Soroptimist International of Harrogate and District are a local group of women working to transform the lives of women and children through a global network of members, cementing international partnerships to achieve strong, peaceful communities in a troubled world. Our latest project is to work with our Soroptimist Friendship Link Club in Pretoria, South Africa, to support the building of a new library at an after school drop in centre for the poorest and most vulnerable children living in a Township outside of Pretoria. This responds to a critical need for those affected by HIV/Aids who are at great risk, offering enrichment and care in a safe environment as well as a good meal each day together with the opportunity to improve education and literacy skills, helping to prepare them for a better future.
Whilst SI Pretoria members offer practical support with teaching and life skills, art and recreation, they desperately need equipment and particularly books to help the children learn, they have also asked for children’s book bags, so that the children can take books home from the library to read at home and help family members to learn to read.
S I Harrogate are sending an initial donation of £500 to help set up the library and we are delighted that we have received tremendous support from RAWCLIFFE SCHOOL WEAR CENTRE in Harrogate, who have donated 20 school book bags to send out to South Africa, and so that there is a clear connection with Harrogate, they have had a Yorkshire Rose Emblem put on the bags. We are very grateful to the manager and staff of Rawcliffe’s for their very worthwhile and generous contribution to this much needed project to support disadvantaged children in Africa.
The donation and School Bags will be shipped out at the end of October. However, efforts do not end there, as we have a friendship link with S I Pretoria, we are working on a plan to introduce a Pen-pal Scheme for one of our local schools to link up with the children attending the Drop In Centre, so that they may learn about English and South African cultures and enjoy mutual friendship in the coming years… WATCH THIS SPACE…