The Aspen Venezuela team once again looked forward to Mandela Day with great anticipation. They chose to support Caracas-based Hogar Bambi, a non-profit private Venezuelan Civil Association, which is home to 25 children under the age of 9.

This shelter provides integral care for children from abused homes, those who have been abandoned and children whose parents experience challenges raising them. Although Hogar Bambi is a non-government organization, many children are in fact placed in their care by the Venezuelan government. The shelter’s primary objective is to provide the children with a stable structure in which they can grow and where they receive love, medical care, food and an education. A further objective is to provide assistance to both parents and the children in an attempt to eventually reunite the family.

As in 2012, the Aspen team joined forces with the South African Embassy in Venezuela to assist the shelter with a range of immediate needs. In addition to carrying out maintenance on the structure, fans were installed in nine rooms and 12 flushing systems were provided for the bathrooms. Aspen’s employees further contributed with extensive donations of food, toys, school supplies, books and personal hygiene items. The greatest joy for the team was spending time with the children and celebrating the day at a party hosted in their honour. The delight on the kids faces as they enjoyed cakes, cupcakes and sandwiches especially made for them with love by some Aspen home cooks, was priceless.