donations. We were equally delighted to receive a letter of appreciation from one of the residents who recently completed their Honours degree.

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The New Life Centre in Boston, Cape Town is a place of safety and refuge to pregnant women and girls in crisis. New Life offers these ladies counselling, support and medical oversight through third parties to assist them during their pregnancy. Many arrive without any supplies, only with the clothes that they are wearing.

This Centre receives no funding and ladies are accommodated there until two weeks after the birth of their baby. While at the Centre, the women receive up-skilling in the likes of beading, beautician training and a basic computer course.

These training initiatives were introduced to facilitate successful integration back into society with the prospect of earning an income. The courses also fulfill an important aspect of instilling a sense of value within these ladies.

Our day at the Centre was a humbling experience during which we learnt so much from these women who courageously shared their struggles in a circle of support, strength, respect, and wisdom.

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Valhalla United Football Club (“Valhalla FC”) is a registered non-profit organisation, and a recreational outlet for children from impoverished backgrounds. The Club is located in the most gang-infested communities across the Cape Flats who are subjected to extremely challenging socio-economic circumstances.

Valhalla FC focuses on a sport that the children are passionate about and it strives to create a safe environment where they can simply be children who are free of the influences of drugs, abuse and neglect. It does its best to offer young players a meal on game day and also raises funds to purchase playing gear and training equipment. Importantly, Valhalla FC also equips these youngsters with interpersonal skills to positively contribute to society.

Over the past three seasons the club has had one of their youngsters signed to play for teams such as Cape Town FC Spurs, which is testimony to the dedication of coaches and the players alike.  The passion of these little ones, as young as three, is unrivalled. They train early on very cold mornings with the drive and commitment to achieve more in life than what they have experienced.

While providing sandwiches, party packs and soft drinks to the little players we realised that the team had rapidly expanded to include hungry children from the community. This made it abundantly clear that although Valhalla FC is focused on the soccer players, their greater aim is to uplift the community. We were humbled to contribute R7 000 to purchase equipment such as ball pumps, a full training kit, soccer balls, and inflating needles for the Club.

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