|One of our U3A members, Eric Olverson,
does volunteer work in an orphanage in
Below is a brief account of his work and,
if you want to read more, you can
visit Eric's website.
On the outskirts of Port Elizabeth in South Africa, a dry, dusty plain extends into the far distance. Here lies the black township of Motherwell. The society there is wracked by the effects of the AIDS epidemic, chronic unemployment and poverty.
|Within this town, there are three small houses, collectively called Thamsanqa orphanage, which, for me, represent a beacon of hope. Despite their difficult backgrounds, the orphans cared for there are prospering through getting schooling, regular food, love and care as well as learning life skills.|
With the meagre and uncertain resources available, the director of the orphanage, Tia Wessels, is also constantly watching out for particularly at-risk children/families in the local community. Her aim is to always try to intervene and help some way in the most desperate circumstances.
Volunteers at Thamsanqa
|During the two months that I spent working in November/December 2008, I was able to both work with the children and also help local people in dire straits. Other volunteers, principally Dutch, are carrying on the work and indeed play a crucial part in the development of the project.|
|My own efforts are now (in 2009) directed towards training for cycling across Africa early next year and raising funds to secure the future of Thamsanqa. I invite you to follow me on some of my cycling rides and keep abreast of the news at Thamsanqa, by logging in to my website|
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