At the annual public selection meeting on 12th January we were faced
with the usual difficult problem: three very worthwhile projects.
We all felt that the three projects were of similar merit, and found it
difficult to choose, but in the event the vote went overwhelmingly for
the Thembisa Trust proposal: The Bonginkosi Preschool and Support
Programme for Children at Risk.
The Thembisa Trust:
Oxford-based charity – of which
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is
Patron – is entirely run by volunteers. Thembisa's aim is to
give a chance in life to some of South Africa's disadvantaged people by
working in partnership with grassroots development projects. One focus
is on small start-up projects unable to attract funding elsewhere.
Since 1988 Thembisa has funded over 60 different projects in South
Africa. Some start-up projects have become viable. Others, such as
orphanages and child feeding schemes, training programme, etc, are
unlikely to become self-sustaining and need continuing support.
It is Thembisa policy to channel aid either through individual persons
well known to the Trustees, or umbrella social welfare organisations
which provide management help to local community projects. African
Enterprise is such a body active in KwaZulu Natal, and it is through
their agency that help from KOA would be delivered and supervised.
The Bonginkosi Project
There are currently some 30 children, mostly from poverty-stricken
parents or orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic at the preschool. Parents
are required to contribute a small fee for the care received at the
Preschool, which covers some of its operational costs, with some
additional outside assistance. Some parents cannot afford even
The children at the Bonginkosi Preschool are provided with two hot
meals in a day i.e. breakfast and lunch. Many of them really look
forward to these meals, as things are so difficult at home.
The old “school building”, a small wattle and daub house originally
bought for R200 (about £18!) in 1979, is literally falling
apart. The health authorities have condemned the it. Large cracks
are visible in the walls and the roof leaks letting in water when it
rains heavily. The need is for a contribution of £19-20,000, in
order to provide a permanent, equipped building to replace the
dilapidated, unsafe structure that has served for 26 years.
A contribution of this size would be likely to attract the remaining
financial support from elsewhere to make up the estimated £26,000
required: for example, a brick manufacturer is considering donating
The full proposal
can be downloaded by clicking on one of these links: doc, pdf.
If you would
like a printed copy of the full proposals, please phone or email Clive Rodgers (739447), or Sylvia Vetta