Susan’s blog: Orphan Feeding

I love to visit the orphan feeding project each time I come to Sabie. It feeds roughly 300 children twice a day, Monday to Friday. It’s not a part of the Sitabogogo project, but a number of the grandchildren that the gogos care for eat here. Zodwa Mkhonto and her unpaid volunteers are doing fantastic work, and this is one project I would love to see partnered with a Canadian support group.

No tables today because of the performance program

No tables today because of the performance program

With each visit I always notice changes – mostly encouraging, but they are not without their challenges. On my last visit I learned that, as their veggie garden was coming into full production, it was routinely raided. The night after they had finally laid down new copper water pipes, they were dug up and stolen. Recently a gov’t source of their funding dried up and they were down to their last few bags of meilie and were talking of shutting down. Unexpectedly, one of the grocery stores liquidated in Sabie and gave all their perishables to them – deus ex machina!

This time I had a big surprise. The children had apparently been preparing a program for their Christmas party and my visit prompted a dress rehearsal of their show. It was amazing – all kinds of dancing, singing, drama and poetry performance that went on for an hour and a half. Such talent, and it thrilled me! After some young boys did their gumboot demonstration, I jumped up and showed them 10 seconds worth of gumboot dance I knew, much to the surprise and amusement of all.

Always one sees older children assisting the younger ones

Always one sees older children assisting the younger ones

Since my last visit, they now have two young social workers who come for an hour or two in the afternoon to help children with their homework around a table in the kitchen. At the same time in the big hall, groups of kids practice dancing, singing and drama.

The big question that is only now beginning to be whispered in the wings of the world stage is this: As the gogo generation begins to pass away, the next huge social question looming on the horizon is that of the hurting, parentless orphans who are growing into the working and ruling generation. How will their experience shape the future of this country?

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3 thoughts on “Susan’s blog: Orphan Feeding

  1. You do us proud, Susan. Thank you for sharing these precious moments with us. Now I am scheming a way to provoke a spontaneous Susan-gumboot-dance at our February 17 Potluck and Auction Fundraiser 🙂 .

  2. On a more serious note, the issue you raise is an important one. We may want to collaborate with Ginny to make sure that we are making a specific contribution to ensure the grandchildren of our gogos are preparing for the responsibilities of leadership.

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