Feeding the homeless, providing funding and caring for children
Aspen’s team from the head office in La Lucia, Durban, supported three beneficiaries for Mandela Day, despite imposed COVID-19 restrictions.
The Durban Child & Youth Care Centre (formerly Durban Children’s Home) is a registered NPO that provides child protection services to approximately 1200 children who have been sexually or emotionally abused, neglected, abandoned and those who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. This NPO was founded in 1905 and houses boys and girls aged 2 – 18 years old at four Child and Youth Care Centres and nine Community Homes. As a consequence of access limitations during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to engage directly and as such made a financial donation of R100 000 to this very worthy organisation.
We also supported Masifundane Pre-primary school in Durban North with sanitizing products, cleaning materials, face shields and masks for the little ones. Masifundane provides a good grounding in pre-primary education to the children of domestic workers in the area and previously disadvantaged children. The school offers a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn to communicate in English as most of the children are Zulu speaking. The school was established in 2002 and accommodates 60 boys and girls aged 3 – 6 years.
The Dennis Hurley Centre, named after the former archbishop of Durban, was opened in 2015 as a place of care, education, and community in response to the 2008 afrophobic violence in Durban. Its opening was inspired by the actions of the Emmanuel Cathedral and the Juma Masjid mosque during this time. Refugees were sheltered in and supported by both places of worship which exist beside one another. The Denis Hurley Centre, which was built between the cathedral and mosque, has dedicated itself to supporting Durban’s most vulnerable people, especially those without homes.
Their offering includes free feeding programmes, educational workshops, assisting refugees with their documents and helping them to integrate into South African society. A free clinic and many other events and services are conducted in the name of community serving community. The project is run by volunteers and coordinated by Sister Cathy. Amongst other services, the centre offers breakfast and a cooked lunch four days a week, serving over 4,000 meals a month. The team from Aspen’s head office in La Lucia, Durban volunteered to prepare and serve meals and we also donated dry goods to facilitate this programme.