SOS Children’s Villages Mamelodi – House No. 1
The SOS Children’s Villages charity helps children directly or indirectly affected by HIV/AIDS and seeks to give them vocational training and support and has been present in Mamelodi since 1987, helping children with no family support. The village has 15 houses for children aged 0-16 and 3 houses for young people aged 17-23.
The project is supported by Soroptimist International of South Africa. The National Association has a Friendship Mamelodi is a black township about 30km NE of Pretoria in the high plains and 25% of the population is affected by HIV/AIDS. From 2003 to 2007 SI South Africa members provided support and helped to fund the running costs of the house among other things. SI Southern Region (to which SI Woking belongs) then began to help (It costs £600 per year to cover all the needs of one child in the house).
Members of SI Southern Region, including 3 members from SI Woking, visited Mamelodi during their Study Visit to South Africa, taking presents for the children and housemother. Here’s an extract from their description of the visit:
“After lunch, we made our way out to the township of Mamelodi to visit the SOS village and House No. 1, the project supported by the National Association of Soroptimists in South Africa and to which we have contributed funds for the last 4 years. This is the project which sparked the idea of our study tour and it was wonderful for the group to see the village and meet the children who have benefitted from Southern England region’s support. Each club represented in the tour group gave a present of a book, a T-shirt and a computer memory stick to one of the children in the house and on behalf of the region, Sue Dyer presented a gift of a pashmina to house mother, Thabile. The excitement of the children as they opened their gifts was infectious and much laughter was shared over drinks and cakes. It was also good to see evidence of our financial support such as the new bed linens and the recently-installed computer. Two more children are expected to join House No. 1 in the next few weeks once their paperwork has been approved by the local court, and it was obvious that they will be welcomed into a very loving, caring family.” (For more info about the South Africa Study Tour, see the blog at:https://sigbi.org/southern-england/study-tour-of-south-africa/blog-of-south-africa-study-tour/)
In Summer 2014, donations from SI Woking and other Southern England Region Clubs enabled a replacement microwave oven, crockery and cutlery to be bought. At the end of 2015, a total of £5110 had been sent to SOS Mamelodi No. 1 House. In January 2016, £250 was sent by the Clubs to buy stationery supplies for the children going to school – much of the money comes from collecting 5p pieces, so it shows what regularly saving a little can do!