“Because all children are our children” Quote of Nelson Mandela, my big hero.
I supported his Child fund, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, since he personally requested this fund in 1999, nowadays called: Child Fund MAMAS.
3 years ago, when I travelled to South Africa with Martin Hamilton whom I was to give private photography lessons abroad, I could finally do more than only giving money; I could make some beautiful pictures and show the world the beauty of those children in need.
Child fund MAMAS supports local initiatives of women who take care of children in severe poverty. These women organize daily care, protection, food, warmth and love for 40,000 children in 43 beautiful projects all over the country.
“Because the changes in South Africa are going to take too long for millions of children in poverty, they will not survive without extra help and will not experience the new South Africa”
Their mission is to have all South African children living in severe poverty grow up under the wing of a MAMA.
“They share the dream that every mother in the world has for her child: love, care and protection and a fair chance for the future”
Martin and I started our Journey at “PUSH” in Johannesburg where mama Lorna is receiving us. The persistent MAMA Lorna founded PUSH in 2000. The name of the project stands for ‘Persevere until something happens’ and that is exactly what MAMA Lorna does.
In the extremely shabby slum of Kliptown, where many children lost one or both parents, do not go to school and wander around, MAMA Lorna provides nearly four hundred vulnerable children aged six to eighteen. Together with a team of volunteers and minimal resources, she arranges three healthy meals a day, after-school care, personal attention, homework support, information, sports and games; every day. With the help of PUSH, these children grow up to be strong young adults who have a fair chance of a bright future.
Our second Project is Swa Vana (Near the Krugerpark). In an environment where poverty and AIDS are common things, life is tough. Especially for children. Swa Vana and MAMA Pontso turn the tide! This project offers the most vulnerable children care, protection, love, care and a future. What started as a small-scale family initiative for six orphans in Huntington, has grown into a project with three simple centers from which almost four hundred children are helped.
Swa Vana is a haven of safety, love and hope for these children! Because of this project, these children have a future to self-assured and independent young adults.
The last Project we visit is Kids Haven in Johannesburg again. Moira Simpson, the MAMA of the project, set up Kids Haven in 1992 in response to the growing number of street children in Benoni. This amazing woman went to the streets herself every day to eat and pay attention to the children. Her project has now grown into a large and professional centre that achieves impressive results.
Street children have a hard life! Most of them get bogged down in crime or die much too young from deprivation, malnutrition, illness or violence. Kids Haven is a home for abandoned children. The children receive practical help such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care. They go to school, participate in sports and games and learn social behaviour, norms and values.
Living on the streets with nothing, sleeping under bridges, begging for your food. Or: after school, a cup of tea, homework, play, eat healthy together and after your tasks a warm bed. That is the difference that Kids Haven makes for neglected street children in the vicinity of Benoni, a suburb of Johannesburg. Kids Haven is an island of hope in a tough environment.
“Poverty alleviation is not a gesture of charity, it is at best a sense of justice!”
Quote by Nelson Mandela
Together we can give those children a brighter future.
Do you want to give back, you can do this by directly donating money To Child Fund MAMAS, or you can buy art of excellent quality of some of the pictures I showed above. A part of the profit I will donate to the Child Fund MAMAS.
Are you interested, please sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org