Well, Wendy enjoyed a geography lesson today when she learnt that Evaton is not a part of the Soweto municipal area – in fact, very far from!

Evaton is in an informal settlement north of an area called Sebokeng in the Emfuleni region of Gauteng.  It was established in 1904 and was affected by violent unrest which erupted in 1984 and by 1985 a state of emergency was imposed in this area.

The streets of Evaton.

It took us just over an hour (!!!??) to find the Day Care Centre we visited yesterday.  This very well managed project looks after 138 children from the immediate surrounds and the principal was telling us that very many of the children’s families are from Zimbabwe.  Imagine their surprise when Tracey, my niece who is in SA from Zimbabwe, greeted the children in Shona, a language predominantly spoken in Zimbabwe.   

The children were very excited to see us – it took us so long to get there they may well have given up hope of us ever arriving!  They lined up in neat rows for their warm tops and beanies, but this orderly process quickly changed when the toys came out and the children shrieked with excitement at the sight of all the lovely soft toys.  We then distributed blankets that were sewn together by a group of about 20 ladies and gentlemen who get together at a house that has been converted into a type of community centre for the elderly.  Enjoy these photos of the children: 

It was so special watching the children receive your wonderful contributions and I only wish I could share with you the energy and love that filled those classrooms.  We also laughed so much watching them try to use their blankets to tie their new toys onto their backs.  This is how very many children are carried in South Africa – on their mother’s backs.

Take a look at these precious little ones with their own “babies”:

The principal of the Day Care was very grateful for the food and stationery we took through.

After spending time with the children, Connie, who was the lady who arranged this particular distribution through Wandile, asked us whether we could please pop in at the house where the elderly women (and two gentlemen also) met and sewed together our blankets.  We did pop by and after a great many hugs and hand shaking, they asked me to explain just how KAS came about and they were fascinated by the story and so grateful for the opportunity to get involved themselves.  We left some bread and apples for them to enjoy too and I have promised them some more blankets packs.

Well, we are expecting another large crowd of volunteers today and we will tackle the mail we receive, sew together blankets and pack up more boxes to send to Durban and Cape Town where they are anxiously awaited by Elna in Stellenbosch whose Lindelani project is going from strength to strength – and Maureen in Pietermaritzburg.  We are grateful to Peter’s company, PCS, for helping us with intercity transport free of charge!

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  • It so so heartwarming to see the happy faces of the children, especially with their toys tied to their backs.  A little bit of love goes a very long way.

  • Thank you Ronda and team. What a wonderful story. :)

  • Thanks to you ALL for your lovely, enthusiastic responses !! xxxxxxx

  • Thank you for the update. It was lovely to see the childrens faces and see that they wanted to tie their new toys onto their backs like their mums did them! As well as knitting over here, it makes me wish I could split myself in two and be over there to help sew the squares into the blankets. Well done everyone! Great to see it all happen. xx
  • What a wonderful community effort!  Ronda, thank you for your report and letting us 'be there'.

  • So special. So happy Trace got to go along with you too. Xxxx
  • Such lovely pictures, Rondi, they warmed my heart all the way over here in sunny (!!) London xxx  Charm

  • Thank you so much for this report!  I can almost hear the shrieks of excitement as the toys come out.  What a great image.

    And it is so nice to know that the locals are able to help with sewing the blankets and know how important they are in the chain of giving.

    Many, many thanks to all who have worked so hard to make this happen. 

  • Lovely to read the report and to see the photo's of the children looking so warm and happy with their blankets, hats tops and of course the toys.

  • Thank you so much for this report and for sharing the pictures Ronda.  My heart just melted when I saw the little ones with cuddlies on their backs - so special.  Now I need to start accruing more supplies of soft toys ready to send.  It is so good to read about the settlements you are visiting, the pictures demonstrate the realities of life for these lovely people.

    Thanks again xx

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