The Village of Hope - Grabouw, South Africa
- an early letter from Tim about the project
Thembalitsha currently operate a small 18 bed clinic for babies and young children infected with the Aids virus, which is an amazing work and one that is proving to be very successful with the placement of over 150 children back into the community over the last couple of years. Thembalitsha then continue to work with the foster parents on ensuring that the children continue to receive the right medication and nutrition required to ensure that the virus is kept from spreading into the body. One problem we have highlighted is that due to the rapid spread of Aids within the black and coloured communities (commonly called Townships or informal settlements) there are very few people willing or able to take these children in. Over 5.6 million people live with Aids in South Africa, the highest percentage rate in the world, therefore a whole generation of 20-40 years has been decimated and the children from the clinic cannot be placed out into the community as quickly as we would like.
A recent News24 report highlights the need for workers - around 50,000 of the 100,000 children born in South Africa this year will die before the age of 2, not directly due to the disease but because there is no-one to look after them..!
This problem is causing a bottleneck in the Thembacare facility in Cape Town, meaning that ‘healthy children’ are taking up specialist care places in the facility and new sick children cannot be brought into the clinic. Our vision therefore is to open a ‘Village of Hope’ in the local farmland town of Grabouw, about 45 minutes outside Cape Town where Thembalitsha already have a 7 bed adult Aids facility. Grabouw is a town of 50,000 with no overnight hospital and over 34% of the population living with Aids. The Thembalitsha facility is a blessing to the local community and we want to add onto the work that they are already doing.
The ‘small holding’ that we have been fortunate enough to purchase will become ‘The Thembalitsha Village of Hope’ where we will not only provide a stable home environment for the children who have ‘come through’ the Thembacare clinic, but also provide an opportunity to work with the local community, employing local Mums and Dads to come and care for the children with the vital knowledge of their customs and culture.
We hope that you will join with us to pray for, and support financially, this vision. Amazingly the land is on a old farm called ‘Hope Dale’, this sits well with the Thembalitsha name as ‘Themba’ means Hope in the local Xhosa language! God has blessed us amazingly with a successful purchase - the story of how this was achieved is reported in the other updates on this site and is an incredible testimony itself. Having bought the property we are now excitedly going forward with the next challenge which is to make the necessary changes to the buildings. This will be organized through the new charity Thembalitsha UK that we have set up to co-ordinate the growing UK fundraising and other supporter activities.
MAY 2008 - PURCHASE COMPLETED !!
Thanks for all your support and we trust that you will capture this vision that God has placed on our hearts. Remember Jesus’ last parable in Matthew 25, the sheep and the goats - we are called to give a meal, a cup of water, a coat or shelter to our fellow man, not because of Jesus but for Jesus. He says that when we did that act for the least we did it for Him. Have a read it’s compelling stuff!
How Can You Help?
We have set up an on-line donation site with Justgiving - if you feel that you would like to support the work we are doing in South Africa with these babies and young people infected or affected by HIV AIDS then please do so via this link:
Where eligible, this will automatically donate an extra 28% via Gift Aid to the charity. Please also visit our new South African web site at www.thembalitsha.org.za
which is being updated with details of the UK side of the charity at the moment.
On behalf of Thembalitsha and the people of the region, Thank You.
The Reality (October 2008)
Tim and Maz are now in South Africa, preparing the farm ready for its new role as The Village of Hope.
Tim's monthly newsletters can be found here .......
More images of the project (before conversion) follow:
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