Last week I was able to spend some time with my sister in one of our favourite places – Ngwenya Lodge which borders one of South Africa’s national treasures, the Kruger National Park. We soaked in the peace and quiet of the bush and enjoyed each other’s company. We went into the Park four times and managed to spot all of the Big Five (Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino) as well as a pack of wild dog !! There is just something about getting close to nature in the African bush that leaves one feeling relaxed and refreshed !!
This week I received two emails which reminded me of how much difference just one single person can make to the life of another and I would like to share the stories of Avo and Olwethu with you…..
In the past, KAS has supported an organisation called The Baby House, based in Kwazulu Natal and it is here that we encounter a lady who has changed the life of a little boy called Avo. Little Avo came to The Baby House having been diagnosed as severely disabled. Specialists and doctors said that he would never crawl, let alone walk, that he would never eat solid food and that learning to talk was out of the question.
Along came Eunice, one of the carers at The Baby House. She showed Avo unconditional love and now, after just 18 months, he is walking, loves his food and has even started to say a few words. But, the best news of all is that Avo has been adopted by the most incredible woman – Eunice herself. Thank you Eunice for changing this little boy’s life and for showing the world what a difference love can make.
Another organization we have supported for a while now is Mama Ntombi’s Community Projects (MNCP), also based in KwaZulu Natal. Sandra Pillay, a Project Manager at MNCP and our contact there reports, “Just this morning we are intervening in the life of little 9-year old girl, Olwethu Shezi. We found her this past weekend at our Wayside Sunday School in such a state of neglect. We thank God that one of our Sunday school children invited her to come along for the first time.
Joyce Dlamini, who is one of our volunteer community care workers, brought her to our offices, gave her a good bath and dressed her in some clothes that I found in our store room.”
Bathed and clean…….
“I discovered, through Joyce, that Olwethu’s mother was a prostitute. When Olwethu was just a month old her mother abandoned her in the street with a note declaring that she wasn’t able to care for her child. Olwethu was rescued by social workers and placed in a home. Someone told Olwethu’s father where his child was and he went to Social Services and was able to take her to live with him and his mother - she was two months old then. Olwethu was enrolled at school when she was 6 years old but her mother abducted her at the age of 7 and took her to live in town. Her mother was a drunk and could not care for her. Instead, she took her out of school and sent her out to beg in the streets. If Olwethu did not bring sufficient money home, her mother used to beat her up. Someone again informed Social Services about her situation and she was once again taken to a home. Two years ago her father managed to get her back to live with him and her granny together with two other children born to Olwethu’s mother, even though they are not his children. It is believed that Olwethu’s mother is dead because there has not been any contact with her since 2010, but nobody is able to verify this.”
“Olwethu and her two siblings don’t have birth certificates. This is something that we need to rectify so that we can get them to apply for Child Support Grants. Her father is not working and their situation at home is really desperate. The grandmother is sick and is not coping with caring for the children. Joyce says that there is no food in their home, not even a bed or mattresses on the floor to sleep on. This child was covered in only a dirty rag to keep her warm.”
Sandra says the next step is to try and get Olwethu enrolled in school for next year.
“Olwethu wants to be a teacher. I have given her a colouring book and crayons and she is happy colouring in a picture of Joseph in his coat of many colours. I believe that God has great plans for her. We will support her all we can through the Lord’s help and your support and prayers. God is amazing and we give Him all the glory! It is such a privilege and honour to be His instruments of love and blessing in this needy world.”
Olwethu with her Knit-A-Square blanket
AND THIS …. ALL YOU WONDERFUL CONTRIBUTORS
…. IS WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO!!!!!
Each time I read this wonderful story of Olwethu, it touches my heart and soul. Avo is going to have one of the best Mum's ever in Eunice. Each of the KAS children are individuals with their own ideas and ambitions - how wonderful that Olwethu wishes to give service to others by being a teacher. Thank you Ronda & Wendy for sharing these stories - it really validates everything KAS members do!
How amazingly wonderful that KAS can be part of such stories!!!
Such a sad story but uplifting to know that KAS reaches out to so many children like Avo and Olwethu. Your reports keep us knitting Ronda. I am glad you enjoyed your stay near the park and saw the big five. I only managed to see four of them when on safari in Kenya. The local leopard avoided us.
Changing lives, one square at a time! I'll keep on knitting squares...thanks.
Thanks for sharing these stories. I am so happy little Avo and Eunice found one another.
Lovely stories to come back to ! I am so happy for Avo and Olwethu that they have found people to love and care for them.
My Mum passed away last Sunday at 98. She went so content and so peacefully we could not have wished for more for her. A wonderful life always giving to others.
Your Mum must have been very special Sue and you will, of course, miss her. 98 years of giving - selfless to the last.
My sincere condolences and sympathies to you Sue on your Mum's passing. It sounds like it was a blessed way for her to pass over. You've got a very special Guardian Angel now, that's for sure.
My condolences to you. So wonderful that your mother passed away peacefully after 98 years of life. That's what we hope for all of our loved ones...love to you!
Many condolences Sue. Always sad to lose a parent but a great age and a peaceful death and wonderful memories for you of someone who loved and cared for others.